With all the debate surrounding electronic cigarettes aka e-cigarettes, especially in recent months, it seemed like an appropriate time to just present the facts as they are known regarding electronic cigarettes. Just to clear the air if you will, as electronic cigarettes do. (Pun intended).
Manufacturers have designed them to be reusable devices with replaceable and refillable parts. Many makers of electronic cigarettes are also offering a number of disposable electronic units as well, of which the components are completely recyclable. Electronic cigarettes typically (but not always) take the shape of some form of elongated tube, and although many have been designed to resemble a real cigarette, cigar or pipe, some makers of electronic cigarettes have also designed the “pen style” and the “screwdriver” style, which have been named after their uncanny visual likeness to a real ink pen or screwdriver.
The electronic cigarette or “e-cigarette” as it is also known, quite simply is a battery operated device that provides users with inhaled doses of nicotine, of which strength is determined by the user, via a vaporized liquid nicotine solution. It is an alternative for users of conventional tobacco products such as cigarettes, pipes and cigars. The “vapor” provides a similar physical and flavor sensation to that of conventional inhaled tobacco smoke, without combustion or tobacco smokes actually being involved in its use. Very cutting edge, wouldn’t you say? Traditional smokers can now enjoy the sensations associated with traditional/conventional smoking without all of the associated hassles and stigmas attached to it.
Most electronic cigarettes while offered in various forms consist of three basic parts: a nicotine cartridge (mouthpiece), an atomizer-(heating element) and rechargeable battery (which also houses the circuitry). The mouthpiece, which is referred to in the industry as a “cartridge”, is where the liquid nicotine solution is housed. The atomizer or heating element is activated when the user inhales on the electronic cigarette, thereby delivering the liquid nicotine solution to the user in vapor form as opposed to the actual “tobacco smoke” released from inhaling on a conventional cigarette. The rechargeable lithium battery, which is available in many different forms, such as wall outlet, car and USB is generally the largest component of an electronic cigarette. Many are designed to activate upon inhalation, but are also available with a manual cutoff button that users must press while inhaling. Many are designed with a timed cutoff to prevent overheating, and many have an orange or red colored light to simulate actual burning tobacco on a regular cigarette or cigar.
The contents of the nicotine solution are obviously nicotine that has been diluted in either propylene glycol or glycerin, both of which are common food additives. The user of the electronic cigarettes based on what type of nicotine cartridges they prefer determines the strength of the nicotine solution. Many makers of these cartridges are offering them in the following strengths; High nicotine content (around 16 mg of nicotine), Medium nicotine content (around 12mg of nicotine), Low nicotine content (around 6mg of nicotine content) and Zero nicotine content cartridges.
Reputable and responsible manufacturers of the electronic cigarettes are not promoting e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool, but rather as a “healthier alternative” to conventional cigarettes. This is a tool for individuals who cannot or simply just do not want to give up the sensation or pleasure that smoking traditional tobacco products brings to them. It is a healthier choice for them. Electronic cigarettes are completely tobacco and tar free. They are not filled with the carcinogens and toxins that are found in regular tobacco products. The facts are hard dispute. This is by far; the best option traditional smokers have had in years!
By, Dianna Reed-Shay
September 12, 2009