No assignee for this patent application has been made.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Despite its well documented health risks, smoking remains an extraordinarily popular activity throughout the world. The combustion of traditional tobacco cigarettes results in the production of tar, which is inhaled by a cigarette smoker. Tobacco tar contains numerous ingredients and known carcinogenic substances. It is also well known that tobacco tar contains nicotine, which is a desired stimulant that produces a euphoric effect on the cigarette smoker.
"Electronic cigarettes provide an alternative to a smoker who desires to experience a nicotine high without inhaling all the other harmful byproducts contained in tobacco tar. In conventional embodiments, electronic cigarettes are enclosed in a cylindrical shell and have a battery, an air inlet, a reservoir filled with a liquid nicotine solution, an atomization chamber, an activation switch, and a mouthpiece. When activated, the liquid nicotine solution is partially aerosolized or atomized into a fine mist and inhaled by the user. The aerosolized nicotine mist has an appearance similar to tobacco smoke and the inhaled aerosolized nicotine mist is quickly absorbed into the user's blood stream, delivering the same euphoric effect as a conventional draw of a tobacco cigarette. The atomization of the liquid nicotine solution typically takes place in an atomization chamber where either a heating element or a piezoelectric element aerosolizes the liquid nicotine solution. The piezoelectric electronic cigarettes have complex parts and are less effective than electronic cigarettes configured with a heating element.
"The liquid nicotine solution is typically transferred to the atomization chamber through either a filament (typically made from cotton) connected to the reservoir and atomization chamber or a porous body in contact with both the reservoir and the atomization chamber. Often, the heating element is coiled around the portion of the filament that is located within the atomization chamber.
"Conventional electronic cigarettes are activated with either a pressure-sensitive switch or a push button switch. The pressure-sensitive switch is activated when the user inhales and creates a pressure differential within the electronic cigarette. A push button switch is simply an external mechanical switch that is typically held in the open position with a spring, and can be 'pushed' into the closed position when depressed by a user. When the user releases the button, the spring acts on the button, the switch is opened and the button is moved back into its original position.
"Conventional electronic cigarettes were also not disposable, but rather were rechargeable and refillable. The process of recharging the battery and refilling or replacing the liquid nicotine solution reservoir was convoluted, tedious, and time consuming. More importantly, these devices are expensive. In order to more accurately replicate the traditional smoking experience, there is a perceived need for a cheaper electronic cigarette that could simply be discarded upon the depletion of the liquid nicotine solution.
"A typical problem encountered with the conventional electronic circuit designs is the propensity for these electronic cigarettes to short circuit. Another problem encountered with the conventional designs is that a user may hold the button too long or inhale too long overheating the heating element, often referred to as 'burn out.' A premature 'burn out' results in the electronic cigarette being discarded before the entire liquid nicotine solution is used. Another consequence of holding the button too long or inhaling too long is premature loss of battery life with the same result of an electronic cigarette being discarded before the entire liquid nicotine solution is used.
"In light of the above, it would be advantageous to provide a new electronic cigarette that is disposable but has sufficient safeguards to ensure the stored nicotine solution is fully used before any failure in the battery or internal electronics occurs. It is further advantageous to provide an electronic cigarette that is relatively cost efficient to manufacture, with fewer parts, and with increased vaporization capacity."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "An object of the present invention is to provide a disposable electronic cigarette that fully atomizes its stored e-liquid (typically a liquid nicotine solution) and avoids the typical pitfalls associated with the prior art. Another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable electronic cigarette that uses fewer parts than currently offered disposable electronic cigarettes.
"The disposable electronic cigarette of the present invention includes a battery set and a cartomizer. The battery set includes a cylindrical housing, a light cover, a LED printed circuit board, a battery, a push button, a connecting stand, and a switch printed circuit board. The cartomizer includes a cylindrical housing, an atomizer set, an e-liquid blocker, a heating wire, a long glass fiber pipe, a short glass fiber pipe, medical cotton, an e-liquid, and a mouth cover. The battery set and the cartomizer are rigidly and permanently connected together to form a single disposable electronic cigarette.
"The switch printed circuit board includes a switch and a micro controller unit and one or more LED printed circuit boards. The switch printed circuit board is designed to ensure a constant 3 Volt low-voltage output, which protects the internal circuitry of the electronic cigarette, provides for strong and steady vapor production and improves the utilization rate of power. Locating the micro controller unit and the switch together on the same printed circuit board results in less wiring throughout the electronic cigarette, higher electro static discharge, reduced propensity for a short circuit, and reduced propensity for micro-controller unit burnout. The micro controller unit controls a timed shut off feature that opens the circuit, even in the event the button remains depressed for fixed period of time.
"Under normal use, a user depresses the button which closes the switch located on the switch printed circuit board and thereby completes the circuit in order to energize the device. Once energized, electrical current flows through the micro controller unit, the LED printed circuit board, the internal LED printed circuit board, and through the heating wire. The LEDs gradually begin to light indicating that the device is in use and further mimic a gradually increased glow of a lit ember of a traditional cigarette.
"The medical cotton is saturated with e-liquid and acts as a storage chamber for the e-liquid. The medical cotton is wound around a long glass fiber pipe and a short glass fiber pipe, both of which are porous and have an interior air passage way. The heating wire is located around the long glass fiber pipe and heats the e-liquid located immediately around it sufficiently to vaporize the e-liquid, As the user inhales, negative air pressure draws air into an air inlet and through interior passage ways of both the short glass fiber pipe and the long glass fiber pipe. As the air passes through the interior passage ways of both the short glass fiber pipe and the long glass fiber pipe, the flow of air draws the vapor through the porous walls of said glass pipes and into the interior passage ways of said glass fiber pipes whereon the air and vapor mix. The air/vapor mixture then exits the electronic cigarette through the mouth cover whereupon it is inhaled.
"The user then releases the push button, the LEDs dim, and the electronic cigarette is off.
"The heart of the present invention is the switch printed circuit board that includes both a switch one or more LED printed circuit boards and a micro controller unit that provide protective features to a disposable electronic cigarette. Since disposable electronic cigarettes are not meant to be reloaded or recharged, it is of great importance to ensure that the electronic circuitry and battery charge both outlast the supply of e-liquid.
"The switch printed circuit board of the present invention provides power shut off protection function that is activated when a user presses the push button beyond a set time limit. Button activated electronic cigarettes not equipped with the present invention are capable of having their battery prematurely drained since a button could easily be inadvertently pressed even though the device is not in use. A common example would be when a user is storing an electronic cigarette in his or her pocket and inadvertently presses the button against a chair while sitting. In addition to the possibility of prematurely draining the battery, another risk of excessive continued use of the electronic cigarette is overheating of the electrical components, including the heating wire and is commonly referred to in the industry as 'burn out.' In the event that 'burnout' occurs, the electronic cigarette is rendered useless.
"The switch printed circuit board of the present invention has a micro controller unit that controls a timed shut off feature that opens the circuit upon the expiration of a predetermined maximum use. The micro controller unit is configured with a timer that begins counting seconds from the moment a user presses the push button until the predetermined maximum use time is reached. If a user releases the push button before the predetermined maximum use time is reached, then the timer will be reset and begin counting from 0 seconds when then push button is pressed again in the future. If however, the push button is not released prior to the predetermined maximum use time, then the microcontroller unit will immediately de-energize the heating wire and cause the LED printed circuit board and the second LED printed circuit board to flash twice. After flashing twice, said LED printed circuit boards will turn off. In so doing, the user is prevented from operating the electronic cigarette for more than the predetermined maximum use time and is notified by the flashing LEDs that he or she has exceeded the predetermined maximum use time.
"The switch printed circuit board of the present invention is specifically designed to ensure a constant low-voltage output, which protects the internal circuitry of the electronic cigarette, provides for strong and steady vapor production and improves the utilization rate of power. Locating the microcontroller unit, one or more LED printed circuit boards and the switch together on the same switch printed circuit board results in less wiring throughout the electronic cigarette, higher electro static discharge, reduced propensity for a short circuit, and reduced propensity for 'burnout.'
"Finally, with the exception of the heating wire, all of the electrical components of the present invention, including the switch printed circuit board, are isolated from the e-liquid stored in the medical cotton. In so doing, the electrical components are further protected from harmful short circuits.
"The nature, objects, and advantages of the present invention will Become more apparent to those skilled in the art after considering the following detailed description in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout, and wherein:
"FIG. 1A is a side profile view of an electronic smoking device.
"FIG. 1B is a top profile view of an electronic smoking device.
"FIG. 1C is a profile view of the LED light side of an electronic smoking device.
"FIG. 1D is a profile view of the mouth cover side of an electronic smoking device.
"FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the electronic cigarette of the present invention;
"FIG. 3 is a circuit diagram of the electronic cigarette of the present invention;
"FIG. 4 is chart depicting LED brightness over time during normal use of the electronic cigarette of the present invention;
"FIG. 5 is a chart depicting LED brightness over time during excessive use of the electronic cigarette of the present invention;
"FIG. 6 is a chart depicting voltage output over time during normal use of the electronic cigarette of the present invention; and
"FIG. 7 is a chart depicting voltage output over time during excessive use of the electronic cigarette of the present invention."
For additional information on this patent application, see: SALIMAN, Sarmad. Disposable Electronic Cigarette with Power Shut off Protection. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Circuit Board, Electronics, Microcontroller, Patents, Smoking.
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