By now you’ve likely seen someone “vaping” or sucking away on a metal cylindrical object. Electronic cigarettes are all the rage at the moment. Many a smoker claims it was their electronic cigarette that helped them kick the habit.
So what is it?
An electronic cigarette is, according to local manufacturer Twisp, a tobacco-free vaporizer that mimics the act of smoking but without the smoke, tar or carbon monoxide associated with traditional cigarettes. The gadget is a vaporizer. Instead of burning tobacco it heats up liquid and that liquid turns into vapour which is then inhaled or “vaped”.
You can purchase a host of flavoured liquids – from mint to chocolate or a selection of fruity flavours. Nicotine free liquids are also available and you’re able to “mix and match” to create specific flavours. You could create a chocolate coffee or chocolate mint mix if you wish. You could also mix liquids to slowly ween yourself off nicotine. Steadily increasing the nicotine flavour as you go. This means electronic cigarettes are touted as the a great device to help you stop smoking.
But are they safe?
Now, here is where the Science comes in. Electronic cigarettes are reasonably new to the market so long term health testing results aren’t readily available. Julia Belluz recently wrote an insightful article about electronic cigarettes and the health effects. She notes that most studies on the effects of electronic cigarettes were actually funded by the e-cigarette companies themselves so could be considered biased. Here are a few things we do know, for sure:
There are no long term studies on the health effects of electronic cigarettes.
If you are a smoker an electronic cigarette is probably a better option then the traditional cigarettes BUT the ideal solution would be to stop smoking completely.
If you’re a nonsmoker it is probably in the best interests of your body to stay that way. There is no need to vape and, we still don’t know the long term effects.
What do you say?
The arguments for electronic cigarettes are rather compelling. They’re cheaper then the boxes you’re buying weekly and the awful smoke smell won’t linger on your clothes or in your hair. You also don’t need to be excluded in a group setting and sent outside in the cold because, currently, vaping seems to be allowed in doors (though saying that I do think, out of respect to your peers, you should still vape away from the general public. No one wants a fruity cherry vape filling their nose while they’re enjoying a steak at a restaurant).
Sharon over at Blessed Barenness recently blogged about her success at kicking the smoking habit. She happens to use an electronic cigarette (a Twisp Clearo, actually). According to Sharon she switched to an electronic cigarette to try kick her smoking habit and she says it has helped. She uses nicotine free liquids and says her craving passed within a few days. However, she still has a desire to “do something” (common in most smokers) so she uses her Twisp.
She says her family and friends don’t mind the electronic cigarette and she is no longer isolated or forced to stand outside in the cold because the vapour doesn’t leave an awful odour. It has also worked out cheaper. The initial cost of the device is considerable but from there you only need to purchase the liquid. Sharon uses one bottle of liquid a month and it costs her less than R200, which would be the same cost as around 4 to 5 boxes of ciggies a month.
Do you use an electronic cigarette? Would you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
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