What Is an "e-cig" or electronic cigarette?
An e-cig is an ingenious electronic device that was invented by a Chinese scientist about a decade ago, that simulates the experience of smoking tobacco cigarettes--but does not produce smoke, so it does not emit dangerous second-hand smoke, emits virtually no odor, but does provide nicotine, the substance which occurs naturally in the tobacco plant, and which in addition to being addictive, provides a "feel-good" effect to smokers.
It is nicotine addiction which plays a large part in a tobacco smoker's difficulty in quitting smoking, even though a smoker desires to quit--but it is not the only reason so many smokers are unable to kick the habit. If nicotine were the only reason that smokers try and fail to quit the habit, most smokers would probably give up the habit, knowing the health dangers the habit causes, lung and oral cancers, heart disease and emphysema among the most widely mentioned, although smoking plays a part in other diseases as well.
Because practically every smoker knows how bad the habit is for them (and the people around them who inhale the smoke) one would think that virtually all smokers would have enough motive to give up their addiction. But nicotine, as I mentioned earlier, is not the only obstacle to quitting. Smoking is a very complex habit--a smoker becomes used to smoking when doing or experiencing many specific things, i.e. when emotionally stressed, when drinking alcoholic beverages, when in the company of other smokers, after a meal, talking on the telephone--the list is almost endless.
All of these triggers have been developed over a long period of time in the long time smoker, and like any habit, the longer one practices it, the harder it is to quit them. This is the reason why so many people who have tried the nicotine patch, gum, and other nicotine replacement products sold by pharmaceutical companies go back to smoking--these products do not address the habits I have described, and because they don't, the smoker is frustrated and starts smoking again.
It is very important to understand that "e-cigs" are NOT sold as a way to quit smoking, rather they are designed to be used by committed smokers who either cannot, or do not want to give up their habit, but hate many aspects of regular cigarette smoking. Like causing second hand smoke for one. Another example is the smell that hangs around a smoker, something the smoker him/herself is usually very aware of, and they know it bothers others, and they feel self-conscious about it. That's not the case with e-cigs. No smoke=no odor=less guilt.
By using e-cigs, the smoker can satisfy both his addiction to nicotine as well as the habit of holding it like a cigarette, puffing like a cigarette, the e-cigarette even produces a vapor that looks and tastes like a cigarette, so most all of the habits that are familiar to the smoker are satisfied.
The smoker, when using the e-cigarette can even choose the level of nicotine in his device--i.e. "high nicotine" medium, low or even zero nicotine if he chooses to eventually wean him/herself off the nicotine completely, but the idea is to provide a way for the smoker to feel like he is smoking, but because the e-cig doesn't burn anything, (it just heats up the liquid) you're inhaling a tiny fraction of the the 5000+ chemicals that burning tobacco creates, of which dozens are KNOWN to cause cancer, thus reducing the harmful effects of smoking.
For more information from Boston University School of Public Health on e-cigarettes see below:
"A study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers reports that electronic cigarettes are a promising tool to help smokers quit, producing six-month abstinence rates nearly double those for traditional nicotine replacement products."
The article can be found here:
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Hi everybody, it's Lenny your friendly e-cig guy, back with a few tips on how to get the most from your e-cigarette.
When we got our first e-cigs, we (hopefully) charged our battery exactly as the manuals suggest, 8 hours for the most popular e-cigs on the market, the model 510, and it's big brother the E-go. This is a very important first step, because charging the battery the first time can affect the performance of the battery during it's lifetime.
After you charge the battery the first time, we recommend that you recharge the batteries for at least two hours, and only when it stops working, when the battery is almost or completely out of power. The two models I mentioned have "smart" circuitry that turns off the battery when it reaches a certain level of power, so it is very easy to know when to recharge.
If you are not getting sufficient vapor, there can only be a few reasons, either the battery is dead or discharged, an atomizer is shot, or you have insufficient juice in your cartridge. To find out if you have a dead atomizer, just try another--if that one works it is the atty that is dead. If not, try another battery and make sure you have enough juice in your cartridge. Never try to modify any of the parts of your e-cigs, they are not designed to be altered, and you could create a fire hazard by doing so.
If you are using cartomizers, the whole idea is to make life simple--the cartomizer combines a disposable atomizer with a cartridge that is pre-filled with juice, and just screws onto your battery-- they're disposable, when it stops producing vapor, you just throw it away. Cartomizers can be topped off with a bit more juice, but that sort of defeats the whole purpose of the convenience of the cartomizer and I don't recommend it. The whole idea with the cartomizer is you don't have to mess with juice if you don't want to.
There is nothing worse than being out with friends and having your atty or battery die, so always carry a spare e-cig with you so you don't end up wishing you did. If you use cartridges, it is a very good idea to keep a small bottle of liquid with you to top off while you're out. If you use cartomizers, keep a charged battery and a spare carty with you.
When you use cartridges, as many people do, including myself, you have the option of filling them with whatever flavor of juice you like. You need only top off the cartridge with a couple of drops of liquid when you run dry every so often, and you can use the average cartridge for a full day, or even two depending on how much you use your e-cig. The filler in cartridges that is used to wick the liquid to the atomizer coil does have a tendency to get hard after a couple of days use, and not work as well, so you will want to replace them every other day. That's no big deal, cartridges are very inexpensive to buy.
Cleaning your e-cigs is very easy to do. I recommend wiping the threads of the atomizer and battery with a paper towel and a little water to remove any dirt that might accumulate on them, to keep the contacts clean, just make sure you dry the wet threads completely before re-using them, and NEVER submerge the batteries in water. If you wouldn't do it to your cell phone, don't do it to your e-cig. To clean the outside of your e-cigs, just wipe them off with a clean dry cloth or paper towel, you can use a small amount of water on the paper towel if you need to remove a stain, but again, never submerge the batteries in water.
That's it for today, thanks for visiting the Smoke-Light.com blog!
Lenny, your friendly e-cig guy