Welcome to my frequently asked questions page. Here I answer the most common questions asked by my readers. Some may be product specific, but are usually for products that are very popular and therefore could be included here. You are welcome to send both questions and answers.
What are the parts? How does it work?
In this article I described in greater detail the parts so I will just summarize quickly here. There are many brands with many shapes and colors, but all boils down to a basic design that consists of three parts: atomizer, cartridge and battery. Beside these three, e-liquid is also needed for the whole thing to work.
Battery: This part produces electricity and powers up the atomizer. Usually, it is lithium ion battery and it is rechargeable.
Cartridge: this is where the vapor solution (e-liquid) is stored. This part is easily recognizable by the orange color at most brands.
Atomizer: this hidden part heats the solution and turns it into vapor that the user inhales.
Cartomizer is basically a cartridge with atomizer included within.
E-liquid: this is vaporizable chemical solution that consists of: nicotine, either vegetable glycerin (VG) or propylene glycol (PG) or combination of them (for example there could be 70% VG and 30% PG), flavor and other chemicals. The complete list of chemicals should be listed on the product. You can consult with your doctor for whether any of the chemicals are safe for you. Do not use products that don’t list the ingredients (chemicals)!
How do I use electronic cigarettes?
They are simple to use. First fold the cartomizer (see above) to the battery. After you have made the connection, with manual batteries you will need to hold a button, while for autos all you need to do is inhale, to start vaping. That is how it is usually done, but please check with the manufacturer’s manual for proper guide as there could be specifics.
When you draw, you experience a throat hit. The hit should be similar to the traditional cigarette, on the receptors in the brain, thus giving the experience that is desired.
There are basically 2 and 3 piece designs. The 2 piece designs consist of cartomizer (which is basically atomizer inside a cartridge) and battery. 3 Piece design is atomizer, battery and cartridge. 2-piece design is more convenient because it is more simple, there are just only 2 pieces that are folded together. Once you are done with the cartomizer you throw it away. The 3-piece designs are those that usually are refillable. Most of the brands on this site are 2-piece designs. In addition, there are also custom-made e cigarettes that may have larger tanks (reservoirs for e-liquid), batteries or extra gadgets attached to them. I do not recommend to anyone to custom build its own vaping device, because there are a lot of things that need to be considered like proper materials, circuits, voltage, delivery system, etc. Improper construction of the device can cause an explosion or other accident. In addition, the vaporizable solution needs to be done in the most hygienic way with quality ingredients. Sourcing these ingredients could be difficult. it is better and cheaper to just buy the product.
Are e-cigarettes safe?
I do not know. And I can not make any health claims. There are always risks associated with inhaling stuff into your organism, so the best option is to NOT use any kind of cigarettes (regular, electronic or other).
What happens when the battery dies?
There is a charger along with the kit that is going to charge the battery. So, always bring the charger along when going anywhere, or alternatively use portable charger. It is also more convenient.
The LED light would blink to give the indication whenever the battery is low on charge. Usually, the complete recharge would take just 3 to 4 hours, but this is brand- specific.
You can also buy car or portable chargers which work just like the regular charger. So, you don’t have to worry that you will run out of power if are going on a long journey.
What happens when the e-liquid runs out?
You will always have two options to choose from. Depending upon the type, either replace the cartridge with a pre-filled one or refill the liquid (refilling is ONLY for advanced users and it is NOT recommended). Most of the brands on this site offer their products only with pre-filled cartridges. That said, most of the companies offer loyalty and recycling programs. You can earn points by recycling the cartridges or get discounts from their membership programs, and save money.
Are these products regulated by some government agency?
First of all, I must confess that I do approve regulation of these products, because users need to know what they are inhaling. Regulations will set standards and quality control that companies must follow.
Even though this is a new industry with innovative products, it has a long history of feuds with government agencies, especially the Federal Drug administration agency. The one and only FDA in 2008 blocked the imports of electronic cigarettes, because they had found some dangerous chemicals in the vaporizable solution that could affect the health of the users and those nearby.
The ban was on the ground of treating these products as drug delivery devices. However, the ban was lifted in 2010 by Judge Leon in the District of Columbia. Nevertheless, the FDA did not stop its crusade and later announced its intention to regulate these products as tobacco products under Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. After several years, in 2016 FDA issued the final deeming regulations. One of the regulations requires every product that is on the market after 2007 to be approved by the agency. Because it will create millions in compliance costs, this rule may put many companies out of business and prevent new ones from entering the marketplace. Therefore, we will see what these regulations really mean about the industry.
In the meantime, several countries (Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Thailand, Singapore, Australia and others ) banned completely the production, distribution and consumption of these products.
CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association) was formed in 2009 and it is one of the most prominent consumers groups in this industry. It consists of more than two thousand members ( both consumers and retailers) and regularly participates in seminars, petitions, events, submits comments on regulations, publishes scientific studies, etc.
So, the final answer to this question is that we would expect regulation very soon.
How many Nicotine levels are there and which one to choose?
Usually, there are four different nicotine levels: strong, full, light, ultra light. When you are buying for the first time, It is recommended that you buy several different levels to find out which one suits you. In addition, almost all vendors sell no-nicotine level.
Can I vape wherever I want?
No. You will have to ask to manager of the premises where you want to vape. My opinion is that vaping should be banned wherever smoking regular tobacco is banned. Recently, the U.S. Transportation Department banned e-cigs on planes.
I have sore throat, irritation, cough a lot and similar symptoms during vaping and after?
It could be due to the e-liquid being PG based. Some people can experience allergy from it. I am not a doctor, therefore consult with your doctor and stop vaping.
If you have a question please comment below.