Understanding How Vaporizers Work

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Understanding How Vaporizers Work

The world of vaporizers is an interesting place. There are many new options available for smokers hoping to get away from tobacco products and their myriad of toxins. Vaping is a harmless way to get your nicotine fix, without causing damage to yourself or those around you. Of course, it’s very different from smoking – a vaporizer is more than just a high-tech version of a cigarette. How do vaporizers work, anyway? Actually, they’re relatively simple.

An Overview

To put it in the simplest way possible, a vaporizer works like this:

  • A signal is sent to the battery (either by suction on the mouthpiece of by pressing a button), and heat is fed into the atomizer.
  • The atomizer heats up, vaporizing the e-liquid around it
  • The vaper then draws that vapor out through a mouthpiece on either the top or bottom of the device
  • The vapor is inhaled, delivering nicotine to the body
  • The vaper then exhales the spent vapour

Of course, there’s more to it than that.


There are two types of batteries out there (very broadly speaking). One type uses active triggering – the small, cigarette-style models with no button are a good example of these. They’re small, low powered, and not very long lasting. Then there are the manual batteries. These require the user to press a button to begin the power delivery process.

The Wicks

The tank that holds the e-liquid mounts to the top of the battery, and is actually two distinct parts. The outer part is a holding area for e-liquid, along with at least two wicks. These wicks suck up e-liquid and pull it into the atomizer, which is the interior section of the tank/cartomizer.


The atomizer is nothing more than the heating chamber inside your tank that holds the coil. Heat is delivered from the battery’s electrode up into the atomizer, where the coil heats up. The wick (or wicks, depending on your setup) deliver e-liquid from outside the atomizer in the holding tank. This liquid both lubricates the coil and provides the vapor that eventually makes its way into your lungs. When electricity is applied, the coil heats up, and the e-liquid is vaporized. As the liquid is vaporized, the level in the tank drops. Eventually, the user will have to refill the tank. With the wick fed top mounted tank, this generally involves removing the mouthpiece and dripping e-liquid down into the tank to wet the wicks.

The Mouthpiece

Once the e-liquid has been transformed into vapor, the vaper draws it up into the mouthpiece and then into their mouth and down to their lungs. The mouthpiece might be made of plastic or metal, but it will warm up with the transfer of heat from the coil (stainless steel mouthpieces heat up more than plastic ones do, but they last longer).

Vaporizers are not that difficult to understand, which is what makes them so easy to modify and change as you delve deeper into the hobby.

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