E-Cigarettes and Their Benefits
E-cigarettes are battery operated devices that deliver nicotine in the form of a vapour. E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in cigarette smoke. However, e-cigarettes typically contain other cancer-causing chemicals, and the long-term health effects of their use are unknown.
E-cigarettes have been in development since the 1960s and were first patented by Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist in 2003.
Electronic cigarettes and their liquid solutions are often referred to as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS), e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vaporizers, or vapes.
The main components of an e-cigarette are a mouthpiece, a cartridge (tank), a heating element/atomizer, a microprocessor, a battery, and possibly a LED light on the end.
When activated by the user inhaling through the mouthpiece, the heating element atomizes the liquid solution. The user then inhales the resulting aerosol or vapor (called vaping).
e-cigarettes use cartridges filled with nicotine mixed with chemicals that turn into vapor when heated. They mimic cigarettes in appearance and go by many names including e-cigs, vapes and mods.
Proponents of e-cigarette argue that they can potentially help smokers quit or reduce their tobacco use by providing lower levels of nicotine than regular cigarettes. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support this claim.
The use of E-cigarettes is sometimes called vaping, and products on the market are known by a variety of names, including e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vapes and tank systems.
Many people now use E-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking regular cigarettes. A person who uses e-cigarettes is called a vaper instead of a smoker.
According to Public Health England (PHE), more than half of those who have tried an e-cigarette have done so to help them quit smoking, while one in 20 adults in Great Britain currently uses e-cigarettes.
And Public Health Wales (PHW) says there is no evidence that e-cigarettes encourage smokers to start smoking or that they lead children to take up tobacco products.
However, PHW does say there is a lack of evidence about how safe e-cigarettes are for long-term use.
The charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) estimates that there are 2.6 million people using e-cigarettes in Great Britain. The majority of those are existing or ex-smokers, while around 10% have never smoked before.
- They produce less odour than cigarettes and help smokers avoid offending non-smokers
- They provide an alternative to smoking bans
- They are cheaper than cigarettes (depending on the brand)
- They come in an assortment of flavours
- They offer a way to cut down on smoking
- E-cigarette technology is evolving as manufacturers attempt to create products that deliver more nicotine with less vapour, which will reduce the problem of passive vapour exposure to bystanders