How does an Electronic Cigarette Work

While the subject of electronic cigarettes is very much in the news of late there is some confusion and mystery as to exactly how an electronic cigarette works. We will now take a look at the inner workings of an electronic cigarette and describe step-by-step how this new technology works.

Even though the look and feel of an electronic cigarette will vary slightly between manufacturers they are effectively made up of four separate components which are the nicotine chamber, heating element, battery and an LED light at the end of the cigarette.

What happens when you inhale?

Electronic CigaretteUnlike a traditional tobacco cigarette, an electronic cigarette will only switch on as and when you inhale, due to the mechanics of the device. As soon as you begin inhaling your electronic cigarette this automatically switches on the battery which is located in the centre of the cigarette. This is the largest element of an electronic cigarette and is used to power the heating element as well as the light at the end.

When the heating element is switched on this very quickly vaporises the nicotine making it easy for the user to inhale and exhale. As soon as the person using the electronic cigarette stops inhaling, the battery switches off, the heating element cools and the nicotine returns back to its liquid form. While all of this is going on the LED light at the end of the cigarette is activated to show that the device is in use.The process is repeated time and time again whenever the individual inhales, very quickly activating the battery, then the heating element, vaporising the nicotine and allowing this to be inhaled.

Battery life

On the surface the electronic cigarette of today looks very simple but when you bear in mind it contains a miniature battery, heating element, nicotine vapour chamber and an LED light, it is amazing that all of these fit into such a relatively small and light device. Battery life will vary between different brands of electronic cigarettes although traditionally a disposable electronic cigarette is equivalent to around 20 traditional tobacco cigarettes.

For those who are looking towards electronic cigarettes as a potential quit smoking device, or perhaps looking to reduce their tobacco intake, there is an array of rechargeable electronic cigarettes available. These can be recharged time and time again via charging devices such as wall chargers, car charges and even your computer. This obviously extends the life of the electronic cigarette which has created a market for ecigrefills.


On the surface the electronic cigarette of today looks fairly basic and fairly simple but under the surface it is amazing to see that a battery, heating element, nicotine vapour chamber and even an LED light have been fitted into this relatively small device. There has been great improvement on the first-ever electronic cigarette which was released back in the 1960s and many experts believe we will see yet more developments in due course. Sometimes it is difficult to understand how designers have actually managed to pack the various elements into this relatively small device!

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