What are electronic cigarettes and how do they work?by CanadaEcigs.ca on 11/11/13
Canadian goverment officials attack electronic cigarettes, claiming that they are unsafe and their risks are up to par with tobacco smoking. The fact of the matter is that it is simply untrue. But in order to understand why, we must understand the anatomy and the science behind the electronic cigarette.
The anatomy of an electronic cigarette may seem like a complex mystery, but when broken down, is very simple. There's a battery that's tucked away inside a casing, where a removable heating coil screws onto the battery. This removable heating coil is known as an atomizer, which is responsible for turning the flavored liquid (known as e-juice or e-liquid) into a gas/vapour once activated, thus, creating the water vapour that makes electronic cigarettes so popular.
The anatomy and functionality of an electronic cigarette is very similar to how a computer works; the atomizer and the battery are the "hardware" and the e-juice is the "software" that utilizes the hardware and creates the functional experience.
In most cases, e-juice or e-liquid contains nicotine, and the vapour is created to mimic the appearance of smoke, which the user will inhale, making e-cigarettes a much safer and smoke-free alternative to smoking by creating a satisfying smoking experience without the negative effects of tobacco like disease, tar, filth, yellow teeth, and the other deadly consequences of smoking traditional cigarettes.
There are many shapes and sizes to electronic cigarettes from the traditional cigarette shape, to pipes, boxes, tubes, and more. There are also varieties to atomizers from "dripping units" to clearomizers, cartomizers, and tanks that can hold more e-juice. Drip tips, which are the mouthpieces for the atomizer, also come in a wide range of choices such as metal, glass, acrylic, etc. and can range in appearance from simple to elaborate decorations. Regardless of fancy designs or complex functions, when it all comes down to it, electronic cigarettes are an atomizer with a battery to enable it to vaporize e-juice, which contains only four ingrediants; vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), flavoring, and nicotine.
These ingredients are no stranger to the human body. VG and PG are already found in numerous foods and beverages, and they are also used to create the fog you may see in theaters and haunted houses (or wherever else you may see theatrical fog). There have been numerous studies on these materials. For example, studies have indicated that there are no serious concerns in the inhalation of vaporized VG. Also, studies in the inhalation use of vaporized PG go back to the 1940's indicated no serious concerns. In fact,asthma users will already be familiar with PG, as it is used in asthma inhalers to carry the medicine to the person's lungs.
Nicotine has not been exempt from being examined, as the risks of use have been studied for decades. The long known fact of the matter is that the risk for nicotine users through cigarettes and electronic cigarettes have been compared with risk of caffeine consumption at a similar level, and the result is that there is virtually no risk.
Regardless how many ways that PG is used safely, including inhalation uses, Health Canada has attacked e-cigarettes by issuing a deceptive "advisory" in 2009 stating that, "...the inhalation of propylene glycol is a known irritant."
What does that even mean? It doesn't mean much, since VG and PG are humectants, meaning that they draw moisture to themselves. So for someone who frequently vapes will drink more water to avoid this "irritation" which is really a mild dehydration. If we're to compare risks, it seems as though dealing with mild dehydration is not as serious as the deadly risk factors from cigarette smoking.
There really isn't any credible nor conclusive scientific evidence that proves that inhaling vaporized e-juice from an e-cigarette is any riskier than the average consumption of caffeine. There have been numerous, on-going observational studies occurring with millions of e-cigarette users over the last five years all over the world. These observational studies indicate that the risks of e-cigarettes are at about the same as typical caffeine consumption...meaning that once we get to the heart of the matter, the risks are minor when compared to smoking tobacco.