What is an electronic cigarette?
An electronic cigarette is a battery operated smoking (vaping) device that is rechargeable and contains no tobacco. The electronic cigarette consists of a battery, a heating element (atomizer) and a cartridge which contains the nicotine juice. When you inhale, the atomizer vaporizes the nicotine solution stored in the cartridge. You exhale water vapor.
Why do some people call it a Personal Vaping Device or Electronic Nicotine Inhaler?
Although the electronic cigarette was designed to replicate an analog cigarette there are those who prefer to call it something other than a cigarette. The electronic cigarette produces water vapor instead of smoke so many have chosen to call it a personal vaporizer. The electronic cigarette does deliver nicotine into the body, therefore it is also an electronic nicotine inhaler. It is a matter of personal preference what you choose to call your electronic cigarette.
Is the electronic cigarette right for me?
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you are a candidate for a personal vaporizer/electronic cigarette.
1. Are you a smoker who would like to find a healthier alternative to tobacco products?
2. Are you a smoker but don’t like the cost of analog cigarettes?
3. Are you a smoker who would like the freedom to smoke in public places such as restaurants, movie theaters, work environment, grocery stores or concerts?
4. Do you get tired of standing outside in the freezing cold or blistering heat to have your cigarette break?
5. Would you like to be able to sit at your computer and smoke with the knowledge that you are not damaging your expensive electronic components?
6. Do you have children, family members or friends who are constantly nagging you to stop smoking?
If you can say “yes” to any of the above questions, you are a candidate for the electronic cigarette.
What is the liquid that is used in the electronic cigarette and is it safe?
There are several e-liquid manufacturers but the main ingredients are the same. Some may use a few drops more or less than others to create flavors to suit a particular taste but the big three ingredients are:
Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, and flavored or unflavored liquid Nicotine.
I will give you a brief description of each product but I urge you go to to Wikipedia.com and read all about these ingredients.
Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is a clear, odorless, sweet organic compound used in pharmaceuticals such as toothpaste, mouthwash, and cosmetics as well as a flavor enhancer used in the baking of cakes, donuts and other bakery items. It is also used in ‘smoke’ machines at school dances, concerts and in movies to create fog.
Vegetable Glycerin: Food grade vegetable glycerin is 99.7 percent pure with the remaining .03% being water. Vegetable glycerin is sweet but is metabolized differently than sugar and does not raise blood sugar levels. It is found in foods that are advertised to be lower in carbohydrates. Vegetable glycerin is used in the place of alcohol in food extracts, and even though it is sweet it does not promote tooth decay and is even used in the treatment of certain skin and gum disease.
Nicotine molecules are made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sometimes oxygen.
Nicotine (C10H14N2) is a naturally occurring liquid alkaloid. An alkaloid is an organic compound made out of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sometimes oxygen. These chemicals have potent effects on the human body. For example, many people regularly enjoy the stimulating effects of another alkaloid, caffeine, as they quaff a cup or two of coffee in the morning.
Nicotine is extracted from the tobacco plant and other food sources such as tomatoes, potatoes and other night shade foods and is used as the base for electronic cigarette liquids that contain nicotine.
How close to the real thing is the electronic cigarette?
Very similar. Enough to satisfy even the most hardcore smoker. The vapor tastes, feels and looks like tobacco smoke. It delivers that instant nicotine satisfaction that smokers crave.
Can the electronic cigarette help me quit smoking?
The electronic cigarette cannot be marketed as a smoking cessation device. They must be marketed as a ‘healthier alternative’ to tobacco smoking. About 70% of electronic cigarette users have reported that they have quit smoking analog cigarettes. Many report that they simply prefer the cleaner taste of the electronic cigarette over the taste of the analog with the burning tobacco.
The benefits of the electronic cigarette outweighs the detriments of the analog cigarette. The electronic cigarette contains no smoke, tar, tobacco, or carbon monoxide. Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals that contain more than 300 known cancer causing agents. Smoke deprives the body of oxygen. Cigarette smoke smells bad in your hair, on your clothes and in your home. Water Vapor is not harmful to the environment or to those around you. Second hand cigarette smoke has been determined harmful to the non-smoker.
Does the electronic cigarette target younger people because of all the flavors used in making the e-liquids?
Absolutely NOT! As an adult who enjoys a wide variety of food flavors I feel I can speak for most of the adults on this one. Just because I grew up and hit 30 did not mean that I stopped liking to eat candy, ice cream and cake! Adults do not eat the same flavor of food every day just because they are an adult. The many different flavors are not meant to entice children into taking up a new habit rather they are to create a smorgasbord of enjoyment for the adult who vapes. I am not sure who it was that decided flavors were only for children but that person should have to eat nothing but brussels sprouts for the rest of their life.
Is the electronic cigarette approved by the FDA?
The electronic cigarette does not contain tobacco therefore it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA at this time. There are those who are trying very hard to get that changed, however, since this wonderful device is gaining popularity and not putting huge income into the hands of the government. They are sending out warnings to all of the companies who have any kind of drug in the e-liquids such as the male enhancement drug or weight loss agents and making those companies stop making those kinds of liquids.
I own an electronic cigarette but I have questions:
1. I just received my new electronic cigarette in the mail. What do I do first?
Charge the batteries for 8 hours before you do anything else! Yup. Take them out of the box and unpack your charger and get them charged up before you do anything else to them. Why? The batteries are shipped from the manufacturer with about a 20 percent charge on them since they are lithium ion batteries and should be stored with a charge to make them last longer.
Don’t vape your battery until it dies all the way down. When you notice a drop in vapor production and you know it is about time for the battery to go down just stop vaping on it and charge it back up until the light turns green. This will prolong the battery life.
2. Should I leave my battery plugged in to charge over night?
No! Your battery should be taken off the charger when the light turns green. A few minutes won’t hurt but several hours will kill your battery or at the very least shorten it’s lifespan. Do not leave your battery screwed into the charger either. Totally unscrew it from the charger.
3. What is the best way to take care of my battery?
Do not over charge the battery. Unscrew the atomizer from the battery when the unit is not going to be used for an extended time. Carry the battery in a protected case. (your pocket is not a protected case) Charge the battery before it gets totally drained. Do not leave the battery in a hot car or near a heater source. Batteries do not like heat. They don’t mind the cold but they hate the heat. Try to keep them from getting wet. Avoid toilets and leaving them out on the patio in the pouring rain.
Avoid keeping your battery in a case with keys and coins and other metallic objects. Everything your battery bumps up against sets if off which means you will have a dead battery when you want to vape. Every time you activate the battery, for any reason, you use up precious charge time that is stored in memory.
Don’t drop your battery on a hard surface such as a tile floor or concrete sidewalk. There are little components that could become dislodged and make your battery not function correctly.
If you like to direct drip your e-liquids onto your atomizer and you are using an automatic battery, use caution. The e-liquid can run straight through the atomizer and drip down into the battery though that little hole where the atomizer and the battery screw together. It is best to remove the atomizer before dripping the liquid or to direct drip with a manual battery or a special drip tip.
I have my battery charged for 8 hours and I am ready to vape! What do I do next?
1. When your atomizer was prepared for shipment it was primed with a non-toxic moisturizer so it would not dry out. Place a small amount of paper towel gently against the wick inside the atomizer and blow through the threaded end. You will notice just a bit of clear liquid on the paper towel. Although that primer will not harm you in any way it will taste bad. Most people just place the filled cartridge onto the atomizer and inhale the vapor into their mouth then exhale without taking the vapor into their lungs. A couple of quick inhale/exhales will totally eliminate that primer taste. Now that you have the atomizer de-primed you are ready to enjoy your new electronic cigarette.
Another point to remember about the atomizer is that they are disposable. It takes a couple of days to break one in to where it vapes like it should and about 6 to 8 weeks to wear one out. I have a couple that have lasted me three months but I vape non-stop so I can burn through an atomizer in 6 to 8 weeks.
Another point to ponder: Don’t let your atomizer get too hot. Warm is good. They have to get warm in order to do their job. They boil liquid nicotine every time you take a puff so they work hard for you all day long. Keep them moist.
2. I have taken several puffs off my new e-cig and it is tasting like hot fabric or metallic tasting. Why?
After you have vaped for a while and have used up a bit of the liquid in the cartridge you need to add more. I do not care what anyone says, those cartridges do NOT hold two full packs of cigarettes! At the most I place about 15 drops of e-liquid into an empty cartridge and that is equal to approximately 4 cigarettes. When I first started vaping I did a lot of research and went to every page that would give me information. It soon became clear that everyone who was just trying to help newbies learn how to use their new e-cig were the ones with the best and most accurate information. That is how I learned that 3 drops of e-liquid is approximately one analog cigarette. If a cartridge holds 21 drops of e-liquid then you are looking at 7 cigarettes at best and not two packs. Unless you are using a cartomizer, you will not use 21 drops of e-liquid.
The worst thing you can do to your atomizer is to vape it while it is dry. Not only does it taste bad to vape it when it is dry but it will burn up your atomizer as well. Don’t put 15 drops of e-liquid into a cartridge and expect it to last you all day. Carry a little bottle of liquid with you everywhere you go!
3. I keep my cartridge full but the liquid that I used to love is tasting pretty bad. Why?
Take the batting out of the cartridge, run it under some water and squeeze it dry. Place it back in the cartridge, re-fill with fresh e-liquid and see if that works! The batting needs to be cleaned every few days and whenever you change the flavor of your e-liquid. If it still tastes a bit off, maybe you need to clean up the atomizer a bit. There are about three thousand people who can tell you at least 20 different ways to clean your atomizer. I simply place a bit of rolled up paper towel up against the atomizer and blow out the old accumulation of e-liquid. I clean my atomizers every day. They last me 6 weeks or more by keeping them clean. I do not boil them or place them coca-cola or cook them in a coffee pot. I just blow them out. They taste good and they last me a long time. At $8.00 bucks a pop it means a lot to me that they stay alive and working as long as possible.
4. I am sucking e-liquid into my mouth through the end of the cartridge. Why? 5. I know my battery is fresh and fully charged and I know my cartridge is clean but I am not getting good vapor production and I still get a hot burning metallic taste in my mouth when I inhale. Why? You have fried your atomizer. Throw it away and get a new one. Do not vape on an atomizer with a metallic taste. There is no way to revive a dead atomizer. 6. I bought a new atomizer on Monday and on Tuesday it stopped working. On Tuesday I bought a new atomizer and on Wednesday that one also stopped working. Why? You are burning up your atomizers by vaping them when they are dry. An atomizer must be kept moist. If you are going to store your e-cig for an extended period of time you still need to keep your atomizer moist. We welcome anything you might want to add to this comment section.
This can mean a couple different things. Your batting is clogged and dirty. You over-filled your cartridge. Your battery is running on low. Your atomizer is not working properly. The first thing I do is change over to a fully charged battery. If that does not solve the problem, I clean my atomizer. If that does not work, I clean my batting and re-fill with fresh e-liquid. Be careful not to over-fill your cartridge. This will ‘flood’ your atomizer. Properly filled, the cartridge will look like a slushy. Really moist with no puddle. If you get a puddle that will not soak in when you use a toothpick to fluff up the batting, you will need to dab the puddle away with a paper towel or cloth. A flooded atomizer will make a gurgling sound when you inhale. It could cause you to draw un-vaped e-liquid into your mouth. Un-vaped e-liquid in small quantities will not harm you but will taste rather nasty.
5. I know my battery is fresh and fully charged and I know my cartridge is clean but I am not getting good vapor production and I still get a hot burning metallic taste in my mouth when I inhale. Why?
You have fried your atomizer. Throw it away and get a new one. Do not vape on an atomizer with a metallic taste. There is no way to revive a dead atomizer.
6. I bought a new atomizer on Monday and on Tuesday it stopped working. On Tuesday I bought a new atomizer and on Wednesday that one also stopped working. Why?
You are burning up your atomizers by vaping them when they are dry. An atomizer must be kept moist. If you are going to store your e-cig for an extended period of time you still need to keep your atomizer moist.
We welcome anything you might want to add to this comment section.