Need a little primer on how e-cigarettes work? Here, we look at 10 facts that help to demystify the industry at large.
1. There’s no need to light them.
Unlike traditional tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes operate by way of lithium batteries. That means no lighters, no flame and no actual smoke. It also means no unpleasant cigarette odor.
2. The cloud is actually aerosol.
Despite the fact that it looks like smoke, the cloud emitted from an e-cigarette is actually an aerosol. Think of it like the machines that generate “smoke” at concerts; a warming device heats the liquid that contains the flavor and nicotine and then releases vapor from the tip.
3. There are lots of choices for nicotine levels.
Here’s another way that e-cigarettes outpace tobacco products: You can choose the level of nicotine that works for you. Some vapers even use e-cigs that contain no nicotine at all.
4. They’re intended for adult smokers.
Though you’ve certainly heard stories of e-cigarette brands gearing items to teenagers, the reality is that most companies take precise measures to keep minors from purchasing the products. White Cloud has actually been leading the charge in that area; read more about our efforts to avoid selling to those who are underage.
5. They aren’t FDA regulated…yet.
The Food and Drug Administration has been regulating tobacco products since 2009, but it was only in 2014 that the agency created a set of proposals for the regulation of e-cigs, in accordance with the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. That said, in absence of official FDA rulings, many e-cigarettes brands have been regulating themselves for years in an effort to advocate for product safety and age restrictions.
6. We do actually know what’s in them.
While some argue that e-cigarette ingredients are a mystery, several studies have examined exactly what’s in the e-liquid – a list that White Cloud has been disclosing from the start – and what happens when that e-liquid is vaporized. The results? Because e-cigs are vaporizing a liquid and not burning tobacco, they do not produce the same harmful and potentially harmful constituents found in traditional cigarette smoke.
7. They’re less addictive than tobacco cigarettes.
According to a recent study by the Penn State College of Medicine, e-cigarettes create no more user dependence than nicotine gum or patches. What’s more, the study also found that only 25 percent of vapers deal with irritability between puffs; this is in contrast to the 90 percent of smokers who report feeling anxious without cigarettes.
8. The formaldehyde study was mischaracterized.
Earlier this year, the media had a field day with reports that e-cigarettes contained a larger amount of formaldehyde than even regular cigarettes. What was underplayed, of course, is that those chemicals were detected only when the liquid was vaporized at an extremely high voltage that e-cigs are not intended to operate at and that most vapers wouldn’t even approach. At the normal, far less extreme, level that these devices are meant to operate at, the formaldehyde simply wasn’t there.
9. People do use them to give up smoking.
Though e-cigarettes aren’t an FDA-approved cessation method, some vapers have reported incredible success with the ability to quit using traditional cigarettes all together and even step down nicotine levels, or quit entirely. A recent Italian study supports this claim; researchers found that smokers who switched to e-cigs were more likely to reduce or halt their tobacco consumption.
10. The world is still nervous about them.
We may spend countless hours poring over studies and conducting our own research to prove that e-cigarettes are a completely viable and significantly safer alternative to tobacco, but the non-vaping universe isn’t entirely convinced. That’s why we advocate for being respectful of indoor-vaping bans and local laws; until the rest of the world fully understands what we already know, it’s important to not add more fuel to the fire.