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What Is an Electronic Cigarette?

The electronic cigarette is a non-tobacco product that delivers nicotine to the user via a vapor that is inhaled into the lungs.
Electronic cigarettes are fashioned to look like real cigarettes made from tobacco, many of them consisting of a white cylindrical tube with a brown filter and a red, glowing tip. Contained within is a rechargeable battery, mouthpiece and a heating element.

Instead of tobacco, e-cigarettes, as they are often called, contain a cartridge inside of the mouthpiece that is typically filled with liquid nicotine and other chemicals, including propylene glycol or glycerin. Flavorings such as tobacco or menthol, and food flavors like vanilla and caramel may be added to the nicotine solution. The nicotine in cartridges is available in different strengths, including cartridges that supposedly do not contain any nicotine.

When smokers draw on the business end of the tube, the battery heats the nicotine in the cartridge, creating a nicotine vapor that is inhaled into the lungs. The excess cigarette-like “smoke” vapor is then emitted from the end of the electronic cigarette, completing the cigarette smoking illusion.

Who Invented Electronic Cigarettes?

Next time you see someone smoking in a nonsmoking area and you are just about to ask them to put it out, well here is one reason to do a double check first. An electronic cigarette looks almost exactly like a real cigarette and it is easy to mistake someone using an electronic cigarette for smoking a real cigarette. However, it is actually a battery operated device that allows one to inhale vaporized nicotine and simulates the experience of smoking a real cigarette.


In 1963, Herbert Gilbert patented “a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette”. In his patent Gilbert described how his device worked, by “replacing burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavored air.” Gilbert’s device involved no nicotine, smokers of Gilbert’s device enjoyed flavored steam. Attempts to commercialize Gilbert’s invention failed and his product fell into obscurity. However, it deserves a mention as the earliest patent for an electronic cigarette.
Better known is the the invention of Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, who patented the first nicotine based electronic cigarette in 2003. The following year, Hon Lik was the first person to manufacture and sell such a product, first in the Chinese market and then internationally.

Are They Safe?

Electronic cigarettes are no longer considered a smoking cessation tool as they were once promoted as being. Nicotine is addictive, however, e-cigs do not have the harmful tars that regular commercial cigarettes do contain but unfortunately they might have other harmful chemical ingredients included. Toxic substance found in an examination of e-cigs by the FDA included things like diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in antifreeze.
There is also controversy over how to regulate electronic cigarettes, age restrictions, and if they should or should not be included in smoking bans. Secondhand vapors could be just as bad as secondhand smoke. Some countries have banned the sale and marketing of e-cigs entirely.

In September 2010, the FDA issued a number of warning letters to electronic cigarette distributors for various violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act including “violations of good manufacturing practices, making unsubstantiated drug claims, and using the devices as delivery mechanisms for active pharmaceutical ingredients.”

A Booming Business

If electronic cigarettes do continue to remain legal in the United States and other countries, there are huge profits to be made. According to Electronic Cigarette Brands manufacturers make between $250 million to $500 million estimated annually and while that is a small portion of the $100 billion US tobacco market, a government survey found that 2.7% of U.S. adults had tried e-cigarettes by 2010, up from 0.6% a year earlier, the kind of statistics that potential trends are made of.

The Difference between Normal and Electronic Cigarettes

For hundreds of years, smoking has been a popular habit for many people. Once regarded as something that is healthy and socially acceptable, smoking has been proven to be unhealthy in recent years, being linked to a variety of different diseases and conditions. Thus, many people have been looking for ways to continue their enjoyable habit of smoking, without the associated consequences. Recently, the answer to these people’s question has emerged in the form of The Vapers Knoll electronic cigarettes. You more than likely have heard a thing or two about these modern phenomena, but there is a great deal of information out there that simply is not true. Here is a look at some of the key differences between normal and electronic cigarettes.

The Price

Many people take a quick glance at the price tag on vapor cigarette and they immediately turn away, thinking that they are simply too expensive. It is true that buying the electronic cigarette itself can be a hefty investment, often being worth the same as a large number of regular cigarettes. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that an electronic cigarette that is well maintained can last for years. The liquid that is used in these devices is also much cheaper than normal cigarettes and a single cartridge can be reused multiple times, unlike a normal cigarette which normally needs to be thrown away if you want to stop smoking.

The Chemicals

Even if you are able to save money from using electronic cigarettes, what are you really putting into your body with all of those different chemicals. It has to be a great deal unhealthier than normal cigarettes, which are only tobacco and nicotine. Truth be told, normal cigarettes actually have thousands of different chemicals that give them a variety of different attributes. Electronic cigarettes only have 4 different chemicals, one of which is only used for flavoring.

Is It Really Healthier?

While using vapor cigarette is certainly not the healthiest thing that you can do for your body, it sure does beat out normal cigarettes. You will not have to worry about inhaling smoke, which can greatly damage your lungs. You also do not need to worry about your teeth or finger nails becoming yellow. The chemicals in electronic cigarettes can still do some harm, but this is often minor in comparison to the effects of normal cigarettes.