An electronic cigarette is a rechargeable battery powered personal vaporizer (PV) or inhaler, often in the form of a cigarette, and can contain either flavored nicotine liquid or refills with no nicotine. The nicotine strength can also be varied according to the users requirement. The refill is usually called e-liquid. High Powered models are also available that do not resemble an ordinary cigarette but instead look like a thick tube or a small box with a mouthpiece attached. Ecigarettes are a modern way to obtain nicotine and replace smoking an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes, desirable since they are likely to be several orders of magnitude less harmful. They can also be used without nicotine. The refills contain about half a dozen ingredients that are all licensed for human consumption and considered acceptably safe, as against the 5,300 discovered so far in cigarette smoke of which many are known to be toxic and/or carcinogenic.
How do e-cigarettes work?
All ecigarettes have a rechargeable battery or batteries, an atomizer coil which is heated by the battery, and a cartridge containing refill liquid. In some models the last two components are combined. When the switch is pressed, or in the case of auto models, when air is pulled through, the heating element vaporizes the liquid and produces a mist. You draw or pull air through it just like a tobacco cigarette.
Why use an e-cigarette?
The main reason is consumer choice simply as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. The idea is to obtain the nicotine in a cool mist with a few well-known ingredients that are all approved for human consumption, instead of inhaling the smoke from burning plant materials, since it is known that smoking tobacco cigarettes has many health issues and perhaps around a one-in-three chance of early death.
Who can use an e-cigarette?
Electronic cigarettes are used by smokers over 18 who are looking for a better alternative. No one else should use one.
Can I use one anywhere?
Definitely not. Local regions such as cities can introduce byelaws that prohibit their use indoors. Anyone can allow or prohibit anything in their own premises, and some building owners prohibit them.
Are ecigarettes healthier?
No one can say, because there are no long-term clinical trials or any other research that could verify or disprove such a statement. They were invented in 1995 and have only been widely used for a few years. This is one of those things on which you have to make your own decision. However, many people regard the decision to inhale a cool mist with half a dozen ingredients, none of which are known to be toxic or carcinogenic, or alternatively inhale a bonfire, as what is popularly termed a no-brainer which is why ecigarettes are taking the world by storm.
Isn't nicotine harmful?
Nicotine is not the harmful ingredient in tobacco, it is the smoke that kills: the smoke and combustion artefacts cause lung cancer, heart disease and many other illnesses. Also, everyone tests positive for nicotine in the bloodstream, in very small amounts, since it is a common ingredient in vegetables. A related material, nicotinic acid, is a vitamin Niacin or Vitamin B3 so to say it is universally harmful is obviously untrue. Without the smoke, smoking is likely to be far less harmful, as nicotine may be as harmful as the caffeine in coffee. Nicotine is best avoided by those who are pregnant or have heart disease. You may want to avoid it if you also do not take caffeine or alcohol by drinking coffee, tea, wine or beer. Like these substances, it should probably not be started in the first place. Some people however find their lives are dysfunctional without nicotine, and an electronic cigarette is probably as good a way as any to supply it.