E-Cigarettes – The Safer Way To Smoke?

Not only are they much less damaging to health, but they are also a lot easier on the wallet, too.

Joseph Dempsey

Contributor

Much in the same way that the Kindle gave us a new way to read books, it appears as though technology is giving us yet another alternative to more traditional pastimes – smoking cigarettes. ‘E-Lites’, as they are called, could soon replace cigarettes for smokers up and down the country. Not only are they much less damaging to health, but they are also a lot easier on the wallet, too – and the best part? You don’t have to go outside in the rain to enjoy one.

What are E-Cigarettes?

E-Cigarettes are, as the title suggests, electronic cigarettes. About the same weight as your average pen, they look and work a lot like an actual cigarette. Simply take a drag on the end, as you would with any other cigarette, and a dose of nicotine is released to the user, along with “smoke” to give a more authentic feel. As there is no tar or tobacco in an E-Cigarette, smoking one is far less harmful to the users health, and the health of those around you – as the “smoke” that is produced is condensed air (vapor), there is absolutely no passive-smoke risk.

What is in an E-Cigarette?

Liquid-nicotine, tobacco extract flavorings and Propylene glycol. The more pertinent question though is what isn’t in an E-Cigarette. None of the 4000 chemicals that are present in cigarettes, including tar, carbon monoxide and arsenic, are present in an E-Cigarette.

What is Propylene Glycol?

The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease states on their website that:

Propylene glycol is a ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS) additive for foods and medications.

How safe are they really?

Whilst not completely safe (nicotine is still after all an addictive drug, considered just as dangerous as caffeine) they are certainly a lot safer than regular cigarettes. There are no carcinogenic lung cancer causing chemicals present in an e-cigarette.

How much money can I save with E-cigarettes? How long do E-Cigarettes last?

E-Cigarettes are generally on sale at most tobacconists for £6.00. If you consider that a ten deck of regular cigarettes generally costs £3.95,  you are saving yourself £2.05 and are getting a “cigarette” that is the equivalent of 30 regulars. It would cost over £7.00 to buy a twenty deck of regular cigarettes.

An average cigarette is consumed in 10 inhalations, so it would take 300 inhalations of one E-cigarette until it has run out. Even then, all you need to do is purchase an e-cigarette charger, which is basically a USB device that can plug into your computer, to recharge your electronic cigarette when it has expired, meaning that you can re-use your cigarette time and time again as long as you wish!

Is there more than one flavor?

Yes. Menthal electronic cigarettes can also be purchased, and are very popular. Apple flavored electronic cigarettes are also sold.

Other advantages over traditional smoking?

Unlike regular cigarettes, E-cigarettes can be smoked indoors in public places such as pubs and restaurants etc. Although there have been reported cases of landlords demanding that electronic cigarette users smoke outside, it is not technically against the smoking ban, or the law, to smoke one indoors.

Secondly, you don’t have to smoke one “whole cigarette”, you can merely take a few drags for the nicotine release and then put it away for later. No lighters are necessary, and the E-Cigarette is easily transportable in your trouser pocket.

Furthermore, electronic cigarettes are odorless, and do not make your breath or clothing smell, allowing for discreet “smoking”.

Can I smoke electronic cigarettes whilst pregnant?

No. Nicotine is still a drug, and may be harmful to your baby.

In Summary…

Traditional cigarettes contain hydrogen cyanide, a gas used to murder Jews in the Holocaust.  There are also 4,000 other chemicals present in your average cigarette that are also present in  things like embalming fluid, insecticides,  gasoline, bathroom cleaners and nail polish remover.

Simply put, smoking is harmful, Around 6 million deaths a year are caused by tobacco.

E-Cigarettes however do not contain tobacco or any of the other 4,000 aforementioned potentially lethal chemicals. The health benefits of using an e-cigarette instead of a standard one to sate that nicotine craving are huge. What’s more, using an electronic cigarette still gives you the feeling that you are actually smoking – the authentic, yet purely synthetic smoke that it produces, and the rush of nicotine to the brain are all still factors of using these devices, and they taste like cigarettes too.

There are also certain social advantages as well – they can be smoked in the comfort of indoors, and they will not irk your non-smoking friends when used.

Smoking an electronic cigarette is the much safer, more convenient way to smoke.

Are you a smoker? Would you consider switching to electronic cigarettes? Do you already use electronic cigarettes? If so, we want to hear your opinions. Post your comments below.