Electronic cigarettes have only been available for a few years, but they already have several million users worldwide. They are very popular among smokers who are concerned about the health problems associated with tobacco, and are used as either a smoking cessation aid or a low risk way of smoking. “Smoking” an electronic cigarette is more commonly referred to as vaping, as they emit vapor rather than real smoke.
How Does An Electronic Cigarette Work?
There are a few different kinds of e-cigarette, but essentially they all function in the same way. The mouthpiece is connected to a cartridge – which may be either disposable, replaceable or refillable – and which contains nicotine. This is mixed with a solution of water and propylene glycol.
To create a nicotine infused vapor, the eliquid must be heated. This is done with an atomizer, which is powered by a battery. When the vapor is expelled, the user inhales it in the same way in which they would inhale cigarette smoke. Most of the nicotine in the vapor is taken into the bloodstream through the soft tissue in the cheeks.
Electronic cigarettes have been shown to be an effective way to provide an alternative source of nicotine, in people who wish to quit using regular cigarettes. However, the hit which e-cigarettes provide is smaller and it takes longer to feel the effects. This is because smoke is absorbed quicker and more easily by the lungs, so the impact is much more instantaneous.
Are Electronic Cigarettes Subject To Regulation?
At present, there is very little in the way of regulation when it comes to electronic cigarettes. This can worry people, because they are not sure if they can trust what they are putting into their bodies.
Although there is little data available on the long term effects of vaping, many scientists agree that there is no reason to be concerned. The primary problem associated with regular cigarettes is that the tobacco contains several chemicals which are highly carcinogenic for both the smoker and any bystanders. Nicotine does not have a similar impact on a person’s health.
Any requests to regulate electronic cigarettes have so far been rejected because there is no evidence that they are harmful. At present, e-cigarettes are still permitted in the majority of public venues because there is no second hand smoke and therefore no risk to others.
Can They Really Help You To Stop Smoking?
Not everyone uses e-cigarettes with the intention of quitting smoking altogether, but it is a motivation for many people. Studies are still ongoing into how effective they are as a cessation method, but the results so far have been mostly encouraging. At the very least, they are as effective as other methods such as nicotine patches. Some studies have shown dramatic improvements in the number of people who were able to quit.
Electronic cigarettes can be a safe and effective alternative if you wish to reduce the number of regular cigarettes that you are smoking. Speak to your doctor for more advice on quitting.