Everyone has heard about the new stop smoking device known as the e-cig. You see them on TV, the internet and in print. But are they really a safe, healthy and cost effective replacement for tobacco? Sellers and users of this product make many claims of its superiority to cigarettes so let's look a little closer at these claims.
1.) No toxic smoke means the e-cigarette is healthier than tobacco It is true that smokeless cigarettes release no smoke as nothing is burned. They work by using an atomizer to heat a small amount of e-liquid into a vapor for inhalation. E-Liquid is the nicotine containing fluid comprised of nicotine and either propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG) or Polyethylene Glycol (PEG). The problem here is that none of these three chemicals were designed to be heated, vaporized and inhaled. Although they are common chemicals used in everything from food to make-up, there are no studies examining the long term effects of inhaling their vapors. The only thing clear is that there is an absence of smoke (1st and 2nd hand), ashes, carbon monoxide and butts.
Cost To Use E-Cigarette
2.) E-cig is less expensive than tobacco Sellers advertise statistics stating how much you can save using their product. They state you will spend as little as $1.5 for the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes. This, however, is not entirely true. The reason you will save money over tobacco is because the e-cig is refilled with e-liquid when it runs out. E-liquid (aka e-juice) is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased for around $10 for 10ml. Depending on your style of electronic cigarette, it will take between 1 and 3 ml to refill with each fill lasting according to your personal smoking habits. You cannot expect each user to get an equivalent of 1 pack of cigarettes per fill as noted by some sellers. You also need to keep in mind the associated costs of using the device. First, you need to purchase the beginners kit (or starter kit) that costs between $40 and $150 depending on the accessories you need (car charger, usb charger extra batteries etc.). After you buy the initial kit, you will be purchasing e-liquid refills, batteries and atomizers on a regular basis. The amount of e-liquid, batteries and atomizers you need will depend mostly on how much you currently smoke. Light smokers (1 pack/day) may need only 1-2 batteries and 1-2 atomizers per year where a heavy smoker (3-4 packs/day) may require 3-4 times as many batteries and atomizers. Both batteries and atomizers cost about $10 each.
Conclusion: Smoking is a terrible and deadly habit. Anything you do to reduce your intake of tobacco will definitely benefit your health in the long run. The e-cigarette produces no smoke therefore produces none of the toxins associated with cigarettes. On the other hand, it is not FDA approved and very little is known about the long term effects of using this device. It would be prudent to suggest that you consult with your physician before using any type of smoking cessation aid including the e-cig.
When considering cost savings, you need to include the total cost of using this product. E-liquid, batteries and atomizers will need to be replaced on a regular basis and will add considerably to your yearly cost of using ecigs. The more you smoke, the higher your maintenance costs will be. Also keep in mind that all e-cig brands are not created equal. Just like everything else you buy, you get what you pay for. If you are seriously considering this device, you may want to visit a few forums and interact with current users to see if they have recommendations for a well made, long lasting brand.