How to Operate an Electronic Cigarette

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With the continued enactment of smoking bans in cities, restaurants, bars, schools, and public areas, smokers who are of legal age are turning to the new technology of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) for personal and social enjoyment.


In general,electronic cigarettes contain far fewer and less harmful chemicals than analog (regular) cigarettes. They do not emit second hand smoke and are not made with tobacco, so they can be used in place of cigarettes at most locations.


If you are curious about this emerging trend, you will need to understand how to operate an electronic cigarette.

Things You'll Need

  • An electronic cigarette start-up kit
  • To operate an electronic cigarette, you will need to first purchase an electronic cigarette start-up kit, which may typically include batteries that look like a pen or cigarette, charging devices (USB, wall plugin, and/or car charger), flavored cartridges (with or without different levels of nicotine), atomizers (or cartomizers which are cartridges and atomizers all in one), storage boxes or cases, other accessories, and a user's manual. Some systems require the purchase of flavored nicotine juice. Always read your owner's manual before operating an electronic cigarette.

  • Following the manufacturer's suggestions, you may need to first charge your electronic cigarette. Often, e-cig chargers will have a light to tell you when they are finished charging. You may want to have one charging while you are using another, as battery life varies among products.

  • Next, you'll need to put your electronic cigarette together. If you have a cartridge with a built-in atomizer, you will probably need to screw it into your freshly charged e-cig. If you have a three piece unit (battery, atomizer, and cartridge), you will have an additional step.

  • Once you've put together your electronic cigarette according to your e-cig product guide, you can begin to enjoy your new gadget. Puff on your electronic cigarette and inhale as you would a regular cigarette. It may take a few times to adjust to the process. As you draw, the nicotine is heated and you will inhale and then release water vapor (steam), instead of smoke. One cartridge may usually be the equivalent of 10-25 cigarettes, more or less, depending on the type. Cartridges may come in different flavors, such as tobacco, coffee, vanilla, cherry, menthol, or chocolate.

  • When you are done puffing, you can set your e-cig down. Most electronic cigarettes will alert you with an LED light when it is time to recharge the battery. Some units may have an on/off switch or require you to slightly disassemble the unit between use to avoid battery power loss. There may be other occasional maintenance recommendations, depending on the e-cig product. Some products use nicotine juice that you add to the cartridge, while others do not. When a pre-filled disposable cartomizer or cartridge is used up, you may notice a change in taste. When vapor is no longer emitted, you may need to recharge your battery. If you system has a separate atomizer, you may need to clean or replace it from time to time, per the manufacturer's guidelines.

  • Now that you have a general sense of how to operate an electronic cigarette, you can begin comparing electronic cigarette brands and models to best suit your needs.

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