A man smokes an e-cigarette

How do e-cigarettes work?

6th July 2015

In this guide we want to dispel any rumours or myths’ regarding electronic cigarettes telling you how they actually work and what is in them giving you a clearer understanding of these devices.

So you may be wondering how the e-cigarette got started, it was back in 2003 when Chinese pharmacist and smoker Hon Lik created the modern day electronic cigarette. The electronic cigarette entered the Chinese market in 2004 followed by US and Europe in 2006. As of April 2014, It is estimated that over 2 million people in the UK are using electronic cigarettes.

What is an electronic cigarette made up of:

Electronic cigarettes have two components, the first is a battery and the second is a wickless non-leaking clearomiser. A flavoured liquid is added to the clearomiser. When you inhale from the electronic cigarette, a small amount of liquid nicotine inside the clearomiser will turn itself into nicotine vapour, which is distributed from the mouthpiece.

An electronic cigarette does not need a lit flame unlike a tobacco cigarette. The electronic cigarette electronically heats the liquid turning it into vapour. The principle of this is the same as steam formation from water.

What is in the electronic cigarette liquid?

The liquid within the electronic cigarettes contains Propylene glycol (a water based ingredient found in multiple off the shelf products including food and drink), vegetable glycerin, pharmaceutical grade nicotine and flavouring.

Propylene glycol (PG) is a transparent odourless chemical at odourless chemical at room temperature that is used in many products that includes pharmaceuticals, food additives and cosmetics as a liquid that absorbs water.

Propylene glycol has been approved through ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease) and that it is seen as ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS) additive for foods and medications.

So that is how electronic cigarettes work and they contain no tobacco as well. Many e-liquids will contain some nicotine but majority of vapers out there can enjoy using their electronic cigarette that has nicotine-free liquid.