What is an ecigarette?
Vaping on an electronic cigarette or ecigarette (ecig, vape, cloudmaker, puffer, efag etc) is in basic terms a battery powered device that converts liquid into vapour. It is a great alternative to a regular tobacco cigarette. The inhaling/vaping and hand-to-mouth experience is not too dissimilar to smoking a traditional cigarette, however, an electronic cigarette allows the user far more control over the amount, temperature and strength of the vaporized eliquid being inhaled.
The main components of modern ecigarette devices consist of two main parts, a battery unit and a tank. A third essential component is the coil (also known as an atomiser) which is housed within the tank. The device works by heating the coil to a temperature that vaporises the eliquid.
Electronic cigarettes can be recharged and refilled with different flavored eliquids and nicotine strengths. The eliquid is loaded into the tank – usually directly from your bottle of eliquid or via supplied pipettes. eLiquid is produced from a mix of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) that form the base ingredients. A range of food standard ingredients are then added to create the flavour. eLiquids are supplied in different nicotine strengths usually ranging from 0mg to 24mg.
Batteries and Mods for Vaping
The battery units, also referred to as a mod, are rechargeable via a micro USB (as used on all android devices) or an ‘eGo’ style charger (specifically designed for ecig batteries). Battery units can be found in many designs, shapes and sizes – offering you a tailored experience. Each battery unit holds a certain amount of charge (known as milliamp hours or mAh). Most modern devices offer users the ability to control the wattage and/or voltage that is required to heat the coil – adjusting the taste, temperature and production of vapour.
Tanks and Drip Tips
The tank sits on top of the mod/battery and is screwed into place whereupon it makes a direct connection between the two components. Tanks are usually produced using stainless steel and glass or pyrex. They vary in size and so have differing capacities for holding eliquid. Along with housing the coil (see below), the tank also comprises a mouthpiece, commonly known as a drip-tip, from where vapour is inhaled. This is sometimes a customisable feature with many types of drip-tip on the market from snakes and skulls to mermaids and swords.
More On Coils
Simply put, coils enable the power from the battery to heat the eliquid to vaporization. The coil is an essential component of a tank, part of which is in direct contact with the battery unit. They are referred to as coils due to a coil of copper wiring around which a cotton wick is wrapped. Coils come in different resistances that are measured in Ohms Ω. The amount of vapour production is dependent on the coil’s Ohms resistance. A lower resistance will create a greater production of vapour. Coils are easily replaced once they begin to burn out, the frequency will depend on the amount you vape.
Sub-Ohm Vaping and Mouth/Lung-Hits
Sub ohm tanks feature a much larger coil than regular tanks and have a resistance below 1.0Ohm hence the term subohm. As a result, users can expect to produce huge amounts of vapour. The bore diameter of drip-tips on sub ohm tanks is usually bigger than regular tanks and users have a variety of options in controlling airflow. A crucial difference between sub ohm vaping and regular vaping is that the user will inhale directly to the lungs, this is known as a ‘lung-hit’, in contrast to the ‘mouth-to-lung-hit’ experienced by regular vapers.
Due to the low ohm resistance of the coils, it is essential that the battery unit is suitable for handling sub ohm tanks and coils.
Subohm vaping is a pastime invariably carried out by experienced vapers and not recommended for those that have just made the switch from traditional cigarettes.