What Is Electronic Cigarette?
The Electronic Cigarette, (often called "e-cigarette" or "e-cig") is an amazing new gadget which offers smokers a healthier, cheaper alternative to cigarettes. The Electronic Cigarette allows the smoker to "go through the motions" of traditional cigarette smoking without the major risks associated with smoking and tobacco use in general.
The Electronic Cigarette smoker can inhale and exhale simulated "smoke" (actually vapour) which tastes & feels just like real smoke! Nicotine is carried by this vapour to the lungs, giving immediate satisfaction and eliminating cravings.
How Does It Works?
The Electronic Cigarette or "e-cig" looks like a normal cigarette. The mouthpiece contains a replaceable cartridge filled with liquid. The main substances contained in the liquid are nicotine and propylene glycol.
The Electronic Cigarette uses a rechargeable battery as its power source. The Electronic Cigarette does not create smoke, but a vapor acting like smoke. After using the Electronic Cigarette your mouth and clothes do not have the familiar cigarette smell, while the smoking experience is almost as real.
The addition of propylene glycol to the liquid within the Electronic Cigarette's cartridge makes the vapour mist produced better resemble cigarette smoke. It not only simulates smoke but also the temperature of cigarette smoke.
When air flows through the Electronic Cigarette, it is detected by a microprocessor. The microprocessor then activates an atomizer which injects tiny droplets into the air flow. This results in a vapour mist which is inhaled by the user.
What is in the Cartridge?
The base liquid of the cartridge is a mixture of liquid-nicotine, tobacco extract flavourings and Propylene glycol. The liquid contains no harmful chemicals, unlike a typical tobacco based cigarette.
What powers the device?
A rechargeable lithium battery powers the device.
E-Cigarette - the benefits:
The Electronic Cigarette not only helps the user to regulate their nicotine intake, and creates a vapour resembling smoke, but it also looks like a cigarette; thereby helping the user with the psychological and physical habit of holding a regular cigarette.
The Electronic Cigarette from EcigWarehouse has been awarded EC and RoHS certification as a safe electronic device.
“Also known as propane-1,2-diol, it is an organic compound, usually a faint sweet, odourless, and colourless clear viscous(thick & sticky) liquid that is hygroscopic( absorbs water from the air) and miscible(capable of mixing with water) with water, acetone and chloroform.” Wikepedia 09/08
Propylene glycol is used in the following ways:
Please note this is not a full list, but is of the most common applications.
Propylene Glycol poisoning has apparently only occurred through inappropriate intravenous (straight into the vein) use, or accidental ingestion by children. However, you will need to ingest a lot of propylene glycol to cause harm. “Serious toxicity will occur only at extremely high intakes over a relatively short period of time” www.dow.com 09/08.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated propylene glycol to be “generally recognised as safe.” Wikepedia 09/08.
Propylene glycol shows no evidence of being a carcinogen or being genotoxic.
Propylene glycol can be irritating to some individuals.
The electronic cigarette is a new product, and as yet does not have a data base of clinical trials and evidence as to the long term effects on the smoker.
Nicotine is not a proven carcinogenic, but it is addictive, and in the right quantity is a known poison.
With this in mind, the Royal College of Physicians in London, have stated that the risks associated with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRP) to aid smoking cessation are significantly outweighed by the risks of smoking. The paper further states “While nicotine itself cannot be completely exonerated from causing adverse health effects, it is clear that its direct contribution to tobacco related harm is relatively minor. It is not nicotine itself, but the delivery system – cigarettes are an exceedingly ‘dirty' delivery system.” http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/pubs/books/nicotine8-regulatory.htm Sept 2008.
Nicotine is a naturally occurring substance derived from the tobacco plant “ Nicotania tobaccum” and it is an alkaloid. An alkaloid is an organic compound containing one nitrogen atom in a heterocyclic ring. Some other Alkaloids are: quinine, cocaine and morphine, they have medicinal/poisonous properties. thefreedictionary.com Sept 2008.
Nicotine, when obtained from a tobacco cigarette is distilled in the burning tobacco, and small droplets of tar containing nicotine are inhaled into the lungs. Due to the acidity of cigarette smoke, the nicotine is absorbed in to the lungs, unlike with pipes and cigars, that are less acidic, and the absorption of nicotine starts in the mouth. With cigarettes, the nicotine enters the blood stream and reaches the brain in about 10 seconds.
Tolerance to the toxic effects of nicotine such as nausea rapidly develops and persists. Some of these toxic effects are:
Nicotine is metabolised mainly in the liver, but also to a lesser degree in the lungs and brain.
Nicotine is known to raise blood pressure and increase the heart rate, at the same time reducing the coronary blood flow, just when it is needed most; (the heart is pumping faster – needing more oxygen, yet at the same time less blood and oxygen are getting through). Nicotine differentially affects blood flow to different organs – vasoconstriction (less flow) to the skin, and vasodilatation (more blood flow) to muscles. (Benowitz 1982). Nicotine also increases the metabolism, and generally smokers weigh 4kg less than non smokers. (Perkins 1992).
Two clinical trials of nicotine medication in patients with coronary artery disease, used transdermal NRT to aid smoking cessation – they have found no evidence that nicotine is injurious. (Joseph 1994). What was more interesting is that many of the participants continued to smoke, so they had nicotine from both the patches and the cigarettes!
Nicotine is classed as addictive because it fulfils the following criteria:
Benowitz NL, Jacob P 111, Jones RT, Rosenburg J. Interindividual variability in the metabolism and cardiovascular effects of nicotine in man. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1982: 221:368-72.
Joseph AM, Norman SM, Ferry LH, Prochazka AV, et al. The safety of transdermal nicotine as an aid to smoking cessation in patients with cardiac disease.
Palmer KJ, Buckley MM, Faulds D. Transdermal nicotine. A review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic efficacy as an aid to smoking cessation.
Perkins KA. Metabolic effects of cigarette smoking. J Appl Physiol 1992. 72:401-9
Clinical trials have taken place in New Zealand using the electronic cigarette as an aid to smoking cessation, but to date the results have not been published.
We are unaware at present of any clinical trials in the UK with the electronic cigarette.
The Electronic Cigarette, The Law and The User
The Law introduced in the United Kingdom in the Health Act 2006, banned the use of tobacco based cigarettes in public places.
The Act was introduced in response to where tobacco based cigarettes kills over 100,000 people each year in the UK, as lit tobacco produces tar, carcinogens, carbon monoxide and up to 400 other toxic substances.
In Chapter 28 that incorporates the Smoking ban, the definition of smoking is stated as : smoking refers to smoking tobacco or anything which contains tobacco, or smoking any other substance, and smoking includes being in possession of lit tobacco or of anything lit which contains tobacco, or being in possession of any other lit substance in a form in which it could be smoked.
The user of a electronic cigarette device is excluded from this Act as the device contains no tobacco; it is not ignited, and produces no smoke from burning substances.
The electronic cigarette can be used in any location and within any premises that introduced a ban on tobacco based cigarettes with the introduction into Law of the Health Act 2006.