According to one extensive study, e-cigarettes are 95 percent safer than paper cigarettes. Of course, since combustible cigarettes are arguably one of the most dangerous consumer products that are currently available, that statistic may not say too much.
Nevertheless, the safety factor is an important consideration. Moreover, because e-cigarettes release no offensive odors, a vaper often feels like less of a social pariah than a smoker. Cost is still another benefit, as that same report also concluded that vaping is 40 percent cheaper than smoking.
The bottom line is that vaping is probably a good alternative for a number of people. Maybe you want to quit smoking but have been unable to kick the nicotine or oral fixation habit, maybe you want to enjoy a cigarette but don’t want to enjoy it alone, or maybe you just want to try it to see what everyone is talking about.
How It Works
Despite the name, there is nothing “electronic” about e-cigarettes. Instead, the “e” probably stands for “easy,” because they are so easy to use.
But first, it’s important to understand how they work, because the mechanism is critical to the safety factor. Paper cigarettes use fire to burn tobacco leaf, paper, and other ingredients, whereas e-cigarettes use batteries to heat a liquid. So, paper cigarettes release toxic smoke and e-cigarettes release odorless vapor.
There are basically two types of e-cigarettes: small, thin, and disposable ones that look very much like paper cigarettes, and larger ones — about the size of a fountain pen — that are customizable. The latter models are sometimes called starter kits.
Both are powered by a battery that is probably lithium-ion, so it is very compact and powerful.
Smaller e-cigarettes obviously have smaller batteries, and the larger starter kits have much larger and more powerful batteries. Partly due to the size, there are scattered reports that these larger e-cigarettes are prone to explosion, but statistically, such incidents are very, very rare (about twenty-five in five years, according to one source). Nevertheless, use caution. Avoid extreme temperatures and prolonged usage, and do not take the battery out of the e-cigarette, because that may cause it to short out.
E-cigarettes heat eliquid to produce vapor. The vapor is not completely safe, because it may contain formaldehyde and some other hazardous chemicals. Vaping critics repeatedly and loudly point out this danger.
Flavoured e-liquids, like chocolate and vanilla, are also controversial, as some claim that these e-cigarettes are marketed at children. These flavours are also one of the things that makes these products so popular, because vapers can customize the experience by mixing and matching e-liquids and also trying new flavours.
There is an awful lot of sound and fury about e-cigarettes, so the best thing to do is to try one out for yourself. You’ll almost certainly find that it exceeds your expectations and meets your lifestyle needs.