Description: The E-cigarette has the potential to alter smoking habits and wean heavy smokers away
Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), also known as vaporize cigarette, is an electronic device powered by a battery that simulates a real cigarette by providing doses of nicotine or other substances with physical sensation and flavor close to that of inhaled tobacco smoke without generating any smoke.
E-cigarettes are effective as they do not cause any withdrawal symptoms or cravings and are reusable with cartridges, containing different substances and dosages. Therefore switching from a real cigarette to an e-cigarette is easier than using nicotine gums, lozenges, patchesor other nicotine replacement products. Different dosages and non-nicotine substances help to gradually kick the smoking habit.
Construction & Operation
E-cigarette resembles a real cigarette with an elongated tube made up of a cartridge, atomizer, battery and electronic circuits. The cartridge, or mouthpiece, is a reservoir for nicotine or other substances which is vaporized by the atomizer, or the heating element, using the rechargeable battery and airflow sensors which activate the atomizer. Some units even have an LED at the tip which glows during operation mimicking a real cigarette.
An atomizer lasts for a quarter to half a year on average use while a cartridge is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. Some units use a combination of a cartridge and an atomizer known as cartomizer. Nicotine cartridges usually have nicotine dissolved in propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin and are available in different concentrations. Nicotine cartridges also come with a wide variety of flavoring from fruit flavors to flavors of branded cigarettes.
E-cigarettes help quit smoking without losing the smoking satisfaction. The real benefit of e-cigarettes is that it helps prevent or eliminate the nasty stuff of real cigarettes including:
- Tar, carbon monoxide and other dangerous chemicals
- Foul tobacco odor from the smoker, smoker’s clothes and the smoking environment
- Yellow stains on smoker’s teeth
- Smoke and ashes that pollute the environment
- Dirty looks from passersby
E-cigarettes can be smoked in most no-smoking zones as they do not emit any harmful secondhand smoke, for other people in the zone, and also as they cannot start a fire, as the heating element is concealed. E-cigarettes can be used in restaurants, theaters and airplanes without disturbing others.
Risks & Concerns
E-cigarettes although safer than real cigarettes may not help quit smoking as they are addictive due to nicotine and can lead tonicotine poisoning. Studies have revealed differences in the levels of nicotine specified on the cartridges with the levels they actually contained. There were traces of nicotine in nicotine-free cartridges and inconsistent delivery of vapors in many units. As e-cigarettes are not yet classified as medical device due to the absence of clinical trials, they are easily available in the market as tobacco/nicotine product and keeping them out of the hands of minors is not easy.