Electronic or electric cigarettes are quickly becoming popular as a safe alternative to real cigarettes. But while they are popular, many people question their safety, especially considering that they are electronic devices.
How E-Cigarettes Work
E-cigarettes use a combination of nicotine and flavoured liquid and a heating element to create a vapour that you then inhale like smoke. The electric cigarette is made up of an atomizer and a liquid cartridge or a combined disposable device called a cartomizer. The cartridge holds the e-liquid (usually a poly-glycol base with nicotine dissolved inside) while the atomizer uses a tiny heating coil and metal mesh to wick the liquid inside and vaporise it. The cartomizer serves as a mouthpiece as well as an e-liquid storage tank.
The final part of the e-cigarette is the battery. Usually rechargeable lithium-ion battery made to look like the front of a real cigarette. However, you can also get these in a variety of colours and skins to personalise your e-cig.
While there has been no long term testing of electric cigarettes, short term tests reveal two things. The first is that carcinogens and tobacco specific harmful chemicals are still present in electric cigarettes. The second is that these levels are about 1,000 times lower than in a traditional cigarette.
The process of ‘vaping’ or vaporising liquid is also safer. While you still inhale nicotine directly to your lungs, you avoid the process of inhaling harmful smoke. With this in mind, you can get your nicotine fix much more safely than you would with a traditional cigarette. No smoke and no tar makes them much less of a health risk than even the ‘healthiest’ of cigarettes.
What’s the bottom line? Most food and drug administration companies suggest that you use these with caution. Electric cigarettes are recommended for someone who is already smoking but for the non-smoker, the same rules apply. It’s better to not smoke and avoid nicotine addiction and contact with potentially harmful chemicals.
It should also be noted that electric cigarettes are easy to abuse. Because you don’t have to ‘light up’, get out a new cigarette or even pay attention to how many puffs you are smoking, you can easily over smoke and take in too much nicotine. Nicotine poisoning and addiction is serious so if you decide to go with electric cigarettes, make sure you control the quantity of it that you take in.
Most e-cigarette vendors sell e-liquid in various strengths and one cartridge usually equals about one pack of cigarettes. If you were a ‘pack a day’ type of person, it should last you all day. Like anything else, electric cigarettes are safest when used in moderation. Use them with caution and you can get a lot of benefits from them including improved health without giving up nicotine.
Electric cigarettes are much safer than traditional cigarettes and can also be used to aid with smoking cessation should you desire.