How Electronic Cigarettes Work

What is an electronic cigarette? (also known as an e-cig, e-cigarette, Ecigarettes, nicotine inhalers, ecigs, Personal vaping sticks, Vaporizers etc…)

An electronic cigarette is a rechargeable battery powered personal vaporizer (PV) or inhaler, often in the form of a cigarette, and can contain either flavored nicotine liquid or refills with no nicotine. The nicotine strength can also be varied according to the user’s requirement. The refill is usually called e-liquid. High-power models are also available that do not resemble an ordinary cigarette but instead look like a thick tube with a mouthpiece attached.

Nicotine inhalers are a modern way to obtain nicotine and replace smoking – an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes, desirable since they are likely to be several orders of magnitude less harmful (100 to 1000 better is normally quoted although we are not allowed to make any health claims). They can also be used without nicotine as you choice the strength and flavour. The refill liquids contain about half a dozen ingredients that are all licensed for human consumption and are considered acceptably safe, as against the 5,300 discovered so far in cigarette smoke of which many are known to be toxic and/or carcinogenic.



How do e-cigarettes work?

All ecigarettes have a rechargeable battery or batteries, an atomizer coil which is heated by the battery, and a cartridge containing refill liquid. In some models the last two components are combined. When the switch is pressed, or in the case of auto models, when air is pulled through, the heating element vaporizes the liquid and produces a mist. You draw or pull air through it just like a tobacco cigarette.

Why use an electronic-cigarette?

The main reason is consumer choice – simply as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. The idea is to obtain the nicotine in a cool mist with a few well-known ingredients that are all approved for human consumption, instead of inhaling the smoke from burning plant materials, since it is known that smoking tobacco cigarettes has many health issues and perhaps around a one-in-three chance of early death.

Who can use an e-cig?

Electronic cigarettes are used by smokers over the legal smoking age who are looking for a better alternative. No one else should use one…no one!

Can I use one anywhere ?

Well we say they are legal anywhere due to the fact there is no tobacco, no combustion and no second-hand smoke which means, they can be used legally where smoking is banned, although anyone can allow or prohibit anything in their own premises, and some building owners now prohibit them (bad for presentation).  Regardless if you are new or a vaping legend, you should be aware of the environment you are in and as a representative of this alternative, you should always respect those around you and the places you vape.  Many people have never even seen one, share a little information, give a demonstration and carry on the good name of the vaping world with a smile and a puff.

Are ecigarettes healthier ?

No one can say, because there are no long-term clinical trials or any other research that could verify or disprove such a statement. They were invented in 1995 and have only been widely used for a few years. This is one of those things on which you have to make your own decision. However, many people regard the decision to inhale a cool mist with half a dozen ingredients, none of which are known to be toxic or carcinogenic, or alternatively inhale a bonfire, as what is popularly termed a no-brainer – which is why ecigarettes are taking the world by storm.

Above (and most) quoted from the ECF electronic cigarette forum (Jan. 2012), perhaps the largest electronic cigarette forum in the world and a great source for information.  A great team of people who have become a staple part of our vaping diet over the years.

Below section quoted from the article ‘Information for Health Professionals’ presented by (Feb 2012)

The safety of e-cigarettes

There have been more than fifty research papers, surveys and clinical trial results published on e-cigarettes. None show any evidence of potential for harm. Since the main ingredients are also used in inhalable medicines and disco fog machines, this is hardly surprising. Fog machines are licensed under employee health and safety regulations for long-term high-volume inhalation duty, and these regulations are both strict and impossible to pervert. There is 70 years of safety data on these materials in any case – we list around 40 references below.

Those trials paid for by commercial rivals, such as the pharmaceutical industry, tend to be published with admirable hyperbole – but the content of the press release is often at variance with the facts in the trial. A good example is the FDA’s famous press release and analysis of e-cigarette refills, where the hysterical text of the PR bore no relation to any facts discovered in the analysis.

Example 1 – FDA: “E-Cigarettes contain carcinogens.”
Full story: True – but at the same levels or less than are present in licensed NRTs. In the words of one professor of medicine, “These levels are millions of times lower than conceivably harmful to health” – a fact well-known to the FDA as they license the ‘carcinogenic’ NRTs.

Example 2 – FDA: “E-Cigarettes contain antifreeze.”
Full story: True – but so do the nebulizers used by lung-transplant patients. The ‘antifreeze’ in question, propylene glycol, is a non-toxic virtually inert material with an extremely low freezing point that is cheap to manufacture at industrial grade, and which possesses an extraordinary potency as a bactericide and virucide when dispersed as an aerosol. Since the pharmaceutical grade is injected into the bloodstream as the diluent for medicines such as diazepam, and breathed in by lung transplant patients, its potential for harm is presumably not too great. The use of industrial-grade PG as a specialist non-toxic antifreeze and virucide for use in applications such as air-conditioning plants in order to prevent Legionnaire’s Disease is hardly relevant – a fact well-known to the FDA as they license it for the medical uses.

The reliability and truthfulness of the FDA can be easily judged from these examples. At this point it may be prudent for sceptics to investigate the concept of Regulatory Capture.

Many professors of medicine and public health heads of departments have endorsed e-cigarettes. Their work is easily found by googling: profs. M Siegel, C Phillips, C Bergen, B Rodu and others]. Prof Siegel’s evidence was instrumental in obtaining the huge Master Settlement Agreement against the US tobacco industry.

Doctor’s associations and groups have endorsed e-cigarettes:

AAPHP, the American Association of Public Health Physicians
ACSH, the American Council on Science and Health (whose physicians have been vociferous in denouncing the propaganda published against e-cigarettes)

The most well-known anti-smoking harm activist in the USA, William T Godshall of Smokefree Pennsylvania, whose evidence contributed to the success of many actions against the tobacco industry, fully endorses e-cigarettes. He attended a State vaper’s meet in the US where hundreds of participants were available to inconvenience him with their exhaled vapor, and found no observed effect. He summarily dismissed a recent report paid for by the pharmaceutical industry that claims second-hand e-cigarette vapor causes throat constriction and dizziness, since he himself experienced no such effect.

This is a considerable statement when it comes from Bill Godshall, probably the most committed anti-smoking harm campaigner in the world. Perhaps we can also add the title of  ‘Most Honest’, as some colleagues do not seem to suffer from such an inconvenient attraction to the truth.

Isn’t nicotine harmful ?

Nicotine is not the harmful ingredient in tobacco, it is the smoke that kills: the smoke and combustion artefacts cause lung cancer, heart disease and many other illnesses.  Also, everyone tests positive for nicotine in the bloodstream, in very small amounts, since it is a common ingredient in vegetables. A related material, nicotinic acid, is a vitamin – Niacin or Vitamin B3 – so to say it is universally harmful is obviously untrue.

Without the smoke, ‘smoking’ is likely to be far less harmful, as nicotine may be as harmful as the caffeine in coffee. Nicotine is best avoided by those who are pregnant or have heart disease. You may want to avoid it if you also do not take caffeine or alcohol by drinking coffee, tea, wine or beer. Like these substances, it should probably not be started in the first place. Some people however find their lives are dysfunctional without nicotine, and an electronic cigarette is probably as good a way as any to supply it.

What e-cigarette should I buy ? Where can I buy ecigarettes ?

Well, you’ve come to the right place, check out our TC ‘Beginners’ section for a quick start based on our best recommendation.  For seasoned veterans, have a browse through and we hope you find something new and exciting to add to your favourite units.  We have focused largely on 510 thread capabilities for the majority of accessories.    Enjoy and don’t forget to share your knowledge with others, and us!


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