In spite of the fact that it is well-known tobacco use is bad for us, over 40 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes causes damage to every organ in the body and smoking related illnesses cause one out of every five deaths in the United States.
As many as 70 percent of the current smokers have stated that they wish to quit with more than 40 percent reporting that they have tried within the past year. While the prices of cigarettes continue to increase due to taxes, there is another reason that the habits of American smokers are changing — electronic cigarettes.
History of Electronic Cigarettes
Although they were invented during the 1960’s, electronic cigarettes did not really make their debut until 2003 when Han Lik, a smoker and Chinese pharmacist developed them after watching his father die from lung cancer. He developed a device that would allow smokers to inhale nicotine without the use of tobacco, smoke or flame.
In 2003, e-cigs were introduced into the European market. It was not until 2007 that the e-cig was introduced into the United States market.
In 2008, a research publication in New Zealand was released that revealed that one brand of e-cigs examined did not give off toxic levels of bad chemicals. This same publication also showed that these devices are substantially less hazardous than a traditional tobacco cigarette.
This of course was one isolated study, and there is much research to be done, though studies like these do make electronic cigarettes look like a great alternative!
By 2009, e-cigs were being targeted and Australia and Canada were working to ban them. Although these bans did not hold up, e-cigs are still making history today.
The dangers associated with smoking tobacco are well known. Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States as well as a major contributor to many types of cancers.
Heart disease and other serious, potentially fatal diseases can also be blamed on the use of tobacco. With all of this bad press, you might be surprised to learn the truth about nicotine.
Recent studies have shown us some good news about the use of nicotine. For example, smokers show a lower rate of Alzheimer’s disease. A study performed in 2000 showed that nicotine actually promotes growth and development of new blood vessels, leading to new treatments for patients with diabetes who have poor circulation.
This same study also revealed that it could also promote the growth of tumors.
It’s important to get the full story, as many sources only talk about the positive aspects mentioned.
In 2006, a study by Duke Scientists found that non-smoking patients who suffered with depression and were treated patches that contained nicotine reported that their feelings of depression decreased. This research showed that there is a link between nicotine and an increase in the brains release of serotonin and dopamine. These two chemicals are typical low or lacking in patients with depression. These are just a few examples interesting aspects of nicotine.
You may be surprised to learn that some very common foods contain nicotine. It is not only found in tobacco.
Of course, you have seen many warnings that nicotine is known by the state of California to cause birth defects, etc., though it is an interesting area of study that is being looked more into, as nicotine by itself, and the impacts it has.
It is not known conclusively whether or not electronic cigarettes are indeed a safer alternative to smoking tobacco, as much study and research is being done on the subject, with the massive growth of the industry. There are arguments on both sides of the subject, and we suggest doing your own in-depth research.
The one agreed upon point by many in the educational and scientific communities are that the same chemicals are not present in both, and some studies indicate there are less in e-cigs, though that then beckons the question of the safety of the chemicals that are released by vapor, and the long term effects, which can only be known through time.
Foods that contain nicotine include the following:
- Green tomatoes
What is Vaping?
Vaping is not smoking. By definition, vaping is to inhale vapor by the use of a personal vaporizer. This personal vaporizer is commonly called an electronic cigarette.
Although the term “cigarette” is used, vaping does not compare to a cigarette at all. Traditional cigarettes contain several chemicals that you will not find in the vapor emitted from an e-cig including the following:
• DDT (an insecticide)
• Polonium 210
• Cyanhydric Acid
• Vinyl Chloride
• Carbon Monoxide
The chemicals found in the e-juice used in an e-cig pale in comparison to this partial list of harmful toxins found in traditional smokes. Let us discuss e-juice further.
What is in E-Juice?
E-juice, also referred to as e-liquid is normally made up of up to five different ingredients. These are the only ingredients that may be found in this juice, it is not a partial list and there are no hidden chemicals.
1. Vegetable Glycerin — Also called VG, this base liquid makes up between 80 and 90 percent of all e-juice. Juices are available in different ratios including juices that are 100 percent VG, 50 percent VG and 20 percent VG. This base liquid is used in all different types of food and personal care products including toothpaste.
2. Propylene glycol — Also called PG is typically mixed with VG and used together as a base liquid for all e-liquids. This product is a solvent that is primarily known for its use in fog machines. It is used to produce thicker clouds of vapor. PG can dry out some user’s throats or even cause a mild allergic reaction. If a user has issues, they can opt for juices with a lower PG content or they can vape juice that is strictly VG based.
3. Food Grade Flavoring — These flavorings that are added to e-liquid are the same food grade flavorings that are intended for use in candy making or baking. They have been approved for human consumption.
4. Nicotine — Depending on the desired nicotine strength, e-liquid contains between 0 and 2.4 percent nicotine. E-juice suppliers use pharmaceutical grade pure nicotine to make their juices.
5. Distilled Water — Distilled water is used in cases where dilution is needed.
How the E-Cig Works
An electronic cigarette, unlike traditional cigarettes does not rely on combustion to release vapor into the lungs. Instead it heats the e-liquid and converts it to vapor.
There are three main parts to an e-cig:
1. A lithium battery which is rechargeable
2. A vapor chamber
3. A flavor cartridge
The lithium battery powers the e-cig; it can be recharged with the use of a charger that is similar to that used by cell phones. The battery, once charged is attached to a vapor chamber, which is a hollow tube containing electronic controls, and an atomizer. The atomizer is the component that heats up the e-juice to create the vapor. Prior to using the device, the user will attach a cartridge that contains the nicotine liquid to the chamber. This cartridge will serve as the mouthpiece of the electronic cigarette.
Similar to the way the user would smoke a cigarette, the user will take a puff on the device. This will activate the atomizer, which in turn will heat the liquid and convert it to a vapor. Alternately, some batteries are activated with the press of a button. This allows the user to have more control over their puff and allows for bigger clouds of vapor.
Inhaling this vapor will deliver nicotine to the lungs and then the user exhales the vapor, much like a traditional tobacco cigarette. These actions replicate the actions of smoking an actual cigarette, a feeling that many users of these devices enjoy.
These products are available in brick and mortar stores as well as online. There are numerous models and brands available. Some are similar in appearance to traditional tobacco cigarettes while others look like pens, pipes and cigars. To help reduce costs, consumers can also purchase bottles of e-juice and refill the cartridges themselves.