E-Cigarette FAQ & Terminology
Electronic Cigarette FAQ
What is an electronic cigarette?
An electronic cigarette (eCig) is simply a device that houses a rechargeable lithium ion battery which powers a heating element. The heating element vaporizes “eliquid” (also known as “eJuice”), that the user then inhales. The inhaled vapor closely resembles the feel and appearance of smoke, with none of the staining or unpleasant smells caused by combustion.
Although most commonly known as electronic cigarettes or eCigs, many people call these devices “personal vaporizers”, “personal inhalers”, "vape pens", and even “technofoggers”! I really like that last one. Learn More at CASAA.org.
What kind of eCig should I use?
Batteries come in all shapes and sizes. From the size of a cigarette, to the larger “eGo” style batteries, all the way up to the massive and long lasting 18650 battery style devices, commonly called “mods”. The size of the battery is generally related to the mAh (milliamps hour) rating of the battery. Milliamps hour is important, because it is the easiest way to distinguish the strength or capacity of a battery. The higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last between charges. Think of the gas tank on a car. Voltage would be the gas being used, and mAh would be the size of the tank. The larger the gas tank (mAh), the longer the car will run. When it runs empty, it’s time to refill (recharge) the tank.
Some devices feature variable voltage and/or variable wattage options. In a nutshell, VV and VW settings allow the user to manually adjust the output voltage or wattage being provided to the heating element. The advantage to these features is that it allows the inpidual to set his or her device to their optimum level, and provides a greater range of control over throat hit and vapor production.
When the user activates the battery, it provides the electrical power that is needed by the atomizer to generate enough heat to produce vapor.
Way back in the dark ages of “vaping” (around 2003), the only real options for heating elements were either dripping ejuice directly on an exposed atomizer, or an atomizer/cartridge setup, where a small tank filled with an absorbent material and eliquid was placed on top of the atomizer. Now we have dozens of options of varying ease of use or difficulty, with multiple benefits and/or drawbacks. The important thing to remember is that the basic function of any heating element is to vaporize liquid, so that the user can then inhale it.
Ultimately, the type of device that you choose is up to you. With so many options out there, you are able to consider what will work best for your lifestyle and personal preference.
Where can I use my eCig?
Electronic cigarettes don’t operate like analog (traditional) cigarettes, because no combustion takes place in order to inhale the vapor. The vapor that is exhaled dissipates quickly, and any (often pleasant) aroma in the vapor also disperses within seconds. Because of this, these products can be used in most places where analog cigarettes are frowned upon or not allowed. That being said, we suggest that you always politely check with the staff or management of any business or location that does not allow smoking before using your electronic cigarette.
What is eLiquid?
Now for the fun part! The single most important part when it comes to vaping is the eJuice. If a person doesn’t like the taste of what they’re vaping, they aren’t going to use their device, plain and simple.
It seems like it should be really basic, you buy some eJuice, and you either like it or you don’t, right? There’s a lot more to that delicious eLiquid sitting in your tank than you might think. At Pink Spot Vapors, we use an average ratio of 60% vegetable glycerin to 40% propylene glycol as the base for our liquids. We are unable to create 100% VG eJuice containing nicotine, because our nicotine is PG based. The PG and VG that is used by Pink Spot Vapors is USP (United States Pharmacopeia) grade and kosher to ensure maximum safety without toxicity risk.
We also use USA made (PG based) pharmaceutical grade nicotine that meets the EU 6.0 standards and is 99.86% pure.
The only other ingredients in our eJuices are U.S. Food grade flavorings. We do not use any alcohol, vitamin supplements, or additives in our juice. Pink Spot Vapors creates flavors using only the best ingredients available in the United States.
Finding your favorite eJuices is one of the greatest joys of vaping. Since taste is 100% subjective, try lots of different flavors, and share them with your friends! Smoking has always been a social activity, and there’s no reason why vaping shouldn’t be also. In fact, a quick Google search may turn up a local “vape club” in or around your hometown.
What are PG and VG?
Propylene glycol (or PG) is a clear, slightly syrupy liquid made by the reaction of propylene oxide with water. PG has had an unsurpassed reputation for safe use in a wide range of consumer products and has antibacterial properties. PG is used to keep many foods that we eat moist, and the FDA has deemed it safe for human consumption. It’s used in many drinks, including beers. It’s also present in the manufacturing process of several types of cookies, cakes and candies. Because of its water-retaining properties, propylene glycol is the compound of choice for delivering atomized medications. It has been used in asthma inhalers and nebulizers since the 1950s! In electronic cigarettes, PG allows atomization to occur at substantially lower temperatures than required for tobacco (analog) cigarettes, and also helps to deliver the nicotine when inhaled.
Vegetable glycerin (VG) is a natural carbohydrate derived from certain types of plants, and is used in every day products worldwide, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foods. It is non toxic, and also deemed safe for human consumption by the FDA.
When eJuices are made with a base that combines PG and VG, they generally produce more vapor and give less “throat hit” than eLiquids made solely with propylene glycol. By using both, Pink Spot Vapors is maximizing the best properties of each ingredient in order to provide our customers a better, more flavorful experience that produces large, realistic clouds of vapor.
- Analog– Slang term for a traditional cigarette.
- Atomizer(oratty) – The heating element on an e-cigarette, the part that heats the eJuice to the point of vaporization.
- Automatic Battery– A style of electronic cigarette that does not use a button to activate the heating element. This style of battery is most similar to smoking an analog.
- Battery– The battery is the part of the eCig that provides power to the heating element.
- Cartridge(orcart) – A plastic tube that is generally filled with absorbent filler material that holds eLiquid.
- Cartomizer(orcarto) – A cartridge and atomizer in a single unit. These are typically inexpensive and disposable.
- Clearomizer(orclearo) – A tank that uses wicks and a heating element rather than filler material.
- Drip Tip– An accessory that can be used in conjunction with an atomizer or cartomizer. Drip tips are typically used for looks or added comfort.
- Flooding– This can occur when too much eJuice is applied to the atomizer or heating element. Heating elements require air to properly vaporize liquids, and adding too much eJuice will cause a decrease in vapor production and flavor.
- Juice– eLiquid, eJuice. This is the liquid that is vaporized when using an electronic cigarette.
- Manual– A style of electronic cigarette that has a button which activates the heating element.
- Mod– Typically refers to devices that use larger lithium ion batteries and have variable voltage and/or wattage options.
- Throat Hit– The tingling sensation that a user gets in the back of the throat when vaporizing eJuice that contains nicotine.
- Vaping– The action of “smoking” an electronic cigarette.