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7 Things You Didn't Know About e-Cigarettes

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In a short time, electronic cigarettes have enjoyed something of a boom, transformed from an obscure Chinese gadget in 2003 to a $7 billion dollar industry (globally) by 2014. But did you know the kind of e-juice you use impacts your e-cig experience? Or how these things even work? We didn't know either, so we teamed up with JUUL to get you all the good-stuff facts about e-cigs.  

1. Nearly every e-cigarette is made up of four basic components.

This same basic model has been around since the beginning: a battery, an atomizer, e-juice, and some kind of pressure sensor, usually a modified microphone (resist the urge to sing into your e-cig). Recent innovations in e-cigs allows for a more intuitive experience; JUUL, for example, has an internal printed circuit board with an accelerometer, and a pressure sensor mounted to it, which makes the volume of each drag consistent. 

2. The atomizer is what makes the vapor magic happen

An atomizer is the most essential piece of an e-cigarette -- it’s what makes the “e-liquid” transition into a vapor. The atomizer chamber houses a metal coil wrapped around a fibrous wick. The battery powers a heater, vaporizing any liquid on the wick. That liquid is then refilled from a reservoir (either in liquid form or a soaked sponge). And the circle of vape is completed.  

3. More e-cigarettes will be sold than tobacco cigarettes within a decade 

According to Wall Street honchos. Meanwhile, the number of traditional cigarettes sold Stateside has fallen 30% since 2004.

4. Instead of tobacco leaves, e-cigarettes use something called e-juice

It's a mixture that combines water, nicotine, flavoring, and something called propylene glycol. In older models the e-juice was built into the e-cigarette, but it now more commonly comes in refillable vials or replaceable cartridges, like those suckers right up there.

5. The kind of e-juice you use impacts your experience 

Most manufacturers use free-base nicotine; to freebase an amine, the class of chemical compounds nicotine belongs to, is to break it down into its "purest" form. JUUL is the first e-cig to use non-freebased nicotine salts, as they occur naturally in the tobacco leaf, offering twice the nicotine of an average e-cigarette, much closer to traditional cigarette levels.


6. The same stuff that e-juice is made from is found in familiar foodstuffs, from liquor to ice cream 

As mentioned earlier, e-juice is generally a blend of nicotine, flavoring, and propylene glycol, an FDA-approved food additive, found in all sorts of stuff.

7. Without cell phones, there'd be no e-cigs

While the technology for e-cigs is decades old, most current models rely on portable lithium batteries, which were made smaller and smaller alongside the rise (and eventual ubiquity) of the cell phone. The coolest part? Now you can charge your e-cig and your cell phone with the same port. Try explaining it to your Grandma!