Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Electronic Cigarette
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 StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerJohn Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
Current as ofAugust 21, 2015
Current as of:
August 21, 2015
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.