The Electronic cigarette has become increasingly popular since it was introduced in to the market in 2007. Most of its users are converted from being regular tobacco smokers to nicotine vapers after experimenting with it.
Despite its obvious health benefits, the lack of regulation as well as comprehensive research has made it difficult to infiltrate other countries’ market.
Get to know the truth about e-cigs.
Here are some E-Cigarette FAQs to help you decide whether vaping is for you.
1. What are electronic cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes are technically slim, nicotine inhalers. They look like regular cigars or pens that are battery operated. Inside their trim figure, there is a small atomizer that heats the liquid that contains dissolved nicotine that allows you to inhale the nicotine and produce vapour that disintegrates rapidly.
2. Where do e-cigarettes come from?
All electronic cigarettes come from China since all the patents related to it come from the same country. The e-cig was designed, invented and patented by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik in 2003 where he thought of getting nicotine in with the use of vapors. What you see labelled as “Made in the USA” are from suppliers who order batteries, cartridges and atomizers wholesale from China and then have it assembled in the United States. Its special label and packaging for the US market give it a much higher price tag that what it’s really worth.
3. Why are electronic cigarettes so popular?
Electronic cigarettes have become popular amongst former smokers because of the benefits that it offers that regular tobacco cannot have. One of the major advantages of e-cigs is the fact that they do not require fire to get your nicotine fix.
This translates to the absence of smells, burns and stains associated with the real thing. Another advantage it offers is it empowers you to choose how much nicotine your body can handle. It’s a good thing, especially for smokers who have been itching to kick the habit. They can get lower doses of nicotine every month until their body rids itself of nicotine dependence.
Last but not the least, vapour cigs are a healthier alternative. You get nicotine and other flavourings to enter your system, unlike in rolled up tobacco where carcinogens lurk at every puff. There is no chance for passing on second hand smoke as the mist you see is made mostly of propylene glycol.
4. How do you use one?
As with regular cigarettes, you take a drag from the mouthpiece. Once you inhale, the atomizer is triggered to heat some nicotine laced liquid in the cartridge and create vapour containing the nicotine directly from your throat to your lungs. A LED light at the end of the fake fag lights up when in use.
5. Do I need a lighter for an electronic cigarette?
No, since the electronic cigarette is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery at its end. Most units come with a sensor that triggers the atomizer when you inhale on its mouthpiece. Older models are often turned on.
However, unlike regular cigarettes, you can put it down anywhere without fear of something getting burned. Do not attempt to ignite it as its battery might explode.
6. What is the smoke that is released?
The smoke released when you puff on an electronic cigarette is made mostly of propylene glycol, a substance that has been used to create mists in smoke machines.
7. What is a cartridge?
A cartridge is the part of the electronic cigarette that contains the e-liquid. Basically, the e-liquid contains a specific amount of nicotine and pharmaceutical grade propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG).
To further improve its flavour and sensation, manufacturers may also add nature identical flavouring agents such as peppermint, chocolate, coffee and the likes. Menthol crystals may have been added to give that cooling sensation during a throat hit.
8. How long does the cartridge last for?
It depends on how often you vape – it could last for several hours to a couple of days. To rationalize, a regular cigarette takes about 15 drags to consume compared to the 200 puffs in a cartridge. That makes one cartridge is to one pack of cigarettes a day.
You cannot really consume the contents of the cartridge empty because some e-juice settles in the cartridge when the vapor gets condensed. It also depends on the size of the cartridge. Check with the manufacturer’s claims comparing their cartridge with real cigarettes.
9. What different flavours are available?
Usually, many will lace their e-juice to give off a taste similar to tobacco. Most manufacturers will offer other flavours such as fruits (strawberry, cherry), stimulating drinks (chocolate, coffee) or cooling herbs (peppermint, vanilla).
10. Does it smell?
No, it doesn’t. Electronic cigarettes may produce mist from the e-juice additive but it does not smell anything remotely similar to tobacco smoke. It’s mostly water vapor and propylene glycol.
Sometimes, a faint odor of the flavoring being used might be sniffed. However, since the flavoring is mostly food grade, it usually dissipates as fast as the vapor.
11. Does it taste like a tobacco cigarette?
As much as manufacturers would like to hype that their product is similar to tobacco cigarettes, the vapor cig will never acquire the same taste as that of the latter. The flavors that are put in the e-juice will resemble somewhat the taste of tobacco but with a smoother, cleaner aftertaste.
12. How much money do I save compared to regular cigarettes?
There is an initial investment involved when you buy a starter kit which often contains all the materials you need to get into vaping. If you bought the regular or modified e-cig, expect to save 50% to 80% from your usual smoking expense.
13. How long will the battery last?
No matter what kit you purchase, the manufacturer will always issue the same capacity for batteries. Usually it comes in pairs so that you can charge the other while using the e-cig.
A fully charged battery will last a whole cartridge. The battery will last for about 350 to 400 full charges. Every charge will give you about 100 to 250 drags of vaporized e-juice.
14. Will health restrictions limit my use of electronic cigarettes?
Yes, especially on pregnant women. Before you use the electronic cigarette, it is best to consult with your physician to check whether your health condition will be affected with the more direct influx of nicotine in your circulation.
15. Is it legal to use in public?
It depends on where you want to use it. Some countries ban the sale, importation, advertising and even usage of the electronic cigarettes that it might not be a wise idea to swish your e-cig in public.
In terms of technicality, yes you can. This is because e-cigs do not burn tobacco and can be inhaled in places where smoking bans are usually put in place, especially indoors. The vapors you see emanating from the e-cig is nothing but odorless water vapor. Before you use it, ask for permission first.
16. Are they safe?
Modern electronic cigarettes have an installed sensor that stops the atomizer from working when you make too many inhalations at a short span of time or that you take a long (think eight seconds or longer) slow drag from it. It prevents you from getting too much nicotine in your circulation.
17. What about passive smoking?
The smoke you see from the electronic cigarette is nothing more than vapor that contains nothing else but water. It dissipates in seconds and leaves no residue in the air. Compared to regular tobacco products, it will never transmit second hand smoke to anyone near you whenever you take a drag.
18. Will it help me quit smoking?
There has yet to be a comprehensive study that shows electronic cigarettes have been effective in kicking the smoking habit. Most of the studies about e-cigs are often focused on their safety compared to real cigarettes.
The FDA of the United States have not approved its use as a device that could stop smoking, as it still requires clinical studies that prove otherwise. Smokers who want to quit prefer using it compared to nicotine patches and gums which have been approved by the agency as standard nicotine replacement therapy.