An e-cigarette, or electronic cigarette, is a small battery powered device that delivers a nicotine and propylene glycol liquid solution in a vaporized form when inhaled air activates an atomizer. It does not contain the substances commonly found in regular cigarettes such as tobacco, tar and other cancer causing carcinogens. They do not involve flames or smoke. Because of these substantial differences between electric cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes, some smokers have opted to buy electric cigarettes instead.
But what are the health and safety benefits and disadvantages? One of the most obvious benefits of electronic cigarettes is that they lack of an actual flame. Every year, almost 1,000 smokers and non-smokers are killed in home fires caused by cigarettes or other smoking materials. If you remove the factor of fire, which e-cigarettes do, the lives of smokers and their families will be much safer. Where there is no fire, there is no actual smoke as well. That removes the health risk of second hand smoke inhalation, which is the cause of many illnesses for individuals that have been exposed to the smoke of cigarettes in workplaces, homes and public places that allow smoking. Because of the risk of second hand smoke, many public establishments have banned smoking. This has left smokers feeling ostracized and segregated. But e-cigarette users do not usually experience this because they are not technically smoking; they are merely inhaling a vapor. When the vapor is exhaled it leaves no smell, and dissipates harmlessly into the air within seconds. Electronic cigarettes can also be easily found online at reasonable prices, made by such quality American-based companies as NJOY, which is the first distributor of E-cigarettes in the United States.
As with any inhaled foreign substance there are certainly risks and disadvantages. E-cigarettes can not officially be called healthy because users are still ingesting nicotine, an addictive chemical. But they can opt to use the zero nicotine cartridges that can be supplied with the electronic cigarettes, a feature not available with traditional cigarettes. And there is something to be said for ingesting basically just nicotine instead of a combination of nicotine, tobacco, tar, arsenic, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, which are all produced in regular cigarettes by means of combustion.
Just like conventional tobacco cigarettes, since electric cigarettes contain an addictive substance, they are neither sold nor marketed towards underage individuals. In most countries, steps such as requiring valid identification or special cards before purchasing e-cigarettes have even been taken to ensure that e-cigarettes are not readily available to individuals that are not old enough to purchase tobacco cigarettes either. Much like conventional tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes are sold in the United States only to those over the legal age limit. These precautions are, of course, for the protection of youths.
Even though there is still much controversy surrounding the selling and use of electronic cigarettes, the benefits of considering them as an alternative are clear. And really, don’t adults who have already chosen to continue to smoke despite the health warnings and concerns deserve an option with distinct advantages? It is not for anyone else to make this decision for the smoker. After weighing all options, researching and reading electronic cigarette reviews, each individual must decide if, for them, the benefits of e-cigarettes outweigh the risks.