Electronic cigarette

An electronic cigarette is provided. The electronic cigarette includes a casing having three chambers located sequentially within the cylindrical casing. A battery and a fluid are located in the casing. Sealing elements form partitions between the chambers. A tube element is located in the second chamber, providing an air passage through the second chamber that is filled with fluid. A heating element is located in the third chamber and a fiber element having a first segment communicating with the heating element, and a second segment located in the second chamber, the fiber element carrying the fluid from the second chamber to the heating element.

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Description

Priority is claimed to provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/689,152, filed May 30, 2012, entitled: “Electronic Cigarette,” which is referred to and incorporated herein in its entirety by this reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an electronic cigarette, in particular to an electronic cigarette that contains only nicotine without tar.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Despite the fact that “smoking is harmful to your health”, the number of smokers worldwide is up to 1 billion, and the number is increasing every year. In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded a global Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. According to the statistical data from WHO, about 4.9 million people die of diseases caused by smoking each year. Although smoking may cause serious respiratory diseases and cancer, it remains extremely difficult for smokers to quit smoking.

The active ingredient in a cigarette is nicotine. During smoking, nicotine, along with tar aerosol droplets produced in the cigarette when it burns, enters a smoker's alveolus and is rapidly absorbed. After being absorbed into the blood of a smoker, nicotine then produces its effect on the receptors of the smoker's central nervous system, which makes the smoker relax and enjoy an inebriety similar to that produced by an exhilarant.

Nicotine is a kind of alkaloid with a low molecular weight and its half-life in blood is quite short. The major harmful substance in tobacco is tar, which is composed of thousands of ingredients, tens of which are carcinogenic substances. It has been proven that passive smoking can be more harmful to non-smokers than smoking is to the smoker.

Some cigarette substitutes containing only nicotine without tar have been proposed, many of them, such as the “nicotine patch,” “nicotine mouthwash,” “nicotine chewing gum,” “nicotine drinks” etc., are made of pure nicotine. Although these cigarette substitutes are free from tar, their major disadvantage is that an effective peak concentration of nicotine cannot be reached in the blood of a smoker due to slow absorption of the nicotine. In addition, these cigarette substitutes cannot satisfy the habitual smoking actions of a smoker, for example, the inhaling action and the physical manipulation of the cigarette itself.

Therefore, there remains a need to overcome one or more of the limitations in the above-described, existing art. The discussion of the background to the invention included herein is included to explain the context of the invention. This is not to be taken as an admission that any of the material referred to was published, known, or part of the common general knowledge at the priority date of the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the electronic cigarette of the present invention.

It will be recognized that some or all of the Figures are schematic representations for purposes of illustration and do not necessarily depict the actual relative sizes or locations of the elements shown. The Figures are provided for the purpose of illustrating one or more embodiments of the invention with the explicit understanding that they will not be used to limit the scope or the meaning of the claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the following description, for the purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the electronic cigarette of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art that the electronic cigarette may be practiced without some of these specific details. Throughout this description, the embodiments and examples shown should be considered as exemplars, rather than as limitations on the electronic cigarette. That is, the following description provides examples, and the accompanying drawings show various examples for the purposes of illustration. However, these examples should not be construed in a limiting sense as they are merely intended to provide examples of the electronic cigarette rather than to provide an exhaustive list of all possible implementations of the electronic cigarette.

Specific embodiments of the invention will now be further described by the following, non-limiting examples which will serve to illustrate various features. The examples are intended merely to facilitate an understanding of ways in which the invention may be practiced and to further enable those of skill in the art to practice the invention. Accordingly, the examples should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention. In addition, reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments.

Referring to FIG. 1, an electronic cigarette 10 is illustrated. As shown in FIG. 1, the electronic cigarette 10 comprises a cylindrical casing, or tube 15 that may be constructed of stainless steel, plastic, or other materials. Within the cylindrical casing 15, a first chamber 20, a second chamber 25, and a third chamber 30 are formed, the three chambers located sequentially within the cylindrical casing 15.

A battery 35 is located in the first chamber 20, a liquid, or fluid 40 is located in the second chamber 25, and a heating element 45 is located in the third chamber 30. In one embodiment, the liquid 40 contained in the electronic cigarette 10 comprises: glycol, nicotine, water based flavors of regular or menthol (or other desired flavors). The heating element 45 may be made of platinum wire, nickel chromium alloy or iron chromium aluminum alloy wire with a rare earth element.

The battery 35 may be lithium, but other materials and types of batteries may be employed, including disposable types.

A first seal 50 forms a partition between the first 20 and second 25 chambers. The first seal 50 may be constructed of rubber, silicone, plastic or other materials. The first seal includes a hole or aperture in which a portion of a tube 55 is located. The tube 55 extends substantially the length of the second chamber 25 allowing passage of air from the first chamber 20 into the third chamber 30.

A second seal 60 forms a partition between the second 25 and third 30 chambers. In one embodiment, the second seal 60 comprises a ceramic material shaped substantially in a “T.” The “leg” of the “T” comprises a hollow cylinder that receives one end of the tube 55 and the “top” of the “T” comprises two arms that form the seal between the second 25 and third 30 chambers, and may also hold, or fix the heating element 45 in position in the third chamber 30.

The electronic cigarette 10 also includes a cotton or other fiber material 65 that has a first segment in contact with the heating element 45, and a second segment located in the second chamber 25, so that the fiber material 65 can carry or transfer the fluid 40 from the second chamber 25 to the heating element 45.

In one embodiment, the fiber material comprises a high-temperature fiberglass fabric, but other materials may be employed, such as cotton, high-temperature conduction oil cotton, or other materials. The fiber material 65 also may be positioned by the second seal 60 to aid in sealing the second chamber 25 from the third chamber 30.

An air pressure switch is located at a distal end of the first chamber 20 and may be mounted on, or separate from a printed circuit board 70. A light-emitting diode 75 (LED) is located adjacent to the printed circuit board 70, with the LED 75 forming an end-cap at one end of the electronic cigarette 10. A mouthpiece (not shown) may be located at the other end of the electronic cigarette 10, with the mouthpiece coupled to the end-cap 80 that includes a small aperture, or end-cap aperture 82 that allows passage of air from the third chamber 30 though the mouthpiece and into a user's mouth. The end-cap 80 may be made of silicone, plastic, metal or other materials.

The printed circuit board, or chip 70 includes the air pressure switch, which may be integral to the chip or may be a separate element that communicates with the chip. In one embodiment, the chip and air pressure switch comprise an electronic assembly that allows communication between the air pressure switch and the other components comprising the printed circuit board. For example, in one embodiment, the printed circuit board, or chip may comprise an embedded data processor connected via an internal bus to a read only memory containing the executable code for causing the microprocessor to perform the functions described herein. In another embodiment, the printed circuit board, or chip may comprise one or more electronic circuits that employ one or more switches to perform the functions described herein.

As shown in FIG. 1, the printed circuit board, or chip 70 has three wires coupled to it, the anode wire 85, the cathode wire 90 and the air pressure switch wire 95. The anode wire 85 runs from the printed circuit board 70 to the anode side of the battery. The cathode wire 90 connects the printed circuit board 70 to the cathode side of the battery, and then passes through the first seal 50 and into tube 55 connecting to a first end of the heating element 45 by extending all the way through the tube 55. The air pressure switch wire 95 connects the air pressure switch to the second end of the heating element 45, by also passing through the first seal 50 and then into the tube 55.

Sealing member 100 may be coupled to the tube 55 to provide additional sealing to prevent passage of fluid 40 from the second compartment 25 into the first compartment 20. The sealing member 100 may comprise a cylindrical shape at one end that receives the tube 55 and a shoulder or flange at the other end that aids in sealing the hole or aperture in the first seal 50 seal.

In addition, two sealing tubes 105 are included to seal each end of the second chamber 25. As shown in FIG. 1, one sealing tube 105 contacts the first seal 50, with the other end contacting the entire perimeter, or circumference of tube 55 so that the area where the tube 55 engages with the first seal 50 is kept free of the fluid 40. Similarly, at the other end of the second chamber 25, a second sealing tube 105 contacts the entire perimeter of tube 55 with a distal end enclosing the elements located at the end of the second chamber 25. However, the fiber material 65 extend through holes in the sealing tube 105 so that fluid 40 can pass along the fiber material 65 to the heating element 45. But, the air pressure switch wire 95, and cathode wire 90, as well as the end of the tube 55 that engages with the second seal 60 are kept free of the fluid 40. Optionally, cotton batting (not shown) may be positioned around the tube 55 and under, or within the two sealing tubes 105 to aid in sealing so that the fluid 40 does not reach either end of the tube 55, or the other areas sealed by the two sealing tubes 105.

An air inlet (not shown), in the form of a hole or aperture, may be located in the external wall of the casing 15 allowing passage of ambient air into the first chamber 20.

The printed circuit board, or chip 70 in conjunction with the air pressure switch controls the function of the electronic cigarette 10. According to one embodiment, outside, or ambient air is drawn into the first chamber 20 through the air inlet (not shown). The air pressure switch senses the low pressure formed by a user “drawing” on the mouthpiece (not shown), and activates the heating element 45 by allowing electricity to flow from the battery to the heating element 45. The LED 75 also illuminates at this time. The air flows down the tube 55 and into the third chamber 30, where the heating element 45 has atomized, or vaporized some of the fluid 40 that is carried to the heating element 45 on the fiber material 65. The vaporized fluid mixes with the air, and passes though end-cap aperture 82 that allows passage of the mixture from the third chamber 30 though the mouthpiece and into a user's mouth.

In one embodiment, the electronic cigarette 10 is disposable. During operation, if a user smokes for more than 5 seconds per puff the LED flashes two times then shuts off, or will flash ten times, which indicates the battery 35 is running low on stored power.

It is to be noticed that the term “comprising,” used in the claims, should not be interpreted as being limitative to the means listed thereafter. Thus, the scope of the expression “a device comprising means A and B” should not be limited to devices consisting only of components A and B. It means that with respect to the present invention, the only relevant components of the device are A and B. Put differently, the terms “including”, “comprising” and variations thereof mean “including but not limited to”, unless expressly specified otherwise.

Similarly, it is to be noticed that the term “coupled”, also used in the claims, should not be interpreted as being limitative to direct connections only. Thus, the scope of the expression “a device A coupled to a device B” should not be limited to devices or systems wherein an output of device A is directly connected to an input of device B. It means that there exists a path between an output of A and an input of B which may be a path including other devices or means.

The enumerated listing of items does not imply that any or all of the items are mutually exclusive, unless expressly specified otherwise. The terms “a”, “an” and “the” mean “one or more”, unless expressly specified otherwise.

Elements of the invention that are in communication with each other need not be in continuous communication with each other, unless expressly specified otherwise. In addition, elements of the invention that are in communication with each other may communicate directly or indirectly through one or more other elements or other intermediaries.

Thus, it is seen that electronic cigarette is provided. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the present invention can be practiced by other than the above-described embodiments, which are presented in this description for purposes of illustration and not of limitation. The specification and drawings are not intended to limit the exclusionary scope of this patent document. It is noted that various equivalents for the particular embodiments discussed in this description may practice the invention as well. That is, while the present invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications, permutations and variations will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in light of the foregoing description. Accordingly, it is intended that the present invention embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations as fall within the scope of the appended claims. The fact that a product, process or method exhibits differences from one or more of the above-described exemplary embodiments does not mean that the product or process is outside the scope (literal scope and/or other legally-recognized scope) of the following claims.

Claims

1. An electronic cigarette, comprising:

a cylindrical casing comprising a first chamber, a second chamber, and a third chamber, the three chambers located sequentially within the cylindrical casing;
a battery located in the first chamber;
a fluid located in the second chamber;
a first sealing element forming a partition between the first and second chambers, the first sealing element structured to prevent fluid from passing from the second chamber into the first chamber;
an air pressure switch located at a distal end of the first chamber;
an air inlet provided on the external wall of the casing;
a second sealing element forming a partition between the second and third chambers, the second sealing element structured to prevent fluid from passing from the second chamber into the third chamber;
a tube element located in the second chamber, with a first distal end of the tube element located in the first sealing element, and a second distal end of the tube element located in the second sealing element, the tube element providing an air passage through the second chamber;
a heating element located in the third chamber; and
a fiber element having a first segment communicating with the heating element, and a second segment located in the second chamber, the fiber element carrying the fluid from the second chamber to the heating element.

2. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, further comprising a light-emitting diode (LED) coupled to a distal end of the cylindrical casing, the LED enclosing the distal end of the cylindrical casing.

3. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, further comprising an end-cap coupled to a distal end of the cylindrical casing, the end-cap including an aperture and substantially enclosing the distal end of the cylindrical casing.

4. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, where the cylindrical casing is comprises of a material selected from a group consisting of: a steel, a plastic, and a combination of a steel and a plastic.

5. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, further comprising a mouthpiece coupled to a distal end of the cylindrical casing adjacent to the third chamber.

6. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, where the air inlet is located in a portion of the cylindrical casing that forms the first chamber.

7. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, where the second sealing element is comprised of a ceramic material.

8. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, further comprising a printed circuit board located adjacent to a distal end of the first chamber, the electronic circuit board communicating with the air pressure switch.

9. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, where the fluid is selected from a group consisting of: a glycol fluid, a fluid containing nicotine, a water-based “regular” cigarette flavored fluid, a water-based “menthol” cigarette flavored fluid, and a combination of two or more fluids.

10. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, where the heating element is selected from a group consisting of: a platinum wire, a nickel chromium alloy wire, an iron chromium aluminum alloy wire, and a wire comprised of a rare earth element.

11. An electronic cigarette, comprising:

a cylindrical casing comprising a first chamber, a second chamber, and a third chamber, the three chambers located sequentially within the cylindrical casing;
a battery located in the first chamber;
a fluid located in the second chamber;
a first sealing element forming a partition between the first and second chambers, the first sealing element structured to prevent fluid from passing from the second chamber into the first chamber;
an air pressure switch located at a distal end of the first chamber;
an air inlet provided on the external wall of the casing;
an electronic circuit board located at the distal end of the first chamber, the electronic circuit board communicating with the air pressure switch;
a light-emitting diode forming an end-cap at a distal end of the cylindrical casing opposite the mouthpiece, the light-emitting diode communicating with the electronic circuit board;
a second sealing element forming a partition between the second and third chambers, the second sealing element structured to prevent fluid from passing from the second chamber into the third chamber;
a tube element located in the second chamber, with a first distal end of the tube element located in the first sealing element, and a second distal end of the tube element located in the second sealing element, the tube element providing an air passage through the second chamber;
a heating element located in the third chamber;
a fiber element having a first segment communicating with the heating element, and a second segment located in the second chamber, the fiber element carrying the fluid from the second chamber to the heating element;
a light-emitting diode (LED) coupled to a first distal end of the cylindrical casing, the LED enclosing the first distal end of the cylindrical casing; and
an end-cap coupled to a second distal end of the cylindrical casing, the end-cap including an aperture and substantially enclosing the second distal end of the cylindrical casing.

12. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, where the cylindrical casing is comprises of a material selected from a group consisting of: a steel, a plastic, and a combination of a steel and a plastic.

13. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, further comprising a mouthpiece coupled to a distal end of the cylindrical casing adjacent to the third chamber.

14. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, where the air inlet is located in a portion of the cylindrical casing that forms the first chamber.

15. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, where the second sealing element is comprised of a ceramic material.

16. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, further comprising a printed circuit board located adjacent to a distal end of the first chamber, the electronic circuit board communicating with the air pressure switch.

17. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, where the fluid is selected from a group consisting of: a glycol fluid, a fluid containing nicotine, a water-based “regular” cigarette flavored fluid, a water-based “menthol” cigarette flavored fluid, and a combination of two or more fluids.

18. The electronic cigarette of claim 1, where the heating element is selected from a group consisting of a platinum wire, a nickel chromium alloy wire, a iron chromium aluminum alloy wire, and a wire comprised of a rare earth element.

19. An electronic cigarette, comprising:

a cylindrical casing comprising a first chamber, a second chamber, and a third chamber, the three chambers located sequentially within the cylindrical casing;
a battery located in the first chamber;
a fluid located in the second chamber;
a first sealing element forming a partition between the first and second chambers, the first sealing element structured to prevent fluid from passing from the second chamber into the first chamber;
an air pressure switch located at a distal end of the first chamber;
an air inlet provided on the external wall of the casing;
a second sealing element forming a partition between the second and third chambers, the second sealing element structured to prevent fluid from passing from the second chamber into the third chamber;
a tube element located in the second chamber, with a first distal end of the tube element located in the first sealing element, and a second distal end of the tube element located in the second sealing element, the tube element providing an air passage through the second chamber;
a first sealing cylinder located around the first distal end of the tube element and contacting the first sealing element, the first sealing cylinder preventing the fluid from contacting the first distal end of the tube element;
a second sealing cylinder located around the second distal end of the tube element and contacting the second sealing element, the second sealing cylinder preventing the fluid from contacting the second distal end of the tube element;
a heating element located in the third chamber;
a fiber element having a first segment communicating with the heating element, and a second segment located in the second chamber, the second segment passing through an aperture in the second sealing cylinder, so that the fiber element transmits the fluid from the second chamber to the heating element.

20. The electronic cigarette of claim 19, further comprising a second fiber element having a first segment communicating with the heating element, and a second segment located in the second chamber, the second segment passing through another aperture in the second sealing cylinder, so that the second fiber element transmits the fluid from the second chamber to the heating element.

Patent History

Publication number: 20130319431
Type: Application
Filed: May 29, 2013
Publication Date: Dec 5, 2013
Inventors: Gilbert Cyphert (Phoenix, AZ), Xuandong Huang (Guanghan), Edwin Balder (Mesa, AZ)
Application Number: 13/986,734

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Naturally Occurring Or Synthetic Duplicate (131/275); Tobacco Users' Appliance (131/329)
International Classification: A24F 47/00 (20060101);