Next Article in Journal
Oral Care Experiences of Latino Parents/Caregivers with Children with Autism and with Typically Developing Children
Previous Article in Journal
Perceived Barriers and Facilitators to Breaking Up Sitting Time among Desk-Based Office Workers: A Qualitative Investigation Using the TDF and COM-B
Previous Article in Special Issue
Evidence of Nicotine Dependence in Adolescents Who Use Juul and Similar Pod Devices
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Design Features in Multiple Generations of Electronic Cigarette Atomizers

Department of Molecular, Cell, and Systems Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2904;
Received: 19 April 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Cigarettes: Good and Bad Impacts)
PDF [13296 KB, uploaded 14 August 2019]


The design of electronic cigarette (EC) atomizing units has evolved since their introduction over 10 years ago. The purpose of this study was to evaluate atomizer design in ECs sold between 2011–2017. Atomizers from 34 brands representing three generations of ECs were dissected and photographed using a stereoscopic microscope. Five distinct atomizer design categories were identified in first generation products (cig-a-like/cartomizer) and three categories were found in the third generation. Atomizers in most cig-a-like ECs contained a filament, thick wire, wire joints, air-tube, wick, sheath, and fibers, while some later models lacked some of these components. Over time design changes included an increase in atomizer size; removal of solder joints between wires; removal of Polyfil fibers; and removal of the microprocessor from Vuse. In second and third generation ECs, the reservoirs and batteries were larger, and the atomizing units generally lacked a thick wire, fibers, and sheath. These data contribute to an understanding of atomizer design and show that there is no single design for ECs, which are continually evolving. The design of the atomizer is particularly important as it affects the performance of ECs and what transfers into the aerosol. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic cigarette; e-cigarette; design features; atomizer; cig-a-like; clearomizer; mods electronic cigarette; e-cigarette; design features; atomizer; cig-a-like; clearomizer; mods

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Williams, M.; Talbot, P. Design Features in Multiple Generations of Electronic Cigarette Atomizers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2904.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top