Quitting Smoking & Vaping For Dummies
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If you go to a vape shop, you can see vaping devices of all shapes, colors, and sizes. The materials used to make the device include wood, glass, plastic, and all sorts of metals. Some e-cigarettes look a lot like combustible cigarettes, others look like pens or highlighters and still others look like USB drives.

But there are similarities among vaping devices. Generally, vaping devices are composed of three basic elements: a battery, an atomizer, and e-liquid (or as it’s also called, e-juice). See the following figure for an illustration of the main components of a basic vaping device.

Components of a basic vaping device. Components of a basic vaping device.


Batteries for e-cigarettes come in three types:
  • Disposable: Early devices such as the cig-a-likes (see the “Evolving Vaping Devices” section, later in this chapter) have limited lifespans and are meant to be thrown away when the device is used up. They are not rechargeable.
  • Integrated batteries: These batteries are built into the device and are not meant to be replaced or removed. They have a finite number of rechargers after which the device needs to be disposed.
  • Removable batteries: These batteries can be recharged. When they no longer recharge, they can be replaced. Removable and rechargeable batteries are typically found in more advanced devices.

Batteries can explode or catch on fire. Many people find the devices a bit intimidating at first and they struggle to understand the potential dangers of them. Although explosions are relatively rare, they can be minimized, if not avoided, almost entirely by following a few basic procedures:

  • Any damaged battery should be promptly disposed of. Damage can range from a torn, plastic sleeve surrounding the cells to indentations on the cell.
  • All vaping device batteries should have a protective case while not in use.
  • The battery should never come in contact with metals such as keys or coins.
  • Batteries should be purchased from a reputable manufacturer.
  • Batteries should be stored at temperatures between about 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep batteries away from flammable materials.
  • Batteries should be removed from the device if not used for a long period of time.
  • Never overcharge a device by leaving it in the charger overnight.
  • If a battery gets hot or feels hot while recharging, it’s time to dispose of it.
  • If a battery develops an unusual smell, it should be disposed of.
  • If a battery changes shape, it’s time for a new one.
  • Never use chargers intended for other devices, such as phones.


The atomizer has a metal coil and a wick (usually made out of cotton). The battery heats the coil. E-juice is absorbed by the wick and heated. The heated e-liquid turns into vapor. There are three major kinds of atomizers:
  • Disposable: These atomizers are the simplest type because they require no refilling or replacement. When the e-liquid is depleted, users throw away the device.
  • Cartomizers: Cartomizers have joined the atomizer with a holder for the e-liquid. When the e-liquid begins to taste burned, it’s usually replaced, although some people clean and refill them.
  • Clearomizers: A similar, but newer, design, clearomizers also contain the e-liquid and atomizer. E-liquid levels can be monitored because the material they’re made of is — you guessed it — clear.

E-liquids or e-juices

Simply put, an e-liquid or e-juice is the solution that is in a vape device for the purpose of vaping. These liquids vary considerably depending on the concentrations of each substance mixed into the juice.

Vaping devices don’t actually emit vapor. Technically, they emit an aerosol. An aerosol contains particles and liquid suspended in air. Vapor refers to the gas form of a substance that’s normally a solid or a liquid. For example, water when it’s evaporated becomes water vapor. Smoke is composed of many particles and is considered an aerosol. Very important stuff to remember for your sixth-grade science test.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Charles H. Elliott, PhD and Laura L. Smith, PhD are clinical psychologists with years of experience treating people with emotional problems, including addictions. They are authors of a variety of For Dummies books including Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies and Borderline Personality Disorder For Dummies.

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