An electronic cigarette (also referred to as an electric cigarette, or e-cig) is a battery-operated device that is designed to deliver a pre determined amount of nicotine and flavor to the user without all of the toxins and harmful ingredients found in a traditional tobacco cigarette. While nicotine gums and patches also supply limited amounts of nicotine to the user, they fail to provide the user with the feel of smoking a cigarette, which is often one of the main factors that keeps the users of these products from actually being able to quit smoking.
While an electronic cigarette is not a device to quit smoking per se, it has been used successfully by many tobacco cigarette smokers to quit. With cartridges available in strengths from 16 mg all the way down to nicotine-free versions, an electronic cigarette user can gradually wean themselves off of the nicotine, while still enjoying the feel and satisfaction of smoking a cigarette. And because there are none of the toxins associated with tobacco, the electronic cigarette is a much healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes.
How does it work?
An electronic cigarette is made up of a battery (either rechargeable or disposable), a cartridge (containing a measured amount of nicotine, flavor and propylene glycol, an FDA-approved liquid used in many foods) and an atomizer (to vaporize the liquid). When the user inhales, the battery turns on and vaporizes the liquid into a water vapor, which is inhaled into the lungs. As the user exhales, the vapor will look similar to smoke, but will dissipate quickly. Because it dissipates so quickly (and contains no actual smoke), there is no second hand smoke.