How Many Puffs Does It Take To Kill An E-Cigarette?

Most of us have probably heard the old Tootsie Pop slogan, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” [E-Smoker2014] had a similar question about his e-cigarettes. These devices are sometimes advertised with the number of puffs they are good for. [E-Smoker2014] had purchased an e-cigarette on a trip to Belgium that advertised 500 puffs. After a bit of use, he started to suspect that he wasn’t getting the advertised number of puffs in before the battery would die. Rather than just accept that the world may never know for sure, he decided to test it out himself.

There aren’t many details on this build, but you can tell what’s going on from the video below. [E-Smoke2014r] built a machine to artificially puff on an e-cigarette. The e-cigarette is hooked up to what appears to be vinyl tubing. This tubing then attaches to a T-splitter. One end of the splitter is hooked up to a DIY actuator valve that can open or close the port. The other end of the splitter is hooked up to more tubing, which in turn is attached to a plastic cylinder placed in a container of water.

To simulate breathing, the computer first opens the relief valve in the splitter. It then mechanically lowers the plastic container into the bowl of water, pushing out a bunch of air in the process. The valve closes, and the computer then raises the plastic container out of the water. This action creates suction that draws air in through the e-cigarette like a normal user would do with their lungs. The computer increases the puff count and then repeats the process, expelling any vapor out of the relief valve.

The results of the test indicated that [E-Smoker] could only get 59 puffs out of this particular e-cigarette before draining the battery. Not even close to the advertised 500 puffs. Maybe he should consider building his own e-cigarette vaporizer?

20 thoughts on “How Many Puffs Does It Take To Kill An E-Cigarette?

  1. Hah, that’s pretty clever, especially with the pump- I’m pretty sure that’s a gopro box top. Honestly though, I could just look at that ecig and tell you you’re not getting 500 charges out of that, the heating coil is pretty high draw and I’m guessing it’s just a 10440 battery in there. That’s what, 350mah tops with some really good lipos? Heck, even this calculator says the max (assuming ~2 ohm resistance) is about 130 puffs. http://www.steam-engine.org/batt.asp

  2. The pump is very very clever indeed. Props to him. Though the guy does not seem to be very familiar with the advances in the e-cigarette scene over the past few years. The pictured model is the bottom of the barrel. Most proper e-cigarettes easily go to multiple hundreds of puffs with a halfway decent battery.

  3. I do love the machine. But also wonder is the amount of smoke that is inhaled isn’t to bug.

    It looks like a lung full of smoke. When I smoke, I sip a mouth full and inhale. While inhaling it mixes with air.

    So you might come closer to that 130 sips calculated by Maxwell if you ask me.

    I’ll just count when I buy another of those cigs.

  4. A more interesting question is how to stop the vapors from getting recirculated back into the vaporizer.

    The vaporizer heats air to about 50-70 C which then makes a mixture of p-glycol, glyserol and water to evaporate. Upon further cooling they condense into tiny droplets and form mist. This is how a theater smoke machine works.

    The problem becomes that the mist and evaporated glycol and glyserol in the air gets back in through the other end, hits the heating coil and gets catalyzed into formaldehyde and other carsinogens. Recent measurements have shown these substances to be present in e-cig smoke even if the device is not malfunctioning, like in the study done in Japan that raised headlines.

    1. Sounds like the ecs (Electronic Cancer Stick. :) ) needs some kind of air filter for air intake, it would increase the needed draw strength from the user but should take care of the problem.

  5. Thanks to all for your comments. If you check the main menu on the video, you can find a test with a real cigarette. As you could see, puff are really small (less than 50 ml found on internet as the average puff for real cig).

    You can also see that some E-Cigarette never start !! Incredible ! You buy something for about 5$, and it doesn’t work at all…

    1. Governments LUV smokers (of any type) – by far, when compared to non-smokers, smokers are cheaper for the government because they self eliminate usually way before the real long term illnesses (like cancer and dementia) strike the longer living non-smokers. So in the long run, smokers are kinder on the tax system then healthy people.

      That’s also why I encourage my in-laws to puff like chimneys (just not in the house, or in the car with the kids).

  6. how big is the “puff” volume? perhaps Belgian puffs are smaller than Texan puffs so “your mileage may vary?” The interesting thing to have seen was, how many it got using this tester when new, and how many later on. Small batteries of course, will fade faster.

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