Electronic cigarettes are extremely simple devices, consisting basically of a heating coil, sometimes called the vaporizer, a tank to hold the liquid which is passed over the coil to create the vapour and a power source to make the coil heat up. This can be a battery which is replaced, or the whole cigarette can be disposable or, in the more expensive kinds, the cigarette is rechargeable by USB cable. Personal vaporizer may be the best name for electronic cigarettes as they can of course be absolutely any shape – they are usually modelled on traditional smoking kit, though and come as cigarettes (albeit sometimes in bright colours or metallic), cigars and pipes.
The atomizer, or heating coil, is the main component of the electronic cigarette and if it isn’t working – no vapour! It is usually very simple but even so, when an electronic cigarette breaks down it is almost certainly because the atomizer unit has reached the end of its useful life. And it does have to work pretty hard – most coils this delicate don’t last long because they burn through, which is why even expensive electronic cigarettes need to have spare parts fitted quite regularly. It is perhaps just as well that they are simple to fix!
The battery is usually a rechargeable one and can have added extras such as airflow detectors which adjust the power output depending on whether it detects that the cigarette is being used or not. They usually power an LED light as well as any fake cigarette glow or other extra bells and whistles and depending on this, the battery will last longer or shorter times. The disposable kind of personal vaporizer obviously doesn’t need to be recharged – the battery lasts as long as the atomizer which in turn lasts as long as the liquid. This is approximate, of course, depending on smoking style.
This is where the personalization comes in because the e-liquid comes in almost unending different permutations. The first thing that can be adjusted is nicotine levels, from that contained in an average cigarette to none at all. This is a great way to give up smoking and one which is used by many quitters. Gradually reducing the percentage of nicotine makes giving up as easy as it will ever be. Then come the flavours – everything from traditional tobacco to caramel popcorn with every fruit, candy and dessert flavour in between. Vapers are constantly coming up with new flavours and in fact many people now use electronic cigarettes who were not previously smokers.