E-Cigarette vs. Traditional Cigarette

Posted in Health on October 31st, 2014
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Electronic cigarettes started appearing in mass production in recent years, and many manufacturers have promoted their products as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes that contain tobacco, which can cause lung cancer. The World Health Organization, however, has a different opinion. There are still many questions in the production of electronic cigarettes, from its ingredients to safety and chemicals used. So how does an electronic cigarette differ from a traditional one? Which one should people use?

Traditional Tobacco Cigarette

e-cigratteA tobacco cigarette has been the cause of many lung-related diseases. It is also more expensive the electronic cigarette, because each traditional cigarette is disposable. Because nicotine is one of its ingredients, it becomes highly addictive for users. Cigarette smoking produces distinctly bad breath and yellow teeth, due to the tar and tobacco.

E-Cigarette

An e-cigarette, ideally, costs less than the traditional cigarette. A starter kit for a firs time e-cigarette user ranges from $40-$150, which already includes an electronic cigarette, a charger, and a few cartridges.

In 2003, the first person to develop and subsequently manufacture an electronic cigarette was Han Lik, whose father died of lung cancer. Lik was a pharmacist and a smoker, so he designed a smoking device that will not make use of carcinogenic chemicals used in traditional tobacco cigarettes.

The e-cigarette, instead of using tobacco, makes use of the e-liquid, which is converted into the vapor that is inhaled by users. What makes e-cigarettes so appealing to cigarette smokers is the wide variety of features available to them. Traditional cigarettes have limited flavors, ranging from ordinary to menthol. The electronic cigarette, however, offers as low as 250 flavors from chocolate to soda.

The e-liquid, which is the most important part of the e-cigarette, is composed of many ingredients that vary depending on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers include nicotine, while others produce an e-liquid that is nicotine-free.

This is usually what e-cigarette promoters advocate in regards to the e-cig being a way to ease smokers away from addiction to cigarettes.

The e-cigarette uses a charger similar to the ones used in mobile phones. It can also be charged in laptops. Although it is easy to use and recharge, there have been a few instances of e-cigarette explosions. Most of the e-cig users were charging their electronic cigarettes through their laptops when an explosion happened. A man even had third-degree burns when he connected his e-cig to his laptop through a USB port. Manufacturers of e-cigs caution that, although they use the same kind of charger with other mobile devices, e-cigs have more sensitive lithium batteries that will not be able to take overcharging well.

The e-liquid used in an e-cigarette contains many chemicals like vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG), which produce the flavor in the vapor. This is what draws some users – the sweet taste of the smoke that hits the back of their throat.

Although e-cigarettes are promoted to being a healthier alternative to dangerous traditional cigarette-smoking, many health experts have expressed concern that the chemicals used in the e-liquid might be toxic or can cause addiction, even without the nicotine.

In the end, the choice depends on the user, although health institutions heavily urge that smoking, using any device, should either minimized or avoided at all costs.

The e-cigarette may seem healthier, but the World Health Organization and the US FDA have both expressed that the lack of extensive study on e-cigarettes makes this innovation a risk at the very least. Manufacturers have to register their products and undergo testing by the FDA if they wish to sell their wares in retail stores or online.