Article by Fabafterfifty Electronic cigarettes have caused a stir in recent years when they emerged as a new alternative to smoking, offering the same experience but without the actual smoke. The dangers of smoking tobacco have become common knowledge over the last few decades, yet despite this knowledge the dangerous habit of smoking hasn’t died out. Electronic cigarettes have been on the scene for several years now, and have undergone some great technological improvements along the way, drawing many advocates such as Vaping Point’s Liz – a 65 year old ex-smoker turned electronic cigarette reviewer helping silver surfers know what the world of vaping is all about. This article is aimed at getting you up to speed on what electronic cigarettes are and if/how they can help you as a smoker to quit cigarettes.
What are electronic cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes, or ‘e-cigs’, are devices that imitate the process of smoking a tobacco cigarette. However, the only tangible thing they share with normal cigarettes is the hit of nicotine that both produce. E-cigarettes work by vapourising a liquid solution containing nicotine, which is then inhaled, much like with a regular cigarette. However, unlike the smoke from normal cigarettes, the vapour produced from e-cigarettes does not contain carbon monoxide, tar, or any of the other carcinogenic chemicals that are the by-products of smoking cigarettes. Users of e-cigarettes have termed this experience as ‘vaping’, to differentiate it and set it apart from the act of regular smoking. Electronic cigarettes themselves come in a few different varieties, with a number of benefits to each, but they all work in the same manner. There are devices that are designed to resemble the look and feel of a tobacco cigarette – these are called cig-a-likes for obvious reasons. Available in both disposable and rechargeable models these are often people’s first experience of vaping as they are very easy to use and ready to go straight out of the box. The disposable cig-a-likes are completely no fuss – you just take them out the packet and vape, and when they run out you throw it away and open a new one. They do work out slightly more expensive in the long run compared to the rechargeable models where you simply replace the cartomizers (the cartridge which contains the nicotine solution that is vapourised), but for many people are the perfect way to try out vaping without investing very much money at all. Cig-a-likes are a good way to dip your toes into to the concept of vaping without breaking the bank. The second types of e-cigs are known as Personal Vapourizers. These do not look like a traditional cigarette, but do essentially work the same. They are designed for an improved performance rather than emulating a cigarette in terms of appearance. They have more powerful batteries that last longer and producing more realistic vapour and smoking sensation when inhaled and an even better taste. While there is still a huge debate with regards to the health benefits of electronic cigarettes, there has been a consensus that e-cigs contain far less of the dangerous cocktail of carcinogenic chemicals found in regular cigarettes. E-cigarette vapour is primarily water vapour, and as such, it dissipates very quickly and does not leave an unpleasant smell in a room, or on hands or clothes. There is no tar in e-cigarette vapour, which means no more stained teeth and fingers either. It should be made clear that while there has only been a limited amount of recent research into the effects of using e-cigarettes, due to them being such a new technology, the scientific studies that have been conducted so far have shown that the short-term effects of using e-cigarettes are considerably less dangerous than smoking regular cigarettes. We are already well aware of the long-term effects of smoking tobacco cigarettes, and while e-cigarettes are still in their relative infancy, early research shows that if smoking is substituted for vaping there is very significant harm reduction. Naturally not breathing anything in to your lungs other than fresh air is the only 100% guaranteed safe thing to do, but these devices are aimed at smokers and not non-smokers, and in comparison to breathing in the 4000+ harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, it’s clear why these devices are becoming so popular.
So where do you start when it’s all new to you?
For starters, VapingPoint is an excellent Youtube reviewer and vaping expert to watch reviews of items to compare and get up to speed. We’ve also asked Vapourlites.com for some tips if you’re considering the change from smoking to vaping. Vapourlites are the UK’s leading e-cigarette manufacturer and retailer. They offer the complete range of devices, refills and e-liquids and have some excellent resources for people who want to learn more about this fast growing alternative to smoking.
Vapourlites Interview – Vaping Tips for smokers
Where should a smoker start with vaping? VC: It very much depends on the individual as there are several different introductions to vaping and different methods work for different people. For some people having a device which mimics the look and feel of a traditional tobacco cigarette is very important psychologically, and for these there are the ‘cig-a-like’ products. For other people the most important factor is going to be performance. Just how much does this ‘feel’ like smoking?. For this group we’d recommend going straight for a second generation personal vaping device like our eGo 650. They don’t look like a cigarette, but they provide more vapour and a very realistic throat hit – which to some people is very important. They also provide and even better flavour and due to this there is a much wider choice of flavours with the e-liquids than the refills cartomizers for the cig-a-likes. For many people this is actually very important because after a few weeks off of tobacco many people realise just how much the disliked the taste! Are there any stumbling blocks with vaping? VC: Good question. It can be tricky to decide which nicotine strength you need at first. Nicotine uptake through vaping is different to smoking and the hit isn’t as instant. We have found that it often depends on how much the person previously smoked. If you’re a 20 a day smoker then you probably want a higher nicotine strength, most likely 18mg. If you’re a 5 a day a 10mg would suit you more adequately. Remember to keep a charger or a spare battery with you when you’re out and about. It is very frustrating to be out of power and increases the urge to cave in and buy a packet of cigarettes. But the biggest problem by far is quality. Poor quality devices are not effective and can really put you off. This is why we have made central to our products that of all of our e-liquid used in our devices are 100% produced and manufactured in the UK using only the highest pharmaceutical grade ingredients. Vapourlites can show a MSDS (material safety data sheet) and certificate of analysis for all of our e-liquids, so you can be sure they are of the highest quality possible. There is the smoking ban. Where can you vape? VC: Vaping is not smoking and so is not covered by the smoking ban, which is why you can often spot people vaping in places where you cannot smoke. Venues such as theatres and cinemas have banned the use of vaping devices for obvious viewing reasons. Public transport may also have banned them – check with your local transport providers to be sure. When it comes to pubs, clubs, shops or any indoor public space please remember it is up to the venue to apply their own rules on vaping. It is not covered by the smoking ban but this doesn’t mean you are automatically given carte blanche to vape anywhere. Generally speaking, vaping outdoors is no problem, but if you are inside we always encourage vapers to be responsible and check with the venue staff. You’ll be surprised at how many places are completely fine with it! The path to quitting smoking is infamously difficult, but electronic cigarettes may prove to be the most effective. Hopefully this will clear up some of the mist around e cigarettes and if you’re a smoker encourage the change.