The first electronic cigarettes were pondered way back in the 1960's, as evidenced by an archived, little-known diagram penciled by an inventor named H. A. Gilbert. However, it took almost 4 decades for technology to catch up with the human imagination. It wasn't until a few years into the new millennium that Hon Lik, a pharmacist from China, found a way to deliver a safe, smoke-like mist using a portable device while maintaining the illusion of a real cigarette.
Thus e-cigarettes came into being. An electronic cigarette is simply a tube, a mouthpiece, a heating element, and some circuitry attached to a battery pack. When a person draws air through the mouthpiece, a smartchip within the device senses the inhalation and activates the heating coils (called the
), so there's no need to continue buying lighters or matches. The coils get hot enough to vaporize a solution that's inside a cartridge in the mouthpiece, which produces a flavored mist. There are some exotic e-cig flavors, but many companies do their best to emulate some of the more popular cigarette brands. Therefore, smokers don't have to completely give up the taste of their favorite tobacco blends.
The liquid mixture itself is mostly a low-toxic, organic compound called propylene glycol, which has already become a fixture in modern foods and medicines. In e-cigarettes, it's often mixed with a trace amount of nicotine to help smokers who are trying to quash their cravings. Blends can also be purchased free of nicotine for those trying to quit cold turkey. An e-cig cartridge typically produces enough mist to simulate an entire pack of traditional cigarettes, and cost about one-half as much. A starter kit for new users of e-cigarettes can dent the wallet to the tune of more than a $100 dollars, but the most basic kits can be bought with an investment as small as $30. In the long term, electronic cigarettes should save a former smoker a boat load of cash.
E-cigarettes run on batteries, so it's a good idea to buy more than one. Fortunately, the batteries are rechargeable. With two, however, you can make sure you always have one charging in case you need to juice your device on short notice. Though they are motorized, electronic cigarettes make almost no noise, so it's easy to use them anywhere without causing undue attention. Since the vapor released is non-toxic and odorless, those in proximity can't complain about the dangers of second-hand smoke or an offensive, lingering smell. Most areas that have banned regular cigarettes have no laws in place to govern electronic cigarettes, so they can be enjoyed almost anywhere.
Tobacco products have been associated with a myriad of diseases and major health problems. Why not make the switch? Try an e-cig! Over 500,000 people use them on a regular basis, and they are generally endorsed by the vast majority of the medical community as a safe and clean substitute for smokers.