A primer on electronic cigarettes

Consider this article as a primer on electronic cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes were introduced in 2003, shortly after it was invented by an enterprising Chinese pharmacist named Hon Lik. Basically, electronic cigarettes are electrical gadgets that are meant to simulate the experience and feel of tobacco smoking. Electronic cigarettes achieve this by generating inhaled vapor from a substance called e-liquid. The e-liquid is merely heated (as opposed to burning) to transform it into vapor. Through the vaporized e-liquid, the appearance and taste of smoking is reproduced. However, unlike tobacco smoke, vapor from e-liquid does not stink and does not contain the toxic, health-damaging chemicals found in tobacco smoke. In essence, the vapor created from the e-liquid is generated using the same processes and substances used in nebulizers for asthmatic people. 

Electronic cigarettes are portable and require recharging now and then. This is because the atomizer, the component used on heating the e-liquid, is powered by a lithium battery. Many electronic cigarettes look exactly like sticks of tobacco cigarettes. However, there are some makes and models that appear quite distinct from the product they are designed to replace. Some look like expensive pens, others look like antique pipes, others seem like highly customized contraptions.

Electronic cigarettes deliver the experience of smoking without the adverse effects of actual smoking on people’s health. The e-liquid used in electronic cigarettes may from part of a starter kit. E-liquid flavors are also sold as separate bottles or cartridges. E-liquid is also known as e-juice. The main ingredients of e-liquid solutions are water, food flavorings, glycerin or propylene glycol, and varying amounts of nicotine, if any. There are e-liquid bottles with zero nicotine content.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified all ingredients in the e-liquid as safe for human consumption. In particular, all the bases used–propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and polyethylene glycol 400 are all used as common food additives in candies, cakes, and other confections. The most widely used e-liquid base is propylene glycol, which is included in the list of substances classified as GRAS (or Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA.

In contrast, around 300 of the 7000 or so chemicals found in tobacco smoke are toxic, some of which are known carcinogens like tar, cadmium, benzene and arsenic. These chemicals damage almost all systems found in the human body and causes serious ailments like lung cancer, heart diseases, and emphysema. Other cancers that harm the kidney, throat, stomach, and pancreas have also been linked to tobacco smoking.

To augment the information found in this primer, you can visit the numerous resources on electronic cigarettes such as e-cigarette510.com that are made available on the Internet. You can also visit online stores to make preliminary reviews of starter kits, e-liquid flavors, upgrades, and accessories. Remember that shifting to electronic cigarettes is a viable way of transforming your habit into a far healthier and more exciting one.

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