What is an e cigarette?

Electronic cigarettes are designed to mimic the experience of smoking a real cigarette. Essentially it’s a device that kind of looks like a traditional “analog” cigarette and delivers nicotine, but minus the burning tobacco. The user inhales just as with a regular cigarette and gets nicotine and the feel of a cigarette, but what’s produced and exhaled isn’t tobacco smoke, it’s a vapor of mostly water. The vapor is usually produced by propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, which is often used in smoke machines at night clubs and concerts.

Electronic cigarettes, also known as “e-cigarettes”, “e-cigs”, “personal vaporizers”, “PV’s”, and using them is known as “vaping”.

In the past, for smokers there has really only been an all or nothing proposition…either quit smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes or keep smoking them. E-cigarettes changes that in a huge way. They can switch to “vaping” instead. It finally provides a sort of middle ground alternative to traditional smoking. Even though eCigarettes aren’t official smoking cessation products, many people use them for that. There’s patches, gum, and lozenges of course, but if you look at the actual data on long-term success rates of those, it’s only minimally effective at best…far less than is cleverly claimed through data distortion. Most credible studies show cold turkey quitting has the longest term success rate, not patches, gum, etc.

E-cigarettes provide a new and very different alternative for current smokers. Of course some people may never want to quit e-cigarettes either, but some see it as a possible harm reduction strategy as opposed to all or none…a boon to those who may otherwise never quit traditional tobacco cigarettes. The vast majority of the risk in smoking is the combustion of tobacco leaves, which e-cigarettes do not have. Nicotine has it’s own risks of course, such as cardiovascular risks, and is the highly addictive part of it all, but simply using nicotine without tobacco is known to be a far less risky activity.

You may or may not already be familiar with e-cigarettes. They’re getting quite popular among smokers quitting cigarettes, but still a relative mystery to most of the public. It’s still quite a conversation piece when used out in public at this point, that’s for sure.

Updated: September 23, 2013 by eCigFreak

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