Electronic cigarettes and shishs, or hookahs, are hot topics right now. Apparently, they allow people to smoke… without actually smoking? They are so popular, in fact, that some of the world’s major cigarette manufacturers have started to develop them as well! It is unlikely that you haven’t heard of electronic cigarettes yet, but the big question is exactly what you have heard. Some, for instance, say that that these devices are the best thing since sliced bread, enabling people to smoke without the nasty chemicals, while at the same time reducing and eventually removing their addiction to nicotine. Others, however, say that they are a way to trick people into thinking there is no danger in smoking, even encouraging young people to reach for them. So who is right? Is there any smoke without fire?
What Is an Electronic Cigarette?
First of all, electronic cigarettes are nothing new. They were originally developed to enable smokers to use a healthier (healthier not healthy!) option and to help them reduce and eventually quit smoking altogether. Basically, they taste like tobacco (or any other flavor you like), contain different levels of nicotine (some even containing no nicotine at all), and they give you a realistic smoking experience.
The Benefits of Electronic Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes have a number of clear benefits:
- They can, with willpower, help someone stop smoking.
- They are available with zero nicotine, so if ex-smokers feel themselves heading towards relapse, they could use those to avoid it, without becoming addicted again.
- They come in lots of different flavors, which means you don’t have to taste tobacco anymore.
- They do not contain any of the thousands of harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, which means they are much safer as well.
- They emit only water vapor and odor from the flavor, which means there is no danger of second hand smoking either.
So What Is the Issue?
Looking at the five benefits above, and there are actually many more, you would think that these cigarettes truly are the best thing since sliced bread, and the whole debate is over. However, if that were the case, then how come you cannot “vape” (as it is known) in restaurants, bars, public places, airport terminals, at work, and so on? There are two main reasons for this:
- E-cigarettes are still relatively new. This means that the long term effects on health, humans, and objects, is simply unknown. While there is little reason to believe that it could be harmful, scientists will not take the chance.
- E-cigarettes have exploded, as have their batteries, sometimes in people’s faces, and other times causing fire.
This last issue is a big one. Luckily, however, it is also one that can be avoided in full. All you need to do is make sure that you only purchase your e-cig, liquids, cartridges, and batteries from the best online headshop, and not from some backstreet street vendor or an unknown online source.