E-cigarette: how does it work?

Considered a real revolution for some, as an alternative to smoking cessation for others, the e-cig is an object that has become more democratic over the last decade. What are the basic principles of an e-cig? How does an electronic cigarette work?

What is an electronic cigarette made of?

An e-cig is broken down into 3 parts:

  • Box: the main part of the e-cig contains the battery, the element that provides the electricity needed to evaporate the liquid. The value of a battery is expressed in volts, its capacity is measured in mA/h (milliampere per hour). There are batteries of different capacities (650, 900, 1300 mA/h…), of the removable type (accumulators to be placed in your e-cig) or internal (non-removable and integrated into your e-cig). Batteries generally have a screen displaying the different settings (wattage, resistance value, puff time, etc.) which provides information to the user.
  • Clearomizer: part containing the resistance and the tank. This is the cylindrical part which will be screwed onto the battery via a screw thread. The tank is the part in which your e-liquid is contained. The resistor, on the other hand, is made up of a resistive wire (element in contact with the battery) and cotton (liquid absorption element). Depending on the e-cig model, the filling of the clearomiser can be done from the top or the bottom. The value of a resistor is expressed in ohms, the lower the value, the more powerful the resistor. We speak of “sub-ohm” resistance when they have a value of less than 1 ohm.
  • Drip-tip: mouthpiece located on the upper part of your e-cig where you place your lips, and through which the vapour is inhaled.

How does an electronic cigarette work?

The operation of an e-cig is done in 4 successive stages:

  1. The battery provides electricity to power the resistance, it is designed with a switch (switch button).
  2. By holding the Switch button, the resistor (containing a resistive wire) heats up on contact with electricity and therefore sees its temperature increase.
  3. The liquid contained in the clearomiser will, in contact with the heated resistance, evaporate and therefore turn into vapour.
  4. The vapour rises from the chimney to the drip-tip (mouthpiece) to then be inhaled by the vaper.

Some e-cigs have settings to choose the power sent by the battery. This allows you to personalize your vaping experience by choosing the power sent, and therefore the flow rate and the heat of your vape. It all depends on the desired sensation: according to the type of e-liquid, the nicotine level or even according to the type of inhalation sought. It’s up to you to find the right setting and start weaning in the best conditions.