An electronic cigarette is a vaporizer or inhalant-type device that contains a power source and heating element designed to heat a substance and produce a vapour intended to be inhaled by the user of the device, whether or not the device contains nicotine. Some products used for vapourizing cannabis may also be considered electronic cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes are also known as e-cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes are composed of three pieces:
- an inhaler cartridge that contains liquid (may or may not contain nicotine)
- vapourizer or atomizer, which heats and turns the liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled; and
- a battery for power.
There are many different sizes and types of electronic cigarettes:
First generation electronic cigarettes look like a traditional cigarette.
Second generation electronic cigarettes are slightly larger than first generation models, and look like pens. They often have refillable cartridges for liquid, instead of disposable cartridges.
Third generation electronic cigarettes are much larger and the battery is the often in the shape of a box. They are made from wood or metals, and come in all shapes and colours.