How does vaping actually work?


You might be one of those people who walks down the street and is mystified to see a plume of smoke jet out of someone’s mouth for seemingly no reason. It’s only when they pull away the often tiny wand that you realise that it’s a nicotine vaporiser. You then might ask yourself – how do these popular e-cigarettes even work, and why are they so popular? Even if you’re a seasoned vaper, you might not have a clue how your device actually works to convert liquid into vapor. If you’ve ever been curious about the process and also about the history of these ever-popular e-cigarettes, we cover most of the more interesting points in this blog. Read on to learn more about vaporisers!

Where it all began

Contrary to popular belief, e-cigarettes are not a recent invention. Even with their popularity being so recent, it was almost a century ago in 1927 that Joseph Robinson created an electric vaporiser, a device that he intended to be used in conjunction with medicinal compounds. It was then Herbert A. Gilbert who invented the “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” in 1963. Although he created the device, Gilbert never sought to market it, so the product never managed to find its way onto shelves. E-cigarettes actually first became popular in China in 2003 when Chinese inventor Hon Lik patented the first modern example of the e-cigarette. It was a hugely profitable venture, as smoking is hugely popular in China – currently, 60 percent of all men are smokers. With this in mind, those looking to set up a market for consumers to buy e cigarette liquid would probably have walked into a very profitable venture! The rising popularity of these e-cigarette devices saw the world take notice, and soon e-cigarettes and vaping took off in ever corner of the world.

How vaping works

E-cigarettes typically contain a replaceable inhaler cartridge containing vegetable glycerine and/or polyethylene glycol and flavouring to make up a liquid. This liquid doesn’t necessarily have to contain nicotine, but usually does. When a user inhales, a sensor is triggered and a small heating device heats up the liquid. The liquid then turns into a vapor and is drawn into the lungs. Depending on the complexity of the e-cigarette device, there are many options, such as to increase or decrease the voltage, to tailor the way your e-cigarette works. Because there is no combustion occurring in an e-cigarette, as there is with traditional cigarettes, it has been argued that less carcinogens are formed. The science isn’t quite there at the moment, but e-cigarettes have been used to move away from traditional cigarette by a great deal of smokers, which may very well cause less carcinogens to be delivered in the long run.

Vaping: not for everyone

Although vaping has been increasing in popularity, there is little evidence to suggest that smokers of traditional cigarettes are making the move to e-cigarettes. Instead, the pleasing flavours have encouraged a new generation altogether to try out vaping. Only time will tell whether this is harmful in the long run – recent reports on vaping by the World Health Organisation related to e-cigarettes harm and benefits have been rebuked by researchers in the UK, demonstrating that misinformation is still rife. In any case, if e-cigarettes help smokers quit, there is an undoubted win there.

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