Sunday, 17 January 2010

What is an Electronic Cigarette

When I first heard about the electronic cigarette my first reaction was that this was a novelty item that wasn't to be taken seriously. But upon closer inspection I realized that this is an ingenious invention that has the potential to revolutionize the way people smoke forever.

What exactly is an electronic cigarette? Here is a description of what it is, how it works and how it can potentially benefit you or a loved one.

The e-cigarette is a battery powered device that looks, feels, tastes, and reacts like a cigarette... but it's not a real cigarette! It even delivers nicotine but without the harmful smoke, tar and the 4k+ chemicals associated with real tobacco smoke. The nicotine is inhaled via a clean odorless vapor.

The nicotine is diluted with propylene glycol or glycerin, both common food additives. When you inhale {just like you would with a real cigarette} the heating element which is called an Atomizer heats up the nicotine propylene glycol solution which then turns into vapor, you inhale and get the same sensation as you would with a real cigarette and get the nicotine hit. The great bit is the nicotine solution comes in different strengths, anywhere from what a normal cigarette contains all the way down to zero nicotine so you can if you want to slowly wean your self off nicotine all together.

An electronic cigarette is typically made up of three parts:

1. Atomizer
2. Battery
3. Nicotine Cartridge

Let's go over what each component does:

1. Atomizer. This heats up and vaporizes a mixture of liquid nicotine. The sensation of inhaling this vapor is very similar to real cigarette smoke but without the same health risks. It even has a warm feel to it which adds to a realistic experience. The vapor produces a cloud that looks like smoke but is actually just a mist that quickly disappears.

2. Battery. Nothing too complicated here, just a rechargeable battery that powers the atomizer. It is shaped to look like the body of a real cigarette. The lifespan of batteries varies from model to model. The lifespan depends on the number of mouth puffs. Typically you will get 150 - 400 puffs before having to recharge the battery.

3. Nicotine cartridge. These cartridges are made up of a propylene glycol or glycerin solution. A single cartridge is typically the equivalent of 20 - 30 tobacco cigarettes. Different nicotine strengths are available in high, low, or medium. Most manufacturers also offer a variety of flavors ranging from traditional tobacco flavor, menthol, vanilla, chocolate and fruit flavors.

You can either get an e cigarette that looks like a real one like this picture.

But I have found that this sometimes can cause some confusion when being used in a bar or restaurant because it looks so real people think it is and then you will get the “ sorry no smoking here cant you read” but once you show and explain what it is normally all is ok. But as it looks so real some may not. It’s always a good idea to check with the management, show them what it is first, I have done this and never had any problems. A good idea is to buy one that does not look too real, here are what some look like.

The electronic cigarette is surprisingly similar to the real thing but without the same health risks. There is no lingering offensive odor. It's also a lot less expensive than tobacco cigarettes. This combined with the fact that you can use it anywhere makes e-smoking a sensible and healthier alternative, one worth considering either for yourself or a loved one.

If you are serious about quitting smoking cigarettes then this can greatly improve your chances. Tests have been done on two groups of one hundred people in each. One group was given nicotine patches and the other given electric cigarettes. The findings were that, of the 100 that used the patches 7% managed to quit smoking and of the 100 that used the electric cigarette 81% managed to quit smoking!

If you do choose to get an electric cigarette kit I would recommend this site they have a fantastic choice of styles. I would recommend that you go for the cheapest kit which is called the economy kit, it has everything in it that you need to get going , no fancy packaging like the other kits but it does contain all you need to get started and its ten £10 cheaper than the nearest fancy packaged kits. It’s basically a starter kit and if you take to the idea, you can then add to it by getting another battery and atomizer and even better start mixing your own.

Here is a Quote from Professor John Britton, consultant respiratory physician and chief author of the RCP report, said: "The ideal product would be a nicotine inhaler like an asthma inhaler, that delivered a hit of nicotine as close as possible to the experience of smoking a cigarette.”

This quote from him was published in “ The Independent” back in October 2008


This is what ASH UK had to say about the e cigarette.

ASH UK suggests that the e cigarette industry may be an acceptable and safe alternative to tobacco. Most of the diseases associated with smoking are caused by inhaling smoke which contains thousands of toxic chemicals. By contrast, nicotine is relatively safe. Therefore, e cigarettes, which deliver nicotine without the harmful toxins found in tobacco smoke, are likely to be a safer alternative to smoking. In addition, e cigarettes reduce secondhand smoke exposure since they do not produce smoke.

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