What are e-cigarettes?

slide_3We all know that smoking is bad for us. Time and time again, we are made aware of the fact that smoking causes lung cancer and is dangerous to our health, yet for many people it is not so easy to quit. This is why the e-cigarette has become so popular.

An e-cigarette (electronic cigarette) looks similar to a real cigarette, but works differently. Instead of burning tobacco, the mechanism heats up a liquid. The liquid turns into vapor, which is then inhaled, or "vaped." For this reason, smoking an electronic cigarette is often referred to as ‘vaping’.

The device is battery-operated and can also emit non-nicotine vaporized solutions. The e-cigarette is a great alternative for tobacco smokers who want to avoid inhaling tobacco, as the device creates the same effect as one would attain from a real cigarette, but without the harmful tobacco which causes lung cancer. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals, many of which are hazardous for human health.

The e-cigarette comes with various components, namely the mouthpiece, the atomizer (the heating element), the battery, as well as some other electronic components.
E-cigarettes run on a lithium battery, as well as a vaporization chamber and a cartridge filled with liquid. ( If you are unfamiliar with some of the terms in this tutorial please refer to our Electronic Cigarette glossary)

e-cig-how-it-worksWhen you puff on your e-cigarette as you would a regular cigarette, the battery powers the device to heat the liquid and vaporize it. Another advantage of using an e-cigarette, as opposed to a normal cigarette, is that there's no smoke, no carbon monoxide and no odor so you won’t have to excuse yourself to go smoke outside when you are out at a restaurant. All that you are emitting, is a vapor which can also be flavored .

The electronic cigarette first entered the market in China in 2004. In 2003, Hon Lik, a pharmacist from China invented the device. Golden Dragon Holdings, the company which he worked for, started exporting into major markets in 2005-2006. Golden Dragon Holdings changed its name to Ruyan. E-cigarettes then started appearing in the United States and Europe around 2006 to 2007, but most people had no idea they were around. It is only in recent years that people have really started creating a hype around this alternative to cigarette smoking.

E-cigarettes have taken the market by storm, but there are still debates circling around whether they really are such a safe alternative to cigarettes. The benefits and risks are uncertain, but for now, it seems safe to say that cigarette smokers around the world have switched to ‘vaping’.


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