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Electronic Cigarettes: What Are They and Do They Work?

Electronic Cigarettes

The objective of the existence of electronic cigarettes and cigars is to replace real tobacco. They can be used as a stop smoking aid, in public places where tobacco smoking is banned, long flights, or as an healthier alternative to smoking tobacco. They do not emit carcinogens and are therefore less harmful. The electronic cigarette is powered by a battery and the only chemical present that is also present in the real tobacco is nicotine.

The inhaled nicotine in alternative cigarettes is in the form of a vaporized solution that is also flavored to maintain the same physical sensation enjoyed when puffing a real cigarette or cigar. Apart from the normal tobacco or menthol flavours you can also get other flavours like chocolate, cherry, strawberry, almond and apple.

Electronic Cigarettes are relatively new and developing quickly. Initially they came in 3 parts and were longer than normal super kings cigarettes. The 3 parts comprised mouthpiece including nicotine cartridge, atomiser and battery. Now you can get mini e cigs which come in two parts and are around the same size as a king size cigarette. The two parts are battery and mouthpiece including nicotine cartridge and atomiser. Most are reusable devices and are refillable either with nicotine vapour or by replacing the nicotine cartridges.

There are four parts to an e cigarette: a heat element, a mouthpiece, a battery, and electronic circuitry. A mouthpiece or otherwise known as the cartridge is a small cup attached to the end of the tube. This tube contains an absorbing material that is wetted due to the absorbed flavored nicotine in a form of a liquid solution.

The second component of an electronic cigarette is the heat element or the atomizer. The purpose of an atomizer is to vaporize the liquid nicotine in the oral piece so that it can be inhaled. Other name for the atomizer is atty. Some models of electronic cigarette combine the atomizer and mouthpiece into a single component called cartomizer which is disposable. Those are the mini versions.

The largest component is the battery which is used to power the alternative cigarette. The kind of battery used in this device is a rechargeable lithium battery to power the heat element. The life span of a battery depends on the brand, size, usage, and the operating environment. It is best to have 2 batteries and then you can always have one charged, most useful – as I found out when I damaged one of my cartridges.

Electronic circuits of this device include a timed off switch to prevent overheating and a light emitting diode to signal the activation of the device. That light is usually red like a normal cigarette but you can get different colours if you are worried that you are going to be in trouble for smoking in public places. Electronic airflow sensor is also employed so that the device activates automatically upon inhalation. Smoke appears to emit from the e-cigs but that is just water vapour and completely harmless to the smoker and those around them.

Do They Work?

I can only speak for myself but I tried electronic cigarettes as a quit smoking aid last year. The flavour I got was fine and I felt that they were less addictive than regular cigs. Perhaps because instead of smoking a whole cig as normal I was having 2 or 3 drags and putting it back in my pocket. Eight months on I don’t smoke anything and feel much better for it. There are stressful times when I think about buying a packet of cigarettes but I remember that I’ve got an e-cig tucked away at home so I don’t need to worry about starting smoking again.

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