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How Ecigs Work

Confused about electronic cigarettes? Want to know how they work? What the different types are? We'll explain exactly what they are and how to use them.

How Ecigarettes Work


Welcome to ecigarettes 

If you've never so much as held an ecigarette before, this is the place for you.

These short guides contain all the basic knowledge you need to begin living a life without smoke: no ash, no tar, and no more nasty smells!


Types of ecigarette

An ecigarette will always contain the same basic parts, but they often vary in shape and size.


What's inside an electronic cigarette? 


The battery is what powers the heating coil, or atomiser. Generally speaking, all devices use some form of lithium battery, which tends to pack the biggest punch. However, battery life varies depending on the type of device. Battery strength is measured in maH (milliamp hours). The higher the maH value, the longer the battery will last between charges.  

  • A typical cig-a-like battery will be between 200-300 mAh
  • An eGo-style battery will range from 500 to 1200 mAh
  • A mod battery (often known as an IMR battery) can fall anywhere between 700 and 3500 mAh


The atomiser is the part that does the real magic. It’s a small coil of electric resistance wire that heats up when the battery is switched on. It’s very much like a tiny little electric bar heater. Usually, there is a wicking material running through the coil, which is saturated with eliquid. The wick feeds the juice to the coil. Atomiser coils do not last forever and will need to be replaced eventually, regardless of the type of device you're using.

Cartridge, Cartomiser or Clearomiser

There are several versions of this part of the device, but they all essentially fulfil the same function: to store eliquid and supply it to the coil. That said, they achieve this in slightly different ways.

Using an ecigarette 

Cartridge: The atomiser screws onto the battery, and the cartridge slots onto the atomiser and feeds the eliquid to the atomiser. The cartridge usually contains poly wool, which is soaked in eliquid. They are both consumable items and are designed to be thrown away after use. However, the lifespan of the atomiser can vary greatly depending on build quality and usage -- usually anywhere between 5 to 20 cartridge uses. 

Cartomiser: A cartomiser is like an atomiser with a cartridge setup, except it contains polyfill instead of poly wool or mesh. The polyfill helps extend the life of the eliquid, and some cartomisers come inside a large tank capable of holding a high volume of eliquid. This is a good choice for those who prefer a longer vape, but it might not be the best for heavy vaping. It may also not be the best for flavour purists, as the polyfill is said by some to mess with the taste of the eliquid.

Clearomiser: A clearomiser is an atomiser inside a container holding eliquid, which is transferred to the coil via the wick. They are sold empty, so you fill them up with eliquid yourself, and because they are made with a transparent plastic or glass material, you can see exactly how much eliquid you've got remaining (hence the name). They're said to be good with flavour, but they also tend to be more expensive. They are consumable items and can be filled anywhere from 5 to 20 times before the atomiser head needs to be replaced.

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