Posted on September 12th, 2009 by Jack Stone
Electronic cigarettes are really quite simple to use; although they certainly function a bit differently than traditional tobacco cigarettes, there’s no question that anyone can get up and running with a brand new e-cig in minutes. This article details how to get started right away.
Open the e-cig packaging
Obviously, you’ll need to open the box and unwrap all the pieces to get started. Most electronic cigarette brands ship with some battery charge so you should be able to get rolling right away. If you find your battery is completely drained, plug it in for a couple hours to charge and then come back to this walk-through.
The 3 main pieces you should get together are one battery, one atomizer, and one cartridge. These should be easy to find. The battery is the long one with the LED at the tip. The atomizer is probably the smallest item in the box with a small braided metallic thing sticking out of one end of it. Finally, the cartridge is about the size of the filter on a traditional tobacco smoke and contains the nicotine solution. Some cartridges have a foil covering, others may have a plastic cap or nothing at all covering the end. The cover has to be removed before assembly, so go ahead and do that.
Assembling the electronic cigarette
Once you’ve got all the pieces together, assembly is very simple. The atomizer usually screws into one end of the battery, so go ahead and do that. Next, on most brands, the open end of the cartridge simply slides right over the top of the metal braided end of the atomizer.
Taking a drag
What you do next depends on whether you have an automatic or manual battery. If you’re not sure, look at the outside of your batter…do you see a small button? If so, it’s a manual battery, if not, it’s automatic.
If you have an automatic battery, put the cartridge end of the assembled electronic cigarette to your lips and inhale lightly. If you have a manual battery you’ll need to do the same thing only press the button on the battery at the same time you inhale. It may help to do this in front of a mirror to see if the LED at the tip of the battery is lighting up. If not, you’re battery is probably drained and you need to charge it.
If the LED is lighting up but you’re not getting any vapor, hit it for a few seconds, then wait a few seconds and hit it again. Repeat this process 5 – 10 times as sometimes it takes a bit for the nicotine solution to work its way up into the atomizer.
If you’ve done this for a bit and still aren’t getting any vapor, try hitting a little bit harder, although you shouldn’t have to hit any harder than a traditional smoke at any point.
You should be getting decent vapor production at this point. New atomizers tend to take a day or so to really get working as they should, and some of them have a strange taste at first. That’s normal and should wear off in about a day.
If you’re still not getting any vapor production, slide the cartridge off the atomizer. Is the atomizer wick (that braided metal thing) a little damp? It should have some nicotine solution on it. If it is damp and you’re not getting any vapor, you may have a dead atomizer. However, if it’s not damp, your nicotine solution may not be getting up to the atomizer like it should.
You can check inside the cartridge at this point with tweezers or something and you should find a small fabric ball about the size of the head of a q-tip. That fabric should be moist with nicotine solution. If not, you’ve got an empty cartridge.
If everything looks good and you’re still not getting vapor, you’ll have to call the company you purchased from as you may have to get it replaced.
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Posted on September 5th, 2009 by Jack Stone
eCigs, also known as electronic cigarettes, work by using a small, rechargeable lithium-ion battery to power an atomizer. When powered, the atomizer vaporizes a nicotine solution, also known as eLiquid, and that vapor is inhaled by the user.
Because eCigs produce a vapor and do not burn any tobacco, they do not produce by-products of combustion, one of the most dangerous elements of traditional tobacco-burning cigarettes. Also, the vapor contains mostly water vapor, nicotine, flavoring and a catalyst for vaporization. Because of this, the vapor is nearly odorless and, when exhaled, contains little else besides plain water vapor. This is the reason eCigs are able to get around smoking bans; they only produce water vapor.
The batteries on an eCig vary in lifespan, but generally last anywhere from 2 hours to a full day of moderate smoking. Most starter kits include two batteries as well as a charger.
When assembled, the eCig battery is activated by a pressure switch that senses when the user takes a drag. When activated, the battery sends power to the atomizer, vaporizing the nicotine solution in the cartridge.
Some electronic cigarettes batteries are manually operated using a push-button rather than automatically triggered by a pressure switch. Using these devices requires the user to press the button and inhale in order to draw vapor from the device. While some view this as tedious and unnecessary, the manual battery does have its purpose. The pressure switches used on some devices can be somewhat sensitive causing the battery to be activated unintentionally when used outside in windy weather. Those who regularly smoke eCigs outdoors, especially in a moving convertible or in a car with the windows down sometimes prefer the manually operated batteries in order to prevent unintentional activation of vapor production.
That said, automatic batteries are becoming more and more reliable and accurate, better able to differentiate between a smoker taking a drag and ambient wind. Many of the modern eCigs with automatic batteries are able to be smoked outside without any problems in all but the most windy conditions.
Most modern eCigs don’t require any sort of preparation in order to use them once assembled. The user first charges a battery, screws the atomizer onto the end of the battery, then slides a full cartridge onto the end of the atomizer. The device can then be used as frequently as desired until the battery or cartridge runs out.
This is another major benefit of eCigs over tobacco products. They required no preparation in order to use once assembled. You can simply throw the device into your pocket or purse, pull it out and take a drag when the urge strikes, and then put it back into your pocket or purse to use again later. As long as your battery is fully charged and you have a full cartridge, you should be able to enjoy the eCig for the full day in this fashion.
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Posted on September 1st, 2009 by Jack Stone
There are 3 main parts to an electronic cigarette that allow it to function in much the same way as a traditional tobacco cigarette. This article briefly describes how each of these three main parts work together to form an alternative to smoking that is quickly becoming a huge success.
Just as the name suggests, electronic cigarettes utilize a battery to power an electric atomizer. We’ll cover the atomizer shortly, but for now let’s focus on the battery.
The battery on electronic cigarette is located where the tobacco would be on a traditional tobacco cigarette. Most brands of electronic cigarettes have a small orange or blue LED at the tip of the battery that slowly lights up when you take a drag, stimulating the glowing embers of a traditional tobacco smoke.
Most electronic cigarette brands offer a starter kit that includes two batteries, depending on the brand those batteries last anywhere from two hours to a full day each, and most are the lithium-ion rechargeable type.
The atomizer is the workhorse of the electronic cigarette and is the piece that actually vaporizes the nicotine liquid. The atomizer utilizes the battery as its power source. The atomizer uses a small metal wick that soaks nicotine fluid up from the cartridge and then vaporizes that fluid using heat.
The atomizer is very small and on most brands of electronic cigarette is hidden inside the device when completely assembled. Usually the cartridge slides over the top of the atomizer on most brands of e-cigarettes so that it’s hidden from view.
Atomizer quality varies by brand, but on average, they last about 3 to 4 months each before having to be replaced.
the cartridge is located where the filter is on a traditional tobacco cigarette. However, instead of there being a filter inside, there is a small fabric swab which holds the nicotine liquid. The fabric swab comes in contact with the wick of the atomizer and serves to transfer the absorbed nicotine liquid from the cartridge to the atomizer for vaporization.
Some cartridges can be refilled manually, others must be ordered prefilled; it really depends on the brand. Manually refilling cartridges will generally be less expensive than buying prefilled cartridges, however manual refills have a bit of a learning curve and are prone to errors so prefilled cartridges are recommended for first-time users.
As you can see electronic cigarettes are fairly simple devices that have the potential to completely replace traditional tobacco cigarettes.
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Posted on August 26th, 2009 by Jack Stone
Electronic cigarettes are fastly becoming a popular alternative to traditional smokes; more and more people are beginning to use them as a smoking cessation tool, even though they were specifically designed for that purpose. Electronic cigarettes, although close to real cigarettes in appearance these days, function in a dramatically different way. As the name suggests, they operate electronically with the use of a battery as opposed to burning tobacco.
All electronic cigarettes utilize a battery to power the vaporization of the nicotine liquid. The battery is located where the and tobacco would be on a traditional cigarette and is usually a rechargeable lithium-ion type. Most brands use a small LED at the tip of the battery to stimulate the glowing embers of a traditional smoke when taking a drag.
Battery life varies by brand anywhere from a couple hours to a full day, depending on frequency of use. When I was a regular smoker I smoked about half pack a day and that to our to a full day range is pretty accurate for me. If you are really heavy smoker, like over a pack a day, you may run for batteries a little faster and it may benefit you to either buy extra batteries or to buy a brand that comes with a charging carrying case like BluCigs.
Most brands are available in starter kits that include two batteries as well as a battery charger. Some brands also include a USB charger for those people around the computer a lot of the time.
The LED tip light comes in different colors depending on the brand. The electronic cigarette I’m holding in my hand right now is the m402 model from LiteCig USA, which utilizes a blue LED. Some brands market the blue LED as a way to distinguish the electronic cigarette from a real smoke, for those who may want to try smoking in areas where smoking bans are in place such as bars or restaurants. While this can be useful when you attempt to explain to your server at the restaurant that you’re not actually smoking real cigarette, some people prefer an orange or red LED in order to more closely simulate a real cigarette.
Whatever your preference and needs as far as batteries go you can probably find something that works for you.
The atomizer is a small device, about a half-inch long, which screws into the mouthpiece end of the battery and serves two vaporized the nicotine liquid into a water vapor/nicotine mix. When assembled, the atomizer is hidden from view by the nicotine cartridge, which slides over the top of the atomizer.
Atomizer’s are powered by the battery and do not last forever. Depending on frequency of use you’ll probably have to replace the atomizer every few months or so at a cost of anywhere from $5-$30.
I’m not sure about the inner workings of the atomizer so that something you’ll have to look up on your own if you’re really interested in that sort of thing, but for most people what happens inside the atomizer is pretty much irrelevant as long as it works.
The nicotine cartridge
the nicotine cartridge contains a nicotine liquid with added flavorings that is drawn into and vaporized by the atomizer when you take a drag on the electronic cigarette. It’s located where the filter would be on a traditional smoke and has a small hole at the mouth and where you inhale the vapor. Most cartridges function in essentially the same way. Inside the cartridge is a small, nonflammable fabric sponge that is soaked with the nicotine solution. When completely assembled, the cartridge slides over the atomizer and a middleweight inside the atomizer makes contact with the sponge in order to draw the solution into the atomizer.
You can refill the cartridges yourself if you purchase separate nicotine solutions in whatever flavor you want. There are literally thousands of flavors out there soaking you can pretty much find whatever your little heart desires. Some brands are not designed to allow you to refill the cartridges yourself and, instead, self refilled cartridges for around a dollar a piece that you can purchase separately. This may be the preferred method by some simply because manually refilling cartridges has a bit of a learning curve to it in can be a little messy if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Cartridge life varies dramatically by brand and some of the problems with electronic cigarettes that people had have to do with the way the atomizer and cartridge link up. The life of manual refill cartridges only depends on how much fluid you drip into the cartridge when refilling it and the size of the sponge to hold the fluid inside the cartridge. Prefilled cartridges, however, very too much by brand to really say how long they’ll last; in my experience, I’ve found cartridges to last anywhere from the rough equivalent of four or five cigarettes to almost a full pack.
The assembled electronic cigarette
When fully assembled, most electronic cigarettes these days are about the size of a real smoke. To use the electronic cigarette, first make sure the battery is fully charged, the device is completely assembled, and a fresh or full cartridge is added, then simply take a drag just like you would a regular smoke.
Depending on the brand you may have to hit the electronic cigarette a little harder or a little lighter than a regular smoke. I found that, when manually refilling cartridges, it’s easy to overfill them and if you hit the smoke too hard some of the fluid can leak out of the cartridge into your mouth; that sounds unpleasant but it’s not really that bad, although I’d prefer to avoid it altogether.
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