Published on February 20th, 2014 | by Joe Starks0
E-Cigarettes and Health: All You Need to Know
Since 2007 when you look at a smoker, once in a while you realize that their cigarette looks a bit odd. It might be glowing a bit, or it might be made of shiny plastic. These cigarettes are actually what we call electronic cigarettes and are not as similar to the original as one would think from their appearance. E-cigs, as they are widely known, have very distinct differences and many studies are still underway to prove their worth. In this article we’ll look into what e-cigs really are, how they work and why they could be better (or worse) that the original cigarette.
What is an E-cig?
An electronic cigarette is actually a long tube, usually made of plastic, which is often colored on the outside to resemble a tobacco cigarette. Inside this tube there is no paper, no tobacco and no filter. Instead there is a battery, a cartridge filled with liquid nicotine and a small device which evaporates it when needed. This e-cig can be switched on when you want to smoke. You do not need a lighter, you just press a button or switch.
Nothing is actually burning inside the e-cig, so there is no smoke. You are not actually smoking the e-cig; you are just inhaling nicotine vapors. Nicotine is the single addictive and pleasant substance of the original cigarette. No smoker desired anything else actually from his or her cigarette than a nicotine fix. Nicotine is very addictive, hence the difficulty many find in cutting smoking out of their lives.
Benefits of E-cigs vs. Cigarettes
For someone to even come up with this fancy idea there must be many marketing reasons and some benefits to it, one would think. Until know we know that smoking e-cigs can provide you with these benefits:
- They can be cheaper than cigarette smoking. Depending on the brand you buy, e-cigs are cheaper, because you simply need to buy the nicotine cartridges. The rest of the e-cig is reusable.
- They don’t stink. That cigarette smoke that everyone hates to have on their clothes, hair and furniture simply does not exist with e-cigs. You can smoke all you want and nobody will smell a thing with an e-cig.
- They are safer. E-cigs don’t use fire and don’t need to be lit. Even when they are on they don’t “burn”. So you CAN’T put a forest or your house on fire by throwing a lit cigarette away.
- Non smokers don’t mind them as much. If your friends aren’t smokers you simply don’t bother them as much with your e-cig. It doesn’t smell and doesn’t make them inhale the smoke you exhale into their faces.
- Studies suggest it might be easier to stop smoking with e-cigs. E-cigs might be easier to cut out of your life; at least this is what studies show worldwide.
- They might be healthier. Tobacco doesn’t only contain nicotine. It contains many dangerous substances like tar and even carcinogens. E-cigs contain ONLY nicotine, which isn’t healthy, but it is just that and nothing more. At least with e-cigs you don’t inhale all the other stuff.
Downsides of E-cigs vs. Cigarettes
E-cigs may be a solution to some problems, but they do have their downsides. Smoking e-cigs can:
- Be expensive, if you choose very expensive brands. Make sure you look around in the market first and find the cheapest alternative. Some people will try to rip you off. Smoking e-cigs should be cheap.
- Be addictive. Nicotine is an addictive substance that causes respiratory problems and dependency.
- Be bought by minors. There is no law that prohibits kids from buying e-cigs. There is no tobacco in them and the tobacco laws simply don’t count. This means that e-cigs can be a perfect way for children to get addicted to nicotine.
- Be unregulated. There are no specific laws to regulate e-cigs, which aren’t harmless no matter how you look at it. The laws will surely come and already new regulations seem to pop up. In some countries regulations are there, but not enough and not everywhere.
It is fairly obvious that e-cigs are a mixed blessing. They might be an improvement over normal cigarettes, but they also can be the first step on the path to nicotine addiction for people with healthy lifestyles and young children. There aren’t enough studies on inhaling second hand vapor from e-cigs so we don’t know how dangerous that might be (or how possible. In the end it is best to stay away from nicotine and smoking as a whole, but if you are already deep in the rabbit hole you might feel that e-cigs can help you pull yourself out.