What are Electronic Cigarettes ?


Electronic cigarettes have been around for a long time, but they have just become popular after the first nicotine based electronic cigarette was introduced in China in 2003. It became very popular in European countries rather quickly due to high taxes and social concerns regarding smoking. It has grown rapidly in the US within the last few years and is now becoming a widely promoted product. While they are not recognized by the FDA as a stop smoking aid,  most people you will talk to who use them did in fact use them to stop smoking regular cigarettes.  You will have to make up your own mind on whether or not you think they are a healthier alternative to smoking, but numerous (non-governmental) studies show that they are up to 1,000 times less deadly and are in fact about as harmful as wearing a patch or chewing the gum.


What are electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes are devices that heat up a liquid solution consisting of nicotine, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycol, and flavorings to a point where it actually turns into a vapor (like a miniature fog machine). A person then can inhale this vapor thus achieving the almighty nicotine buzz along with whatever delicious flavor they might like. The vapor looks a lot like smoke, feels similar to smoke, yet dissipates quickly and leaves no odor behind.  You can use them indoors, in the car, or anywhere really and you don’t have to worry about secondhand smoke as a problem. Can you imagine? Rather than filling your lungs with tar-imbued smoke containing over 4000 chemicals, you could be enjoying an incredible orange cream or chocolate raspberry vapor.


How do electronic cigarettes work?

This is your basic starter type E-cig

All E-cigs have the same parts, although there of modified parts you can get into later on down the line. All E-cigs have the following:

  • A battery (powers the device and is usually the part you hold in your hand).
  • An atomizer (Fancy name for the thing that gets hot and vaporizes the liquid)
  • A cartridge (This usually holds the liquid, this is the piece that goes into your mouth )
  • Juice (This is what the liquid is commonly called, also e-juice)

When you assemble these pieces it becomes a working electronic cigarette. You charge the batteries when the unit indicates it is out of charge usually on a wall charger. A lot of units also have USB chargers as well.

When your e-cig is low on nicotine juice you will notice because the taste is not very good and neither is the vapor. Some models have prefilled cartridges and when you need more juice, all you do is pop a new cartridge in and vape away. Other units let you fill the cartridges yourself, which can be a lot of fun with all the amazing juices available out there. If you have a unit that lets you fill the cartridge yourself, just pop off the cartridge and drip some drops of the liquid into the filler material. Do this until it stops taking in the juice. There are many other ways to do this as well, but thats for later down the road.

What do electronic cigarettes look like?

That depends on the model, and this is also where it can get a little confusing. E-cigs are like cars; there are many different styles that all have their own looks and performance, but they all do the same thing. Typically, the ones people get introduced to are the ones that look the most like normal analog cigarettes, but these are usually the lowest performing devices. Many people start out wanting something that looks more like a cigarette, and that is absolutely fine, but more likely than not they start wanting something that makes a bit more vapor and lasts a long time. Some E-cigs require you to do nothing but take a drag and they activate, others have a button you push (these are known as automatic versus manual e-cig batteries). Most E-cigs have an LED light on the tip that lights up when you are using it, which tells you when its on and it also can make it look more like a cigarette if its orange.


E-cigs come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and performance. They have E-cigs for the beginner up to however geeky you want to get.

Electronic cigarette liquid

This is the part of  ”vaping” (remember we’re not smoking, were vaping!) that gets really fun. You can order your liquid from hundreds of different vendors, ranging from mass-produced to artisan quality. The juice comes in a huge variety of flavors ranging from popular cigarettes, fruits, drinks, alcoholic drinks, spices, and even foods. When you order your juice you get to pick the amount of nicotine in them, generally high is around 24mg, medium is around 15mg, low is around 8mg, and it goes down to 0mg. I would recommend on starting on a medium if you were a smoker, and move up or down depending on how you feel. If you weren’t a smoker then I would recommend low to none. The juice also comes in a variety of glycol mixtures; some will be 100% PG, others 100% VG, and others still a mixture of the two. Propylene Glycol has more flavor but makes less vapor, while Vegetable Glycol has less taste but makes more vapor. 100% VG is also good for the small percentage of people who may be allergic to PG. I prefer a 50/50 or 70/30 mixture (70% PG/30% VG) because it provides a good balance between flavor and vapor production, and most good juice vendors offer those blends as a standard option. The juice usually comes in a few different sizes ranging from 1 ounce all the way down to 3ml samplers. The juice comes in bottles that have a dropper so you can drip the liquid into your cartridges and fill them.

Where Do I start?

You will have to do a little homework to figure out what is best for you. There are inexpensive starter kits that work really good, but you will spend the money on replacing cartomizers down the road. Cartomizers are meant to be thrown out after every use, but I have found you can refill them with e-liquid a few times. The Ego line is a very good option because it is powerful and has a lot of accessories you can get for them. I like the tank system because it is easy to fill with the e-liguid which gives you more variety and saves you money in the long run. There are cheap, low price products you can pick up, but be careful. If you do pick up a cheap e-cig like that, keep in mind that the vapor production, battery life, and flavor of those are not very good compared to the more expensive models. Don’t let them fool you into thinking that is how all e-cigs perform! Check out our collections of e-cigarettes on IMbesharam.com


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