An e-cigarette is a pretty simple device. While there are a few different types of e-cigarettes, the basic workings are similar. Every e-cig has three main parts: the atomizer (sometimes contained within the cartridge or ‘cartomizer’), the cartridge and the battery. (See e-liquid terminology for more information.)
Some electronic cigarettes have an on/off switch, and some do not have a switch. It depends on the type. That’s because e-liquid doesn’t usually work well with an automatic battery. After turning the e-cigarette on, the atomizer ignites when the user puffs on the e-cig.
The atomizer consists of two parts: a wick and a filament. The metal wick touches the e-liquid inside the cartridge. That makes a small bead of nicotine solution flow down to the heating element or filament. The filament is a tightly coiled, high-resistance wire that heats instantly and vaporizes the nicotine solution on the wick. That vapor is sucked back through the electronic cigarette into the smoker’s lungs. As the e-liquid is vaporized, more nicotine solution flows down the wick to be vaporized. The process continues until the reservoir filling is dry.