About E-Cigarettes: A Guide to Vaping

June 22, 2015


In recent years, personal vaporizers – more commonly known as E-cigarettes – have entered into the mainstream and become vastly more developed. Unlike traditional tobacco-based products, these electronic options have also become more permissible in venues throughout the USA and world.

E-cigarettes are both similar and different from traditional cigarettes in a number of ways. They simulate the smoking sensation and deliver nicotine to the system, but do not contain many of the harmful carcinogens found in a standard tobacco cigarette. Further, they can be used as an independent smoking device, in combination with regular cigarettes, or as a nicotine-free apparatus.

What are E-Cigarettes Made From?

Made of the same three main parts as those today – battery, vaporizing chamber and e-liquid container – the original e-cigarettes looked more like a regular cig in size and color. They also often had LED lighted tips at the butt end to mimic fire. Simply drawing a breath and inhaling activated those older models.

Fundamentally, e-cigs do not contain tobacco. Nor are they lit with a flame; instead, they use a battery. The battery, usually lithium, activates a heater (which uses an atomizer) that turns a liquid product into a vapor, or an inhalable substance. This vapor is in turn drawn into the lungs and exhaled.

The liquid used is mainly a mixture of propylene (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), nicotine and flavoring(s), but nicotine levels vary. The range is actually quite similar to regular cigarettes: from ultra-lights to regulars. In this sense, if you’re thinking of switching to e-cigs, it shouldn’t be hard to find your strength preference.

As for your flavors options, each brand has its own set of tastes. Most range from sweet to savory, like strawberry or coffee.

For a complete experience, e-cigarettes require smoke exhalation. Dissimilar to a cigarette’s toxin-laced smoke, this variety is exactly like that from smoke machines used at concerts. It really just adds a theatrical aspect to the smoke.

On the other hand, there are disposable e-cigarettes. In make-up, these are very similar to e-cigs, except they’re self-contained, which means they’re single-use smokes with rather short lifespans, like a hot cigarette. Many disposable options have arisen over the years.

E-Cigarettes Today

The modern e-cigarette was developed by a pharmacist in China in 2003. In 2007, the device went international, and over the last two to three years it has become quite popular in United States.

Over time, these devices have grown, developed and changed into what we know them as today. For example, Personal Vaporizer E-cigarettes (PVs) are significantly larger and last much longer than older e-cig models. For starters, the larger, more permanent e-juice housing stick means that the liquid can be purchased separately and refilled at will. Similar to what was mentioned above, this increases options and variability in flavor and nicotine levels.

Additionally, the larger, rechargeable battery powers a more developed heating coil and atomizer, which can last several weeks at a time. However, the coil-atomizer combination must be monitored. If it fizzles, the PV’s flavor will be compromised. If this occurs and you don’t want to buy an entirely new piece, the atomizer can often be replaced. Check your model’s specifications to be sure.

Finally, the devices most commonly have buttons and gauges that 1) activate and control the PV’s smoke dispersion levels, and 2) indicate battery life. Some may have even more options.


Considering the dangers of smoking regular cigarettes and the multitudes of restrictions placed on public smoking, ‘Vaping’ – or smoking e-cigs – has, well, caught fire. In fact, a sort of sub-culture has arisen around it, especially amongst younger people. This society puts value on understanding the parts of the device and its various qualities, such as dissecting its pieces, analyzing flavors and monitoring nicotine levels. Yes, vaping has its own character and convictions, and it seems to be building momentum as time moves on and technology develops.


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