A lot of people have never even heard of an e cigarette, but these electronic devices are getting a lot of attention world wide. Touted by many as being safer than tobacco products, the battery-powered smoking tubes are catching on in many areas and banned in others.
An electric cigarette consists of several parts, which can be assembled, replaced, and refilled. At one end is the mouthpiece, also called the cartridge. This part holds a liquid that contains flavor and may or may not contain nicotine. There are over thirty flavors, and the user can choose the level of nicotine, from zero to low, medium, high, and extra high. Cartridges can be refilled or replaced when the liquid, known as e juice or e liquid, is depleted. Cartridges last for about eighty to one hundred puffs, depending on the depth of the inhalations, which is similar to eight or ten regular cigarettes.
The atomizer, which is also the battery, heats the liquid to a vapor, which gives the physical sensation of smoking without any kind of fire or actual burning. Many users say the taste is just like smoking tobacco. The vapor does not linger in the air like smoke, and it has no odor to permeate clothing or the interiors of automobiles and houses, and will not cause ‘smoker’s breath’.
At the end of an e cigarette is a LED light, which glows red when air is pulled through the device. Automatic cigarettes cause the atomizer to heat up when the air flows through, while manual ones have a power button which activates the heating unit and that the smoker presses while inhaling.
There are many companies that manufacture and sell these smokeless cigarettes online; some refuse to sell nicotine cartridges, while others sell them in different doses. The FDA of the United States, where these products are just beginning to become popular, has categorized them as drug delivery devices, and the agency is in the process of deciding if they will be approved for sale in the country. Currently the sales are not restricted nationwide, although some individual states have banned their use in public, just like tobacco products.
Many claim that the electric cigarettes are safe to use, since they do not burn tobacco and have none of the tars and other harmful chemicals of regular cigarettes. A demonstration of blowing smoke through a tissue, with a resulting brown stain, and vapor, which leaves no trace, seems to support the claim that the e cigarettes are cleaner. Certainly there are no messy ash trays or butts with the electronic variety.
Some models look just like a regular filter cigarette, while others make no bones about being new and different, coming in bright colors, classic black, or gleaming stainless steel. LED lights on the ends mimic a glowing ember, and there is either a button to press while inhaling to activate the vapor action or a sensor to automatically trigger the heat when air is drawn into the device.
Smoking in the twenty-first century can have a whole new meaning with the advent of the e cigarette.