Before looking at the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes, it is important for us to clarify what e cigarettes do and don’t do. Most importantly, until the FDA clears e cigarettes as a smoking cessation device after a lengthy review process, understand that it has yet to be identified as a method for smoking cessation. This is for a few different reasons:
E cigarettes still contain nicotine – therefore, moving from tobacco cigarettes to e cigarettes will still maintain that addiction. For some of us, this is actually the point.
The long term health effects have yet to be identified. It took decades to figure out that there was a relationship between traditional cigarettes and health. It probably won’t take that long to figure out e cigarette’s impact on health, but the official jury is still out.
The FDA must ‘approve’ products before they can claim to be advertised as a smoking cessation device. This process takes time, testing, and quite a bit of money. This is currently being examined given the growing popularity of the electronic cigarette.
That said, even in spite of the FDA’s lack of approval, there are several things which many converted smokers (now “vapers”) consider to be benefits to e smoker kopen. There are a few cons, a couple of which were just mentioned, but compared to traditional cigarettes, it’s virtually a no brainer which nicotine delivery method wins out.
This will obviously vary depending on how many packs of cigarettes you smoke per day, but even if you are a 2.5 pack a day person, it’s likely that you’ll save money by switching to the e cigarette. Assuming you’re looking at more than just your health as a reason to quit traditional cigarettes, this is a pretty compelling aspect of vaping for many of us.
E cigarettes are cheaper because they are (for now) not regulated and taxed like tobacco products. This is because other than nicotine content, they are nothing like tobacco products. The anti-smoking movement will disagree, citing sensationalized stories about exploding e cigarettes, lack of clarity from manufacturers as to ingredients of nicotine fluid, and varied flavors as attempts at marketing to children as proof positive that this product and its promotion are a repeat of tobacco companies’ marketing efforts before their health impact was known.
Presently, however, since government moves at the speed of, well, government, it’s unclear as to how e smoking will be treated in the long term. If common sense wins out, e cigarettes will be treated as something entirely different, both from a health perspective and a financial perspective. So far, there is nothing on the market quite like them.
That said, the costs are so low that many e smoking converts have taken their $4.50 per day habit down to $1 per day. Annually, this works out to over $1200 per year in money saved. But wait, there’s more!
There are no secrets anymore about what is contained in tobacco cigarettes. Chemicals, chemicals, and more chemicals. Carcinogenic chemicals are certainly the ones which get the most attention, and for good reason (because they cause cancer). In cigarettes, there are anywhere between 2000 and 10,000 chemicals in addition to the nicotine – which is unfortunate, considering nicotine is really the only chemical that most of us are interested in consuming.
The big culprit to damaging the respiratory system when smoking traditional cigs is tar. But with a laundry list of substances built into the product, it’s likely that there are others that contribute to difficulty breathing as well. Since there are plenty of writers out there who have done a great job at unveiling the nastiness of tobacco, we’ll leave it at that.
E cigarettes are 100% tar free. Even studies biased against vaping will say that. As a result, smokers converted to vaping will go through a few days of ridding the old stuff from their lungs, and shortly thereafter will notice that they can breathe again the way they haven’t for years. It’s an amazing feeling.
Smell and taste.
As an extension to improved breathing, many vapers have begun enjoying the perks of regained senses of smelling and tasting. This is huge for a lot of us and is nearly reason enough to make the switch. Anyone who has smoked for any extended period of time has probably noticed a degraded sense of smell and an equally affected ability to taste. Once vaping takes the place of smoking, both of these senses return with a vengeance.
As a bonus, not only can you smell and taste again, but the vaper also stops smelling like the proverbial ashtray, and your breath returns to something normal. This is because vapor (and its absence of tar – a very sticky substance) undergoes a completely different chemical process than smoking. As a result, the scent produced by vapor is far weaker and less likely to linger than the odor of cigarettes. Meaning it doesn’t stick to clothes, hair, skin, and everything else it touches. In short, e cigarettes don’t smell bad compared to traditional cigarettes. They smell wonderful, actually.
At this point, there are many academics, politicians, school systems, and general anti-vapers out there with very loud opinions about the ‘evils’ of vaping. And it’s true, there have been several instances of bad things happening with e cigarettes which did not occur with traditional cigarettes. Lithium ion batteries such as the ones e cigarettes used can explode if they are tampered with, used improperly, or made poorly. But so can cell phones.
Here are some of the cons of electronic cigarettes:
New technologies attract new business, new business attracts various competitors trying to make money. Some of these competitors are awful at what they do. They will create the cheapest possible product hoping to make some money and the cheapest possible product will be purchased by consumers who think they are getting a bargain. Unfortunately, without some information about what products are ‘good’ and what products are ‘bad’ sometimes buyers have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. That’s why websites like this one exist – to pull back the curtain as much as possible from one e cig brand to the next to broadcast the good ones and the bad ones.
In such instances, e cigarette companies will purchase or build batteries made in factories with weak quality control systems. This results in inferior products which can be dangerous. Poorly made batteries are definitely a menace in the sense that unstable batteries can explode, but these are the exceptions rather than the norm.
Reputable e cigarette brands are far less likely to be made with lower quality materials in the types of manufacturing environments that produce faulty items. Most of the brands which you’re likely to buy at bottom of the barrel prices (unsurprisingly) are going to be more of a risk than products sold by the larger brands. Be sure to do some research before making the financial dive, but remember that you do get what you pay for, and given the risk involved, a few extra dollars can prevent quite a bit of damage.
Long term effects.
This objection is one of the siren songs for the anti-e cigarette movement. In a nutshell, for those who depend on this as an argument are citing ignorance about the product as being enough to consider it dangerous. Because the long term health effects of inhaling propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG) have not yet been studied due to the youth of the product, it’s assumed that it must be dangerous.
While this is certainly true so far, the alternative for many e smokers is reverting back to cigarettes. The effects of this decision are well studied, well documented, and the reason many vapers became vapers to being with. Most of us are living in societies that have become very comfortable choosing between the ‘lesser of two evils’ and between the two, it’s abundantly clear in the short term and in the long term which is the lesser between e cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes.
That said, there is some merit to this argument, though not very much – because it is one thing for a person voluntarily choose to inhale vapor regularly, it is another entirely to subject someone else to it who is unwilling. In this regard, although the science is beginning to prove that second hand vapor results in no noticeable side effects, it’s often the considerate thing to refrain from exposing e cig vapor to those unwilling to be exposed to it.
One of the last of very few drawbacks to switching to the e cig, you will still be addicted to nicotine if you use this device. It’s fair to say that if you make a full time switch by putting down cigarettes and never touching them again in favor of your e cig, that you have quit smoking cigarettes. The reason for this is simple. “I quit smoking cigarettes” is accurate because e cigarettes are not tobacco cigarettes. There are far too many differences.
If you were to say, “I quit nicotine”, unless you have opted for the non-nicotine fluid/cartridges, this would be patently untrue. The devices are still an efficient nicotine delivery method – for most of us ex-smokers, this is largely the point. The device has all the positive characteristics of smoking (oral fixation, nicotine, taste, the comfort of habit, an element of relaxation, etc) with virtually none of the bad ones (cancer, bad breath, inability to breathe efficiently, hacking and coughing, expense, etc).
E smoking is a cure all solution for those who are willing to invest the time and money and element of discomfort in starting a new, but similar habit that rids the smoker of most of smokings negative traits. But it’s unwise to fool yourself into thinking that the e cig will be easier to quit – it simply isn’t, and it’s not yet designed to do so.
As a result, understand that vaping, for all its merits, is still something of a vice, but it’s one that many of us are finding ourselves to be okay with compared to the traditional cigarette alternative. Time will tell if the anti-smoking movement succeeds in deluding the public into believing that it is the menace they prefer to see it as (just because it looks like smoke does not make it smoke).
For the time being, however, those of us who have discovered vaping to be a option are grateful for it, as there is little contest between the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, and until the unfortunate day of government regulation, we will enjoy it while we can.