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Down With Smoke

Written by Stefan Doyno Posted on February 4, 2013

We all know that smoking is a habit that has become increasingly taboo and while many smokers wish they could just quit, it’s a goal that is easier said than done. So, what exactly are electronic cigarettes (or e-cigs) and how do they work? We spoke with a few popular brands on the market to get some answers.

Electronic cigarettes look like the real thing (depending on the style or brand you choose) and emit a pure vapor that contains nicotine. The vapor is produced when the user inhales, causing electricity to convert the nicotine into a pure gas. “The most important benefit is that e-cigs generate no first or second-hand smoke, no tar, and no carbon monoxide,” says V2 Cigs CEO and Co-Founder Andries Verleur. “An overwhelming majority of tobacco related illness and death are caused by the inhalation of smoke, not nicotine.  With e-cigs delivering nicotine in a water vapor instead of smoke, they enable users to enjoy the pleasures of smoking without the harm associated with smoke.”

The inside of an electronic cigarette contains two components: a nicotine cartridge and a battery that powers the process.

Inhaling the e-cig automatically powers up the battery and enables the user to inhale the vapor.

Depending on the particular product, electronic cigarettes are either rechargeable or disposable and each cartridge or disposable device can equal 1-2 packs of cigarettes depending on the strength chosen and how many puffs are taken.

While the FDA hasn’t approved any of the electronic cigarettes on the market, there seems to be positive aspects to switching over to the electronic alternative if you’re a heavy smoker.

Electronic cigarettes are an appropriate option for smokers looking to cut down on the habit and while many restaurants and other venues have banned smoking, some locations are permitting electronic cigarettes. Users can brings electronic cigs on a plane as long as they place the device in their carry-on luggage, but at the present time, users are not allowed to employ the device inside an airplane cabin.

Many have become self-conscious about the stigma and smell attached to being a smoker. Electronic cigarette vapor has no discernible odor, so it shouldn’t bother others around you, and won’t turn your clothing into a scratch n’ sniff item.

NJOY, V2 Cigs and blu eCigs are some of the more popular products on the market right now.  Each of these brands offer rechargeable and disposable versions and have different features and characteristics.

NJOY Kings are a disposable e-cig that offers a similar look, feel, and weight as a traditional tobacco cigarette. NJOY has created a line of flavors and strengths to help convert traditional users – Bold (which contain 4.5 nicotine by volume) , Gold (3.0 nicotine by volume) as well as Bold Menthol and Gold Menthol.

blu eCigs are designed to fit a user’s lifestyle. The company made a decision to use an electric blue LED light instead of a red one to indicate that the smokers is not in fact smoking a traditional cigarette. The brand also has a social media function. The pack vibrates when a user is within 50 feet of another blu “smoker” or when a blu eCig user is close to a retailer.

V2 Cigs offer both automatic and manual battery options, the manual button allows a user to control vapor thickness. V2 has a built in safety feature that will temporarily disable the atomizer when the user has inhaled for more than 10 seconds to prevent overexposure to nicotine. The company also recommends taking at least a 30-minute break after 14-16 deep “puffs”.

Since electronic cigarettes are relatively new to the US market, it is difficult to determine their future with regard to helping smokers reduce or quit traditional tobacco products.

“While we feel electronic cigarettes have great potential to become a cessation device in the future, we do not market our products for this purpose. In relative terms, this is still a very new product on the market, so naturally more extensive research and testing needs to be performed – which we fully support,” said Jason Healy, President of blu electronic cigarettes.

What are your thoughts on e-cigs and have they helped anyone you know kick or reduce the controversial habit? Let us know in the comments section below.