+What are electronic cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes are battery powered devices that resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes; they are filled with liquid nicotine which is dissolved in water and propylene glycol before being vaporized by an atomizer and inhaled.
The advent of electronic cigarettes can be imputed to one Herbert Gilbert who, in 1963, patented a device that would utilize heated and moist flavored air instead of burning tobacco. Herbert’s devices primarily focused upon delivering flavored steam to clients, contained no nicotine and soon faded into obscurity.
It wasn’t until 2003 that Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, patented a device similar to today’s nicotine based electronic cigarettes.
+How do Electronic Cigarettes work?
The typical electric cigarette consists of a rechargeable lithium ion battery, an atomizer (responsible for vaporizing nicotine into a fine mist of water vapor) and a cartridge (within which the contents of the cigarette are stored, typically liquid nicotine and propylene glycol which mix to form the so called E Liquid).
The smoker places his lips on the side of the electronic cigarette that looks like a filter and inhales, forcing the liquid nicotine into the atomizer chamber where it is heated, vaporized and turned into the mist of water vapor that one takes into their lungs, producing the required nicotine high.
The process is automated, with the battery powering on when a smoker inhales and shutting down after a period of inactivity. Most electronic cigarettes have a red light at one end.
+Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe?
While initially presented as tools to be utilized by smokers in quitting their unhealthy habit, few professionals today are willing to stand by that idea, with many a critic quick to point out the fact that electronic cigarettes still make use of nicotine which is addictive.
There are also voices in the pharmaceutical industry quick to point out that, despite their presentation as perfect alternatives to tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes play host to a few toxic substances such as diethylene glycol (which is used in anti freeze).
That being said, most medical professionals will agree that electronic cigarettes do not pose anywhere near the level of risk to health posed by traditional tobacco cigarettes.
The debate over electronic cigarettes is often driven by the scarcity of information; too few studies have been carried out to more efficiently determine the impact electronic cigarettes can have on human health. The lack of regulations, especially regarding issues of age restrictions and the inclusion of these smoking devices in smoking bans, has only served to further complicate the debate on electronic cigarettes.
At the present, the electronic cigarettes industry is booming, with more traditional tobacco smokers jumping on board and quickly accepting the benefits e-cigs have to offer, even in light of the confusion surrounding their impact on human health.
+Benefits of Electronic Cigarettes
-E-cigs are free of toxins and tar; the two or three potentially harmful substances found in e-cigs cannot compare to the over 4,000 toxic substances present in tobacco cigarettes, many of which can elicit harmful consequences for the body. E-cigs allow smokers to enjoy the tobacco flavor without the risk of poisoning their bodies.
-There are various studies that have proven the role e-cigs can and have played in combating the smoking habit; e-cigs are the sorts of smoking devices that will aid individuals in controlling the amount of nicotine they consume. Most electronic cigarette smokers will admit to taking only a few puffs a day out of habit, as opposed to traditional smokers who cannot help but smoke their way through a pack or two once they start.
-E-cigs are considerably expensive at the start, which is rational considering the electronic devices that one has to purchase; however, taking into account how long one can utilize their e-cig kit, only ever having to change cartridges, e-cigs are cheaper that traditional tobacco cigarettes in the long run.
-There can be no second hand smoking with e-cigs, which means that one is able to indulge their habit at any location and in any setting without having to worry about irritating their neighbors or ruining the lungs of their family members through passive smoking.
-Not only do they eliminate the risk of accidental fires, but e-cigs do not produce any smoke or odor worth noticing, making them a more socially acceptable smoking device.
+Disadvantages of electronic cigarettes
One would be hard pressed to locate any major disadvantages of e-cigs; even if they do not aid in quitting the habit of smoking, the utilization of e-cigs has no notable impact on human health. At worst, the fact that they can be utilized in any setting and location because of the odorless vapor they produce might tempt users to smoke more frequently.
The research on e-cigs is simply too limited for anyone to lay down any concrete facts about the negative side effects of electronic cigarettes.