How Do E-Cigarettes Work?

Understanding the mechanism behind the electronic cigarettes will help you in understanding the simplicity of the design and its distinction from other kinds of nicotine delivery systems like nicotine inhalers, patches and gums,. In the simplest sense, the electronic cigarette is composed of 3 vital elements. No matter how the design is made on the exterior, the internal mechanism stays the same, only with slight variations. Let us identify these components to see how they interact with each other:

The Battery

The battery is the largest unit of the electronic cigarettes. This is the power source of the device and provides the necessary electricity to keep the cigarette running and functioning as intended. The battery used for e cigarettes are normally rechargeable batteries, designed for easy use since you can easily recharge the unit via electrical outlet or through USB connection. The battery should have considerable capacity in order to minimize the period needed to recharge the battery in between uses.

The Atomizer

This is the mechanism made up of coils that allows the liquid nicotine to be vaporized, transforming the liquid to vapor form, that is then expelled using the fine, sieve-like mechanism that makes the vapor finer and smoother. Older 3-piece designs have the atomizer as a separate component from the cartridges, requiring regular cleaning, but the newer 2-piece models combine the two and are easily replaced.

The Cartridge

This is the part of electronic cigarettes that contains the liquid nicotine and other components. The cartridge connects to the atomizer, heating the liquid, and allowing it to be released as vapor, a white to translucent gaseous form that easily dissipates once it has been expelled from the e cigarette and has little to no scent.

As the battery heats up the coils of the atomizer, the liquid nicotine is quickly heated, and when the person inhales through the mouth the vapor is released. The vapor is different from tobacco smoke since the electronic cigarette does not contain tobacco based products and so the vapor is nicotine with the necessary components that allow the vapor to be formed.

The Final Design

The design of the electronic cigarettes can take a 2 piece design or 3 piece design. They still both have the same battery-atomizer-cartridge components but it is necessary to take note that the 2 piece design merges a couple of these elements into one single unit. The 2 piece design has the atomizer and cartridge merged together, which makes replacing cartridges much easier and cleaner. These units are called “cartomizers”. The cartomizer is attached directly to the battery, allowing for much faster replacement. Once your cartridge is empty, you can simply recycle it and replace it with a fresh one, allowing you to keep your e-cig clean and germ-free.

In the 3 piece set up, the atomizer and cartridge are separate from each other. This means the cartridge can be replaced or refilled as long as it is compatible with the unit. Both the atomizer and the cartridge will require cleaning after multiple uses to keep it sanitary.


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