How does the atomizer work?
The atomizer is the most important part of any electronic cigarette. The atomizer is the part that turns the liquid into vapor. It does this by heating a coil that is in contact with the e-liquid. You should always be aware that atomizers could get quite hot when in use. Use caution when handling them immediately after use. Much like the coil in a light bulb, they burn out eventually. But they usually taste bad way before they burn out. Then they should be replaced.
Do I have to maintain or clean the atomizer?
Atomizers coils and replacements usually cost $2.50 – $10 and are inexpensive to replace the once every couple weeks. If you remember what your brand new e-cig tasted like, you will be willing to spend the extra couple dollars replacing the atomizer when needed.
What is the longevity of the atomizer?
Atomizers are like light bulbs… some will last a very long time and some will go quickly. Average lifespan depends on the type you get, but most of ours last around 2 weeks. You should never rely on just one single atomizer in case it burns out.
How does the battery work?
There are two types of batteries, manual and automatic. Manual batteries have a button that is held to engage them. Automatic batteries are engaged by sucking air through them.
Manual batteries offer an advantage over automatic batteries in the ability to pre-heat an atomizer by pressing the button a second before you begin taking a puff. They are also capable of running longer to allow for a longer deeper drag with a much lighter draw since you don’t have to suck to activate it. Automatic batteries offer an advantage over manual batteries in that they are able to be used hands free. To get the same pre-heating effect with an automatic battery you should take a small puff before taking your actual puff. This is called a “primer puff,” as it heats the atomizer and helps it perform better.
Most batteries have a ‘safety cut off’ that will turn off the battery if it is active longer than a predetermined number of seconds ranging between 4 and 10. Usually if you reach this cut off period the battery light will blink and you will have to pause for a moment (could be up to 2 minutes) before taking another puff. The batteries also blink when they are dead and need charging. If you are unsure about what the blinking light on your batteries are indicating, it may be explained in your booklet that came with it.
Manual batteries are usually sealed in the center of the battery so liquid cannot get inside the battery if you drip liquid. Automatic batteries require an air passage hole in the center of them, thus they can be damaged by liquid running down and going inside the battery.
What sort of lifespan can I expect from these batteries?
Battery life varies greatly in different personal vaporizers but the general rule is the bigger the battery, the longer it lasts. A LiIon battery (which most standard e-cig batteries are) will charge about 300 times before it does not hold a good charge anymore. If you charge once a day, it may last you a year. If you charge 3x a day maybe only a couple months before you need to replace them.
Are these cartridges really going to last as long as a pack of 20 cigarettes?
If you puff for 2 seconds it MIGHT last one packs worth of puffs, but since you are puffing longer and absorbing less nicotine from each puff, the statements most e-cig companies make about how long one will last are lies.
What about cartomizers? Can you tell me more about those?
Cartomizers are in essence, simply a combination cartridge and atomizer. They do require slightly different re-filling techniques and cleaning. They are usually designed for limited use; when the cartridge is empty, you discard it. However, many people refill these and have gotten longer life out of them.
What is E-liquid?
The liquid used in the cartridges is referred to as e-liquid. It commonly has three major components: An agent to produce the vapor, Nicotine for obvious reasons and flavorings to add flavor. All of the components except the nicotine would be considered safe for use in food products.
There are two types of agents that can be used to create vapor.
- PG – Propylene Glycol is the most common.
- VG – Vegetable Glycerin is used, usually, by people with
allergies or sensitivity to PG.
The vast majority of e-liquid you will find will be PG based; if you are new to vaping keep your order small the first time to insure you are not stuck with a big batch of liquid that you do not like or cannot use. Propylene Glycol generally produces sweeter juices, sharper throat hit and less vapor. Vegetable Glycerin produces more vapor, and tends to be less sweet. Sometimes you will find both types mixed together, because vegetable glycerin is thicker than propylene glycol, and often times it is mixed with PG to be more soluble, or… VG is mixed into the PG to give it more consistency.
E-liquids are also available in different strength levels of nicotine ranging from zero nicotine up to levels as high as approximately 4.8% nicotine, though anything higher than 2.6% is getting increasingly more difficult to find. The nicotine level is expressed in milligrams per milliliter but can be converted to an approximate percentage by placing a decimal between the digits. 24mg strength would be roughly 2.4% nicotine.
Does it taste like a real (traditional tobacco) cigarette?
The liquid that tastes most like a real cigarette is… there is none. No liquid tastes like a real cigarette because there is no combustion. Imagine if you will, what tobacco would taste like if you made it into a tea. It is not a pleasant thought for most people. Instead, look over the flavors and choose a flavor you normally find pleasant. Keep in mind that different flavors will taste different from different suppliers so while you may not like vanilla from one company, you may like vanilla from another. Try small sizes for different liquids until you find something you like; then get larger bottles.
Is there a special way to store this liquid?
E-liquids should be stored in a cool, dry place that is not exposed to direct sunlight. Many suppliers use colored glass bottles to help reduce exposure to sunlight but it is not a bad idea to keep whatever you are not actively using stored in a closed box that eliminates any light exposure. Many e-liquids will have an expiration date and manufacture date on the bottle. It is assumed that most juices expire 1 year after date of manufacture. Be sure to keep e-liquid out of reach of children and pets.