What are electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs or personal vaporizers) are an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. They are battery-operated devices that create an inhalable, water-based mist instead of smoke which imitates a tobacco cigarette and deliver nicotine to the user without tar, combustion, smell and other dangers associated with tobacco cigarettes.


How does it work?

An electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) consists of a battery; an atomizer; and a cartridge that contains propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerine (VG), water, flavoring, and optional strengths of nicotine.

Nicotine does not cause lung disease, heart disease, or cancer. When the user activates the unit, the battery supplies heat to the atomizer, which vaporizes some of the liquid in the cartridge.

They come in all shapes and sizes and have different features for former smokers who wish to distance themselves from anything resembling a traditional cigarette or want a longer battery life and/or better performance.

Example of how an electronic cigarette works:


Which e-cigarette looks and tastes like a real cigarette?

Since those considering e-cigarettes are usually seeking to replace tobacco cigarettes, they are under the assumption that having the most realistic, tobacco-flavored e-cigarette will bring the most satisfaction.

The truth of it is that after switching to e-cigarettes for a few weeks, the vast majority of users discover that looks ultimately don't matter - performance does. And the best performing e-cigarettes don't necessarily look anything like traditional cigarettes because they require larger batteries.

The usual e-cigarettes that look like a normal cigarette are using older generation technology from the earliest days of the birth of the e-cigarette, which was years ago. They have low-capacity batteries which won’t last for a day of usage, in addition to expensive pre-filled cartridges.

With regards to flavor, most tobacco flavored e-liquid taste more like fresh tobacco and slightly sweet, and surprisingly, the most popular flavors with experienced users are not tobacco tasting flavors, but other flavors like coffee, or fruit flavors.

Fun Fact: Over 80% of 2168 survey respondents said they have used non-tobacco flavored liquid, with 51.9% using fruit or candy flavors on a regular basis.


What is the liquid in the tank cartridge?

The liquid (known as e-liquid) in a tank cartridge is a mixture of diluted nicotine, vegetable glycerin (VG), food-safe flavorings and propylene glycol (PG), an additive that is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) for use in food. It is a simple sugar compound which readily breaks down to form lactic acid. It's mainly used in flavoring extracts, medicines, asthma inhalers and cosmetics to keep them moist.

Nicotine is an additive alkaloid that is naturally present in certain plants. A high presence is found in tobacco and low presence is found in common vegetables such as tomatoes, green peppers and potatoes. Current available information shows nicotine in itself has not been shown to cause cancer.


How long does the liquid in the tank cartridge last?

It depends on the e-cigarette model and their cartridge capacity. A cigarette-like 2-piece slim e-cigarette model that uses pre-filled cartridges can last the length of between 7-10 cigarettes while a refillable tank cartridge with a 2.5ml capacity can last the length of 40-50 cigarettes.


Do I need to purchase pre-filled cartridges or can I fill my own tank cartridge?

Unlike the old-generation cigarette-like 2-piece slim models that require expensive pre-filled replacement cartridges, the Verizor tank cartridges and clearomizers are refillable many times over. Using E-Liquid is the most cost-effective way to refill your tank cartridges, cartomizers and clearomizers.


What powers the device?

A rechargeable lithium-ion battery.


How many batteries are included in a starter kit?

Usually two batteries - One battery can be charging while the other is in use.


What are the methods available for charging a battery?

Most e-cigarette kits come with two types of chargers; a wall plug and a USB charger which can be used in your USB computer port.


How do I know when to recharge my battery?

Depending on the type and quality of batteries, high quality Verizor batteries come with a power indicator that shows users the capacity or power remaining in the battery.


Why do I need spare batteries and atomizers?

Although lithium-ion batteries and atomizers are now being manufactured to very high standards, they are functional devices that by their very nature, will be used quite intensively and so they will lose capacity over time and eventually fail. Batteries typically last a couple of months on average use, while atomizers last between 14-40 days. If you are a heavy vaper, you can expect their lifespan to be considerably shorter.


Can I use my e-cigarette in public places?

Yes! Currently there is no law against vaping in public places as they do not fall under the tobacco ban. Due to public ignorance, you may have to explain that e-cigarettes emit only water vapor which is not harmful to others. In addition, electronic cigarettes have no flame and no smoke. They typically do not fall under the indoor smoking ban.

Most places that fall under the smoking ban allow the use of electronic cigarettes. Use e-cigarettes to get your nicotine in places where smoking is not permitted, but check with the establishment first.  Now you can calm your cravings at work, in the restaurant without having to step outside. Please be sure to check with the establishment first, as some places frown even using the electronic cigarette.


What To Consider When Buying Electronic Cigarettes

Most important features to consider when choosing an electronic cigarette.

1. Battery Life

The battery is a major component that powers the electronic cigarette. If you are going to use your e-cigarette frequently throughout the day, you will want to make sure your battery life is able to last the whole day or at least 800-1000 puffs before the next recharge. A battery with a capacity of 1000 mAH is more than enough to last the entire day for an average user.

2. Battery with Power Indicator

Imagine going out not knowing the charge level on your batteries, only to discover that you have a drained battery after some usage. Therefore, if you are using your electronic cigarette, you don't want to be caught unaware with a completely drained battery. Batteries with built-in power indicators constantly show the power remaining, as you are using your device. With this feature, you will know when to use your spare battery and continue to vape without interruptions, while the drained battery is put on charge.

3. Refillable tank cartridges and tank clearomizers

As the e-cigarette industry continues to grow, there are more and more e-liquid flavors made available in the marketplace. Using e-liquid is the most cost-effective way to replenish your e-cigarette. With the latest modular system, you can easily remove your tank cartridge or clearomizer from your battery and refill them with e-liquid many times over.

4. Replaceable heating coils

The atomizer/coil head is what vaporizes the nicotine solution in order to produce the vapor. The problems of clogged atomizers/coil heads are common. As technology is continously improving, you will want to ensure that your e-cigarette is the latest in the market with a modular design which allows you to remove the components so that you are able to check or replace only the heating coil and not the entire system.


Names and Terminologies

It's normal to feel confused and unfamiliar by websites or forums displaying words you don't understand, we're here to help you out.

The term “Electronic cigarette” is often shortened to e-cigarette or e-cig.

Another name for this type of product is Personal Vaporizer (PV).

The act of inhaling from an electronic cigarette, which produces water vapor, is more commonly known as vaping.

Hence, electronic cigarette users usually refer to themselves proudly, as vapers.

Glossary and terms used:

Starter Kit – A kit that includes basic e-cigarette equipment. Typically includes everything needed to begin vaping.

E-Liquid – Also referred to as E-JuiceJuice, or Smoke Juice. This is the liquid that is vaporized when using an electronic cigarette.

Analog – Abbreviation used by vapers to describe a traditional cigarette.

Atomizer (Abbreviated as Atty) or Heating Coil / Coil Head - The part of an e-cigarette that actually heats the juice to the point of vaporization.

Cart / Carto – Abbreviation for Cartomizer.

Cartomizer (Abbreviated as Carto) – A cartridge and atomizer in a single unit. These generally are disposable, inexpensive and hold more juice than a regular cartridge/atomizer combination.

Clearomizer - A cartomizer with a clear tank to store e-liquid.

Drip Tip – An accessory that can be used in conjunction with an atomizer or cartomizer. These have a larger opening than the original equipment and allow a user to drip Juice directly onto the atomizer. Some people use a drip tip on their Cartomizers simply for looks and/or comfort.

Flooding – Something that can occur when too much Juice is applied to the atomizer. Since atomizers require some air to properly vaporize Liquid, adding too much Juice to an atomizer will cause a decrease in Vapor Production and flavor.

Leaking – This can happen when too much Juice is added to an atomizer or cartomizer. Juice can leak out of the bottom of the heating element and onto the battery, which in some cases can cause damage to the device (as is the case with Automatic Batteries).

Low Resistance (Abbreviated as LR) – An atomizer or cartomizer with a lower Ohm rating than the standard equipment. This generally causes the heating element to get hotter faster and produces vapor more quickly. In many cases it produces more vapor than an atty or carto that has a standard resistance rating.

Manual Battery – A style of electronic cigarette battery that has a button (usually on the top or side of the battery) that activates the heating element. When the user wishes to use the device, the button must first be depressed in order to produce vapor from the atomizer. This style of e-cig is less like a traditional cigarette than the Automatic, but is preferred by many due to the fact that it is sealed and cannot be adversely affected by Leaking.

Ohm - A measure of electrical resistance. A lower number indicates lower resistance and therefore faster heating.

PG – Abbreviation for Propylene Glycol. An ingredient found in E-Liquid. This is one of the ingredients used that when heated will produce vapor that can be inhaled. Typically, PG produces less vapor than its VG (Vegetable Glycerin) counterpart but provides more flavor and Throat Hit. This substance has been used as a primary ingredient in medical inhalers for years.

VG – Abbreviation for Vegetable Glycerin - An ingredient found in many brands of E-Juice. This is one of the ingredients used that when heated will produce vapor that can be inhaled. Typically, VG produces more vapor than its PG counterpart but provides less flavor and Throat Hit.

TH - Abbreviation for Throat Hit. The tingling feeling one feels in the back of the throat when vaporizing juice that contains nicotine. Typically, since nicotine is a large contributing factor in throat hit, when a juice that contains zero nicotine is vaporized, there is no throat hit.

Vape – The action of “smoking” an electronic cigarette. Since e-cigs actually produce vapor (rather than smoke) people refer to this as “Vaping”.

Vapor Production – Typically associated with Juices. Indicates how much vapor is produced using an average inhale of an e-cigarette.

Wick – A narrow piece of poly string that is inside of many styles of atomizers that allows easier delivery of Juice to the heating element.

Burnt Taste - An unpleasant 'burnt' taste from vaping. Usually due to the e-cig running out of e-liquid or the heating element not receiving enough e-liquid to vaporize due to wicking problems.


 

How Safe Are Electronic Cigarettes? Find out more in our next section: Electronic Cigarette Safety Information

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