E-cigarette (also e-cig, smokeless cigarette, personal vaporizer) is a device used to mimic the act of smoking. It does so by producing vapor that looks, feels and tastes like a real tobacco smoke, but doesn't smell like it. It doesn't have any smell at all.

3-piece electronic cigarette. Some manufacturers like Prosmoke still use it. Read more about cig-alikes

It consists of three parts:

  • lithium-ion battery
  • atomizer (has a metal housing that screws into the battery)
  • cartridge

The battery powers the atomizer to heat e-liquid in the cartridge and turn it into vapor during inhalation.

Basic models look like tobacco cigarettes - they are light and either fully disposable or have a rechargeable battery and disposable refill. They also have a LED light that emulates cigarette glow during inhalation. The overall feeling is very similar to smoking.

vaping, LED light on
penstyle or mid-size e-cigs

Check out our review of the starter kits of e-cig setup you'd prefer by clicking the picture 

Some users prefer refillable cartridges (cartomizers) to the prefilled ones. Cartomizer is a disposable atomizer and cartridge combined.

The model they choose looks like a pen (pic on the right), is larger and for that you need to buy e-liquid (e-juice, smoke juice), usually sold in little 10 or 30 ml bottles, to refill it.

Most e-liquids contain

  • nicotine in varios levels, ranging from 4 or 6 mg to even 28mg or more 
  • PG or Propylene Glycol*
  • VG or Vegetable Glycerin*
  • one or more flavors (tobacco in its many variants being the most frequent one)

* (see Glossary for more on PG and VG)

Want to find out more about e-liquids? Click

Read more about e-liquid by clicking the picture.

PG and/or VG make the e-liquid base - a mix of PG and VG in various ratios (80-20, 70-30, 50-50 or other). Some bases are pure PG and some pure VG. They are used depending on personal preference or possible alergic reaction to PG some users may experience.   

Most popular flavors are the tobacco ones, but many users, already some time into e-cig, report to have switched to some pleasant fruit or similar flavor. There are plenty of these on the market.

Beside the ones listed above, there may be other ingredients added. Unlike tobacco with its 5000+, e-liquid has only between these four and twenty. All of them already known and studied!

E-liquid is sold either bottled or in disposable cartomizers. 

Whichever e-cig type you vape, what you exhale is basically vapor, so there isn't any second-hand harm to those around you. Thus, there is no reason for any personal vaporizer to be banned in public places.

However, be warned that they might be in some places. Mostly due to ignorance of owners or managers. Sometimes due to ideological blindness of anti-smoking zealots who don't tolerate anything physically resembling a cigarette. No wonder - their pundits have been heavily funded and have done so little. Most people who successfully quit neither needed their help nor asked for it.  

Electronic cigarette can't cause most smoking related diseases, since it does not contain compounds responsible for them. Nicotine causes addiction, but it does not cause cancer. Neither do USP grade PG or VG or any other component contained in e-liquid.


From Carol, "saving her corner of the world, one smoker, vaper and cartridge at a time:

Many people who use ecigs and epipes are oblivious to the fact that many of the parts and accessories used for their vaping are recyclable. Check with your supplier, be it local or online. Many of them will take back used cartridges, atomizers, batteries, etc. If they don't, a lot of local gas and go marts  are starting to accept used cartridges. ...

Also, your old ejuice bottles can be washed out and tossed in with your hard plastics or some ejuice dealers will actually take them back. Ask your dealer or local retailer. Check with your local tobacco shops or vaping shops..."

Posted on CigReviews

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Written by Ljubica, @Switchtoecig, ex teacher, translator, passionate reader, ex smoker and now vaper, e-cig reviewer and vaping advocate.

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