E-Cigarettes: What Are They?
In short, e-cigarettes are the alternative solution to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. Also commonly known as vaping, e-cigarettes come in a wide range of satisfying flavours and can help reduce nicotine intake.
Not only that, but vaping devices are less expensive than smoking cigarettes. Once you’ve purchased your e-cigarette starter kit, the refills are less costly and last twice as long as a packet of 20 tobacco cigarettes.
Furthermore, e-cigarettes vaporise liquid nicotine and do not leave an odour in the air or on your clothes. Plus, vaping is 95% less likely to damage your health!
A good way of describing e-cigarettes to the uninitiated is they are a cross between a traditional tobacco cigarette and a hookah. Users inhale smoke which contains traces of nicotine, but vaping machines are filled with flavoured liquids that are filtered through an atomiser and provide a delightful taste akin to a shisha pipe.
Electronic cigarettes have various names; e-cigs, e-hookahs, hookah pens, e-pipes, vaping machines among other colloquial terms. They also come in several types:
Refillable e-cigarettes (which is popular with beginners
Cigalikes (which look and feel like traditional cigarettes
Vape Mods (following new laws, now only available with 2ml vapour tanks)
How do e-Cigarettes work?
E-cigarettes run on rechargeable lithium batteries. The device provides power for an “atomiser” or “vapour tank” to transform nicotine liquid into a smokeless mist.
The battery supplies a small current of electricity into a wire coil which produces heat. The heat then comes into contact with a wick which is soaked with the e-liquid in the atomiser. The liquid is then transformed into a vapour which users inhale through a cartridge.
To smoke a vaping device, all you have to do is buy a starter kit which typically includes the device of your choice and several refills. Once you have a starter kit, all you have to do is buy the refills which come in a multitude of flavours.
The refills, or nicotine e-liquids, contain up to 24mg of nicotine and various compositions of e-flavourings such as propylene glycol, glycerine, water and flavourings. Some e-Cigarettes are purely herbal and do not contain any nicotine at all.
Smoking an e-cigarette has the same effect as smoking a traditional tobacco cigarette. The nicotine enters the bloodstream and stimulates adrenal glands which release, epinephrine and dopamine – natural chemicals in the brain that gives you a ‘feel-good’ factor.
Are e-Cigarettes healthier than tobacco cigarettes?
Studies have shown e-Cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. Research conducted by independent experts in the UK and published by Public Health England (PHE) report that vaping is 95% safer than tobacco cigarettes.
However, in all honesty, there is insufficient evidence to categorically confirm whether vaping is healthier. The chemical content advocates it should be, but because electronic cigarettes have only been in use for a little over ten years, there is not enough data to determine the health effects.
What we do know is that people using electronic cigarettes say they have noticed a reduction in ‘smokers cough,’ get a better night’s sleep, have a sharper sense of smell and an increased pleasure of taste.
Furthermore, electronic cigarettes were invented by a Chinese pharmacist. Hon Lik patented the device in 2003 to eliminate the harmful effects of tobacco. It was also a solution in response to the smoking ban that was sweeping the globe in the early millennium.
You could say the jury is still out on the health effects of e-cigarettes. But the early signs are they are far less damaging, and users do notice physical benefits.
If you want to know more about vaping, invest in an e-Cigarette starter kit and a choice of delicious flavours.