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Electronic cigarettes are the latest development in the fight against tobacco smoking. They are also called a personal vaporizer, e-cigarette or e-cig which turns a solution into an inhalable aerosol mist, allowing the simulation of the act tobacco cigarette smoking. The e-cigarette is meant to help people get rid of the dangerous cigarette smoking habit, but lately its has come under some scrutiny
There are many similarities between the e-cigarette and tobacco cigarettes. The former can be shaped like a regular cigarette stick, although there are shapes that are altogether different. The main difference between the two is with the e-cigarette, you can reduce or increase the nicotine in it while with the real one you have this is not possible. If you want to have more nicotine in your cigarette, you have to buy a brand containing more. One great benefit that the PV provides, however, is you can forget about the nicotine altogether and just be satisfied with the enjoyment that the act of smoking offers.
There is ongoing uncertainty on the risks and benefits of using or “smoking” e-cigarettes. Being a relatively new invention, studies are few and inconclusive. Laws concerning sale and use vary from country to country and in some regions such as Canada debates are still in progress on how specifically e-cigarettes, particularly in regards to the solutions used in it, should be classified and treated.
The original concept of an electronic cigarette is credited to Herbert A. Gilbert. In the early 1960’s Gilbert presented for patent a gadget known as a non-tobacco and smokeless cigarette. The process involved heating the nicotine, producing steam that the smoker inhales. Aside from getting the usual lift and satisfaction from the nicotine, “smokers” can also enjoy flavoured “smokes” by adding aromatic materials to the tank Cartomizer. There were efforts to commercialize the device when in 1967, some companies asked Gilbert for the right to manufacture the invention, but nothing came of it. That was the last time the concept was heard of until recently.
It was in 2000, that the concept re-surfaced in a device invented by a Chinese pharmacist named Hon Lik. He is believed to be the first to have produced the first line of electronic cigarettes. His invention is similar to Gilbert’s, but instead of heating, he chose to vaporize the liquid solution containing nicotine mixed with propylene glycol by using an element that produced piezoelectric and ultrasound effects. In another version, he mixed the nicotine with propylene glycol, placed the mixture in a plastic container unit that also served as a mouthpiece. Today’s electronic cigarettes are based on these inventions.
The very first e-cigarette hit the market in 2004 in China, logically, as an aid to smokers trying to kick tobacco smoking and replace tobacco with a safer alternative. Golden Dragon Holdings, the company that the inventor worked for eventually changed its name to Ruyan (literal translation: Resembling smoking) and in 2005 to 2006 began to export its e-cigarettes to other countries including Canada. In 2007, the product secured its international patent.
The Modern e-Cigarette
Dr. Yunqiang Xiu introduced in 2008 the current e-cigarette that people see in the market today. It received its international patent in 2009 and British patent in 2011. It featured a technology that used a sealed atomizer and sealed tank system, more popularly by its short name as the "tankomizer". This system had found more value for medical and pharmaceutical concerns.
Components of the e-Cigarette
The basic components of an e-cigarette shaped like a regular cigarette include a battery that charges the device’s circuitry, an atomizer for heating the solution, a cartridge that also serves as a mouthpiece.
The cartridge has a small opening in both ends which allows the liquid solution inside to pass to the atomizer without the solution dripping into the mouth, and the vapour from the atomizer to the smoker’s mouth.
Many cigarette models have a plastic sponge intended to maintain the liquid in its proper place, but others use a refillable container or tank for holding the liquid, equipped with a separate opening that connects to the atomizer. Users simply refill the tank when it runs out of the liquid or they can buy a pre-filled replacement cartridge. Others have no use for solution reservoirs, choosing to put the solution directly to the atomizer. This practice is called "dripping". One cartridge can contain solution equivalent to two packs or 40-50 cigarettes.
What the Atomizer Does
The miniature heating coil inside the atomizer vaporizes the liquid. The atomizer generally consists of simple materials – filament and silica wick or metal mesh wick for drawing the liquid in. It occupies the center position of the e-cigarette with the cartridge in one end and the power unit in the other end.
The filament of the atomizer will lose its potency over time because of accumulated sediment, or it is burnt out, and will have to be replaced. Some models integrate the atomizer and cartridge into a single unit. These units are often called the cartomizer.
The Power Unit
The power unit containing a rechargeable lithium-ion battery is often the largest part of the e-cigarette. It features an airflow sensor that is activated when the
smoker draws breath through the gadget. There are models which have a switch for turning on the power and you must keep the switchin the on position throughout the entire operation. A LED in the power unit shell is also provided to indicate power activation.
A car cigarette lighter receptacle, USB or a wall pug adapter can be used to charge the batteries since they can be charged through DC current. There are manufacturers who offer a portable charger that looks like a cigarette pack and holds a bigger battery intended for charging batteries of single e-cigarettes.
Liquids and Flavours
The Liquids that produce the vapour, which are also called e-liquid or e-juice, consist of propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol 400 and/or vegetable glycerin diluted with flavour concentrates, and as an option, a percentage of liquid nicotine.
These liquids are often available in bottles or in disposable pre-filled cartridges. Numerous manufacturers produce many flavours that reproduce the flavour of genuine tobacco, vanilla, menthol, cola, coffee, and even the taste of fruits. However, manufacturers would vary the concentration of nicotine solutions. There are also solutions that are entirely free of nicotine.
For new users there are kits that contain everything you need to start vaping including: a USB charger, cartomizers and batteries. A portable charging case can also be found in some starter kits.
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About the Electronic Cigarette