Electronic cigarettes are a phenomenon that is quickly taking over the traditional smoking market.
What are Electronic Cigarettes?
Where did Electronic Cigarettes come from?
Why are they gaining popularity so quickly?
Are they even safer than cigarettes?
We here at Tooter’s Vape Shop hear these questions several times a day, and quite frankly, we love to answer them. These questions are natural, and they indicate to us that that yet another smoker is falling off the “Big Tobacco” bandwagon, most likely, for good!
What Are Electronic Cigarettes?
“Electronic cigarette” “PV” “Vape-Pen” “Mod” “E-cig” and of course “Tooter” are all descriptions of a device that runs on a lithium battery and is generally attached to a resistance coil (think toaster oven) that is submerged in a small tank of nicotine solution (Ejuice, Eliquid). The solution in its purest form is made of three key parts. Nicotine, Carrier fluid or “filler”, and Flavoring. Nicotine itself comes from many sources (66 different species of plants) including Tobacco Leaves, Tomato stems, Eggplants etc. The plants have evolved a natural insect repellent that when ingested by humans produces a calm, relaxing feeling as well as reducing stress, anxiety and even pain. The “carrier” or “filler” solutions are possibly the most controversial and misunderstood part of an “e-cig”.
For the largest majority of Ejuice manufacturers, the carriers are PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerin). The third ingredient in electronic cigarettes is flavoring. Flavoring generally comes from a distillation process not very different from alcohol distillation, or from a steeping method (organic). Some flavors are more popular than others as is the case with anchovies flavor, Ewww… There are very few flavor additives that are not recommended for vaping (an example is Diacetyl/some butter flavors) because it may cause lung inflammation etc. The science of flavor inhalation is definitely considered an emerging science, but for the most part, if you can eat or drink it you can probably flavor your ejuice with the molecules of that flavoring.
The device heats the solution to a range of 145-195 degrees and causes the solution to vaporize in a very efficient way. The byproduct is a water-based vapor that is generally safe to humans and animals nearby as compared to a traditional cigarette (more info below).
Where Did Electronic Cigarettes Come From?
China. That’s the short answer….. lol…
Electronic Cigarettes as they are today were invented and patented in 2003 by Hon Lik, a chinese scientist who worked for Dragon Holdings which later became Ruyan and originally were designed with a ultrasound piezo electronic element as opposed to the resistance element that is commonly used today. The International patent was issued in 2007, well after Ruyan was exporting products in mass quantities and was likely the cause of the market “explosion” of companies cloning and branching out the design of the electronic cigarette to the ever changing designs we see today. Hon Lik has filed several lawsuits against companies for infringement and lives quite a modest life despite the e-cig’s popularity. It’s kind of a sad story.
A fact that most humans aren’t even aware of: The earliest electronic cigarette type device was actually patented in 1927. Not Kidding!!
A man named Joseph Robinson invented and patented a device (Electric Vaporizer) for vaporizing medicines and tinctures way back in ’27. Granted, battery technology wasn’t what it is today but Robinson was close in design to the electronic cigarette. A man way ahead of his time, IMO.
Herbert Gilbert could also be called a contributor to the modern electronic cigarette. In 1963 he invented and patented a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette which contained no nicotine and simply mimicked the traditional cigarette with vapor and a cigarette-like design.
There are tons of pages out there, if you would like study further.
Why are Electronic Cigarettes gaining popularity so quickly?
Nicotine is addictive.
Analog (traditional) smokers are addicted to cigarettes and other tobacco products like no other substance in the history of mankind (except water). That part is easy to see. Companies like Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds have made billions producing a product that people enjoy and can be obtained easily on almost every corner in every town in the world. There is only one tiny little issue. You will probably die if you smoke enough of them.
The electronic cigarette fills a need. Smokers want a way they can enjoy the best parts of a cigarette with less, if any, adverse health effects associated with cigarettes. E-Cigs offer that, and on the other hand, they offer a way out of the addiction to a traditional cigarette if the “Step-Down” method is employed. The popularity is implied.
Are Electronic Cigarettes even safer than a traditional cigarette?
There is a lot of rumor mill type discussion lately about health and risks floating around. Here is my opinion. Big companies hate to fail. They will go out kicking and screaming. Right? well, if I lost 700 million dollars in a year I would notice, and I would be pissed off about it.
Lobbyists, scientists, professionals can be convinced of anything with the right motivation. I thought of something funny. I read this the other day in New York Times…
” A laboratory study presented early this year reported that the nicotine-laced vapor generated by an electronic cigarette promoted the development of cancer in certain types of human cells much in the same way that tobacco smoke does.”
What’s funny? If you choose to read on, you would get a glimpse of the skewed nature of that opening paragraph. Here is another excerpt from the same article:
In the study, researchers modified human lung cells to have specific genetic mutations that are associated with an increased risk for cancer. They then grew the cells in a liquid medium exposed for four hours to the vapor generated by an e-cigarette.
To my untrained ear that sounds like, they took some lung cells and gave them (the lung cells) cancer and then exposed them to E-Cig vapor and then watched for a while and decided the cells exhibited cancer like behavior. “researchers modified human lung cells to have specific genetic mutations“.
I watched a video that got a ton of hits on youtube because it was depicting a girl at a bar near an “Exploding” E-Cig Battery Click Here
Here is another video – spoiler – it’s a guy smashing a cell phone with a hammer until it “explodes”.
Here is a news video about exploding cell phones
The real issue really is battery safety. Don’t charge it on a dashboard in the hot sun or use other chargers that run at a higher voltage. Simple Battery Safety…
Propylene Glycol is GRAS and considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration and The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry and is widely used in all areas of consumption. It has been used in hospitals as an air disinfectant and a component in inhalers since the 1940’s. It has been used as a humectant and preservative in foods, cosmetics, and a multitude of other products. Lower grades of PG are used in industrial applications and offer an environmentally friendly source for lubricants and anti-gelling agents in colder climates.
Vegetable Glycerin is also GRAS and proven safe for human consumption. Vegetable glycerin or vegetable fats are also widely used in everyday products and have many well known uses. As with PG, the secret is in the grade quality of the PG. Some high refining grades are used in food preparation, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, skin lotions, Ejuice, Soaps and tons more. Lower grades of PG can be used for Safer versions of antifreeze, lubricants, humectant, and several other uses.
PG and VG Based Flavorings are also subject to grades and can run the scale from industrial to home use such as soda pop base flavoring vs Watsons Vanilla Extract. Very few edible flavoring molecules have been identified as potentially harmful to inhale or vape. Diacetyl is one of the better known flavors that “may” cause inflammation if inhaled. Tooters Vape Shop has chosen to avoid Diacetyl based flavoring in any way to avoid possible issues.
Nicotine as a pure product is well studied and found to be fairly safe in small, metered doses. Historically Nicotine has not been found to be carcinogenic. In high doses nicotine has a toxic effect on the respiratory and circulatory tract. Nicotine is addictive. Several studies have noted higher levels of ADHD and other birth related issues surrounding Smoking/Vaping while pregnant. Tooters Vape Shop does not condone vaping or smoking while pregnant.
So the question is… Are they Safe?
As compared to any tobacco cigarette with additives like arsenic and nickel and lead and on and on and on.. You can easily say that Electronic Cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes. Any vaper can attest to the difference felt health wise after switching to Electronic Cigarettes.