Last updated on December 15th, 2015
An E-Cigarette Primer – What Are They?
If you are one of the few people who has never heard of an electronic cigarette that’s okay. Don’t feel bad. We know that many our visitors come here for a bit of fun and a few laughs. Still, it’s our mission to spread the good news about electronic cigarettes ( a/k/a e-cigarettes), and to explain why (much to the dismay of competing factions), they are swiftly displacing the century old vice of smoking tobacco.
What is An E-Cigarette?
An e-cigarette is an electronic device that looks like a cigarette but delivers a nicotine, flavor-infused vapor to the user. Most e-cigarettes can be ordered without nicotine, or at low levels of nicotine.
Battery operated, e-cigarettes have no flame, no ash, no smoke, no tobacco, and no odor. The water vapor closely mimics tobacco smoke in volume. When the user puffs on the filter (also called a cartridge or Cartomizer), the puff, (or in some models, a button), triggers the the battery to power a small heating element within the cartridge, (an atomizer) which, in turn, heats the liquid and produces the vapor.
What’s In the E-Liquid?
E-Cigarette liquid is made up of water along with FDA approved flavors and FDA approved vegetable glycerine and/or propylene glycol (sometimes called “oil”).
Propylene Glycol? Isn’t That a Dangerous Chemical?
No it isn’t; in fact, propylene glycol is just a moisture holding element found in many household products such as Johnsons Baby Bedtime Lotion, and most brands of beer.
It’s also in lots of medicines such as Mucinex and Aftrin Nasal Sprays. Hospitals have been pumbing propelene glycol into their HVAC systems to purify the air since PG kills harmful germs and viruses. PG is found in foods that include Gummy Bears, Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse and TCBY Fat Free Frozen Yogurt to mention only a few.
Are E-Cigarettes Safe?
Many smokers, Ex-smokers and many doctors know that electronic cigarettes are a safer alternative to regular tobacco products. They also credit the devices for helping people quit tobacco cigarettes; however; most health officials will not support e-cigarettes since smoking cessation devices have not been tested fairly by the FDA.
Past president of the American Lung Association, Charles Connor, is one former health official who supports e-cigarettes, calling them “the breakthrough product” that stomps out carcinogen-packed conventional cigarettes”.
Another staunch advocate is former U.S. surgeon general Dr. Richard Carmona. Carmona is best known for publicizing the dangers of secondhand smoke. Now on the board of the nation's leading electronic cigarette company, NJoy, his goal is to bring “increased legitimacy to e-cigarettes as a viable alternative to traditional cigarettes”.
Are all e-cigarettes alike? No. E-cigarettes are not yet regulated, so there are many inferior products on the market. That said, all reputable e-cigarette companies, are prepared for the inevitable regulations to come and have set up strict self-regulation practices.
Why Are Electronic Cigarettes Growing in Popularity Despite Recent Efforts by Legislators to Ban Them?
The e-cigarette industry has grown to become a $1.5 billion industry in the US alone and it's growing.
In 2013 sales have tripled while sales of traditional tobacco cigarette stay the same. Why? It’s certainly not because of an overwhelming support from the media or the medical community.
The fact is, smokers are not oblivious to the dangers of tobacco cigarettes. Most will not deny the fact that a burning tobacco cigarette has over 4000 chemical compounds and 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 45 million Americans smoke cigarettes and about half of them try to quit each year.
Another known fact is that unlike traditional cigarette cessation devices, the electronic cigarette is a unique product that address both the addictive and behavioral aspects of smoking.
Smokers get their nicotine without the dangerous chemicals found in regular cigarettes. There’s a clear tactile factor too, as smokers get to hold something that looks and feels like a cigarette, puff on it and exhale a vapor that feels like smoke (but is safer).