What are e-cigarettes / ecig / electronic cigarette?

Electronic cigarettes are an alternative to smoking tobacco products. They are electronic devices which, utilizing a battery as a power source, activate a heating coil which heats a liquid to produce a vapor that (may) contain nicotine. E-Cigs provide a way to satisfying nicotine cravings in an experience that more closely mimics smoking that other nicotine alternatives (gum, patch).  However, unlike smoking a traditional cigarette, the ingredients in an e-cigarette contain no known carcinogens or other toxic chemicals that traditional cigarette smoke contains.

Electronic cigarettes are also known as personal vaporizers (PVs). Introductory models, such as the ones featured on our site by Bedford Slims, 7s and Halo are often about the same size, shape and  color as a traditional cigarette and many have an led in the end that glows when the ecig is used so that it looks like a burning cigarette.

High-power models are also available that don’t resemble an ordinary cigarette (these are called ‘mods).

The liquid that ecigarettes turn into vapor (called e-liquid, e-juice, cape juice, niquid, etc.) comes in a huge variety of flavors from those that emulate the tobacco flavor of a traditional cigarette, cigar, or pipe to those that emulate the kick of a Cinnamon Fireball candy or a fresh-picked peach. E-liquid also comes in differing strenghts of nicotine, including liquid that contains zero nicotine.   

How do e-cigarettes work?

All ecigs have the same three basic components:  a battery, a heating element, and a cartridge/tank that holds e-liquid.  The battery is generally a lithium ion battery that may or may not be rechargeable battery.  The heating element is called an "Atomizer" and is housed in a direct drip tube, a cartomizer cartridge, or a tank.  E-Liquid is delivered to the atomizer and, when heated (thanks to the battery powering the device), produces the vapor that the vapor inhales . 

There are two major types of ecig: automatic and manual. In an automatic e-cig, the atomizer is activated simply by the user (or vaper) drawing air through the ecigarette. This is more common in a disposable e-cog.  In a manual e-cig, activating the atomizer requires the user to push a button on the e-cig or mod

Why use an e-cigarette?

E-cigarettes are an alternative way to deliver nicotine (or nicotine free vapor!) to your body rather than tobacco cigarettes. The personal and public health hazards associated with traditional cigarettes are well known.  You probably know them, which is why you are here reading about alternatives.  “If an adult smoker were to switch from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes, they would avoid approximately 6,000 carcinogenic substances,” said Dr. Paul M. Cinciripini, a smoking cessation expert at MD Anderson Cancer Center. While long-term health studies on e-cigarettes are still forthcoming, the components of e-liquid are well known, and are not known to contain any carcinogens.  E-cigarettes replicate many of the physical sensations of smoking including the ‘throat hit’ of smoke. This makes it a more satisfying experience for many users than patches, lozenges, gum or inhalers.