E cigarettes have a cartridge where there is wadding or a wick that soaks the e liquid up and holds it there. The atomiser is a heating element in the shape of a coil inside the e cigarette. When the e cigarette is used the atomiser heats up the liquid and the e cigarette then produces vapour.
The Longer Answer
The most common e cigarettes are either ‘cigalikes’ (they look like normal cigarettes) or a tank that you can refill. They can be used with or without nicotine products and do not leave a lasting smell like conventional cigarettes do. Unlike cigarettes, they do not contain carbon monoxide or tar. They are made of three parts, the battery that powers the atomizer (the heating element), the tank that holds the e liquid and the atomizer which heats up the e liquid that creates the vapour. In the cartridge there is a wick or wadding which is where the e liquid is soaked up or held. The heating element is called the atomiser which is coil shaped – this heats up the e liquid which is what produces the vapour. Conventional cigarettes create smoke by burning tobacco which makes smoke which as it cools down it makes tar and carcinogens. E cigarettes vaporises the liquid instead of burning it. E liquid is used in the e cigarette and this liquid normally is made up of nicotine (if you want it), propylene glycol, (PG) vegetable glycerine (VG) and flavours. Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine is what makes the vapour which is what you feel on the back of your throat when you vape. PG is primarily responsible for the vapour whilst the VG is what creates the throat hit. PG is an organic compound that is most commonly found in ice cream. VG is a sugar alcohol compound and can be found in cake frosting. E liquids can come in varied nicotine strengths to help users reduce their nicotine intake over time. There are many flavours available on the market to suit everyones taste varying from tobacco right through to strawberry milkshakes.
Cigalikes look like normal cigarettes however they have a sensor installed which detects when air is inhaled. This activates the heating element.
These use a tank or a clearomiser that is see through to enable the user to see how much e liquid is inside. There is less wadding or wick that means that it is less wasteful because it only soaks up the e liquid that is needed. Normally a button has to be pressed before use on a tank.