E-cigarettes: What You Need To Know

The Facts

It’s hard to miss when you turn on your radio or television. People are talking about it all around the world. It’s drawn both high praise and harsh criticism far and wide. What is it, you ask? It’s e-cigarettes, which researchers have been touting from the start of their creation as a safer alternative to smoking and is used worldwide as a quit-smoking aid. Their popularity is steadily on the rise, and analysts predict that overall consumption of e-cigarettes will far surpass traditional cigarettes within five to ten years.

The wordsmiths at Oxford Dictionaries believe the e-cigarette craze is so relevant that they’ve named “vape” the most popular word of 2014. The official meaning of the word is “to inhale or exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.” It is an abbreviated form of vaporize and vapor. For those of you who are new to the e-cigarette way of life, here is a list of their ingredients:

  • Nicotine: Yes, even e-cigarettes have a little bit of this addictive compound in them, but it comes in much smaller quantities than regular cigarettes. It is also classified in levels of zero, three, six, twelve, eighteen, and twenty-four.
  • Propylene glycol: Commonly used drug solubilizer found in oral, topical, and injectable medications.
  • Vegetable glycerin:  This is what makes the “vapor” in e-cigarettes, and it also comes in certain grades, like the nicotine. Very common ingredient. 
  • Food flavoring: This ingredient is used to make the numerous vapor flavors available on the market.

Generally, there are three types of e-cigarettes:

  • One-piece kits:  These are the most convenient and inexpensive. It is comprised of a disposable cigarette and the kit also includes a battery and non-refillable nicotine cartridge.
  • Two-piece kits: This popular kit comes with a rechargeable battery and a replaceable cartridge. The atomizer and nicotine cartridge are combined. (An atomizer is the heating element that vaporizes the liquid to be inhaled.)
  • Three-piece kits: This kit has a separate battery, atomizer and nicotine cartridge.

The Pros and Cons

Deciding whether or not to try e-cigarettes is strictly a personal decision. The best thing you can do is thoroughly research the positives and negatives and then draw your own conclusion.

Pros: 

  1. People in the vapor industry proclaim e-cigarettes are healthier, since their ingredients do not cause cancer, unlike traditional cigarettes.
  2. E-cigarettes look, feel and taste like a regular cigarette, which can greatly aid in helping a person kick the habit.
  3. E-cigarettes are non-flammable and have no foul odor.

Cons:

  1. People opposed to e-cigarettes claim they make it difficult for officials to enforce no-smoking laws and regulations.
  2. Some research shows exhaled E-cigarette vapor contains toxins and cancer causing chemicals that are released into the air.
  3. Some flavor components are not good for the lungs or upper airway tissue.
  4. Third-hand exposure is possible from particles emitted from the vapor that settles on walls and within ventilation systems.
  5. E-cigarettes are appealing to youth and have the potential to attract youth to start using tobacco.

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