Electronic cigarettes usage is growing rapidly across the world. In the UK alone it is thought that over two million people are now using them. But what exactly are electronic cigarettes?
They are battery powered devices which heat a water-based e-liquid inside the device until it reaches the correct temperature to vapourise. This vapour is then inhaled and exhaled by users in a similar way to smoking. The e-liquid vapour has an appearance similar to smoke meaning they can sometimes be mistaken for tobacco cigarettes. The e-liquid used in electronic cigarettes is available in a range of flavours and nicotine strengths giving users a nicotine hit when they vape.
E-cigarettes contain much lower levels of nicotine than cigarettes and there is also no burning of tobacco or tar. They release significantly less of the known harmful chemicals produced when smoking. The vapour released is odourless and doesn’t stain anything yellow like tobacco smoke. Available as disposable models that you simply dispose of when they are empty, to rechargeable and refillable models there is a huge range of electronic cigarette devices.
The very first e-cigarette is believed to have been invented over 10 years ago back in 2003 by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik. A heavy smoker Hon wanted to create an alternative to smoking; he created the first generation device and soon began exporting the devices overseas. 2005 saw the first devices go on sale in the UK followed in 2007 by their introduction in the US. With celebrities from Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Moss to Samuel L. Jackson and Katherine Heigl who even vaped live on the David Letterman show using them e-cigarettes seem to be everywhere.
The industry has seen huge growth with new brands launching seemingly overnight. UK based e-cigarette company Intellicig have created their own brand of e-liquid called ECOpure which is one of the purest e-liquids available. In a recent survey they were found to be the ‘cleanest sample’ out of those tested. Using only ingredients sourced within the EU all electronic cigarettes from Intellicig contain ECOpure.
A number of ‘vaping’ bars have started appearing in locations across the globe as the popularity of e-cigarettes continue to grow and more people are switching from cigarettes to electronic cigarettes. Heathrow Airport in London has even launched a vaping lounge for passengers.
There has been much debate and press around e-cigarettes and whether they should be regulated in the same manner as traditional tobacco cigarettes. Currently regulation varies with some countries banning their use in public places and in the US legislation on vaping varies across states. In the UK e-cigarettes are not affected by the smoking ban as they do not contain tobacco. This means you can legally use them indoors.
Whilst they might be a hotly debated topic there is no denying they provide an alternative for smokers and it looks unlikely that they will be disappearing anytime soon.
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Hi Larry, interesting article. I think at this stage even the vaping community would welcome sensible regulation of the ecig industry. There is just too much uncertainty at the moment.
Healthcare professionals acknowledge e-cigarettes are much healthier if compared to a tobacco cigarette, but it must be a quality device. E-cigarettes will be regulated at some point and then it will be even safer to switch to vaping.