An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, runs on a battery, either disposable or rechargeable. The airflow sensor senses when you suck in air from the mouthpiece. The sensor tells the microprocessor to turn on the heating element and start the process that turns the nicotine solution into a vapor that you inhale. Many e-cigarettes have an LED (tiny light) at the end that glows red when you inhale.
For some smokers, e-cigarettes may satisfy nicotine cravings. But the nicotine in e-cigarettes is addictive. And they do contain small amounts of harmful chemicals.
The FDA does not regulate e-cigarettes. So there is no government oversight or standard for how much or what chemicals are in nicotine cartridges. means that the contents printed on these cartridges may not be true.
An e-cigarette cartridge contains a high concentration of nicotine that, if ingested, can be very poisonous or even fatal. Keep these cartridges out of the reach of children.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.