An e-cigarette is an electronic device that allows users to mimic the experience of smoking a real cigarette. Instead of burning tobacco leaves like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes heat e-liquids, which turn into vapor that users can then inhale. Although there are many variations, most e-cigarettes have two basic components:

  1. The battery
    E-cigarette batteries come in all shapes and sizes, but they are often long and slender, resembling an actual cigarette in appearance.  The battery powers the e-cigarette and activates when the user inhales or presses a small button. A lot of batteries come with an LED that lights up when the device is activated.
  2. The cartomizer/cartridge
    This component attaches to the battery and contains an atomizer along with some e-liquid. When powered by the battery, the atomizer heats up, causing the e-liquid to vaporize so that it can be inhaled by the user.


Many e-cigarettes are very similar to regular cigarettes in appearance and function — so much so that a casual observer may not notice any difference.