Electronic Cigarette History
The idea of electronic cigarette was introduced in 1963 by Hilbert. A. Gilbert, a 2-pack a day smoker who then went cold turkey. Hilbert is said to have come up with the first prototypes of the device.
The prototypes were said to be working well but then may be due to lack of information or due to the fact that tobacco was not still not thought of as such a deadly evil back then, the idea was never commercialized.
Electronic cigarette today is considered the invention of Chinese inventor Hon Lik who has in a certain way re-invented this device. The electronic cigarettes in the initial years were sold just in China but then in 2006, e cigarette were introduced in the European market. The major hit, however, came when Americans got their first opening to electronic cigarette which was in 2007 but it was only in 2008 that the e cig industry was actually set up in the US.
Since the very inception of electronic cigarette in US, the device has garnered both positive and negative response. The electronic cigarette in the initial years were still surrounded by myths and bubble, now, of course, people know about these smokeless wonders and millions of people in US alone, use them to better the act of smoking.
What are electronic cigarettes?
Electronic cigarette are battery powered or battery run devices which deliver nicotine to the smokers in a varied amount which can be chosen by the vapor cigarette user. This device can come in 2 piece design or 3 piece designs. The 3 piece design has a battery, an atomizer and a cartridge. The cartridge acts both as a mouth piece as well as a storage space for the e liquid. The atomizer has a heating element which is heated by the battery or power source which is triggered by the intake of breath from the cartridge/mouth piece.
The e liquid here has nicotine in varied amount, Vegetable Glycerin or Propylene Glycol, diluents and flavoring agents. The e liquid is what has the nicotine, when the battery is triggered, it heats the heating element in the atomizer which further heats up the nicotine laced e liquid. The e liquid is vaporized and inhaled by the vapor cigarette user. The user hence gets the required nicotine hit but there is no tobacco burnt therefore no tar is produced and no bad odor as caused by tobacco cigarettes. The electronic cigarettes are much more comfortable and easier to use which is possibly another factor which can reason the growth spurt this industry has seen over the last couple of years.
In the 2 piece design, the only difference is that the atomizer and cartridge are designed as one unit which means we have the battery and the cartomizer (cartridge+atomizer), this design is now used by most of the top e cigarette brands for it ensures no leakage occurs and the design is simpler to use while the e cig as well looks more like the real thing.
E Cigarette Health Risks
When you talk of the good or the bad effects of electronic cigarette, many studies and theories might surface but there is no proven good or bad of electronic cigarettes. The health risks associated with e cigarettes can most likely be the same as associated with the use of nicotine. The tobacco cigarettes have nicotine as the addictive substance but they have a lot more. Tobacco cigarettes when used form over 4000+ chemicals, the tally varies.
Lung cancer which is mostly caused by the use of tobacco is basically caused by the tar that is produced due to burning of tobacco. Tobacco combustion results in accumulation of tar in the lungs which cause the lung cancer, with e cigarettes to a certain extent this can be avoided, since there is no tobacco combustion. When you talk of e cigarette because of its “no tobacco” status, the above mentioned cancer or the problems that arise due to the substance produced due to tobacco combustion can be eliminated. Nicotine poisoning remains one of the crucial health risks, more than a health risk; it is a hazard which is associated with it. Nicotine or any such substance if taken in excess can be deadly which is why e cigarette are not healthy because they still have nicotine.
Electronic cigarette may not be really healthy but these are way better than the conventional cigarettes which are known to kill millions worldwide every year. Electronic cigarette till now have not caused any deaths or medical problems. No hospital has yet recorded a case where a patient has reported of health issues due to e cigarette use. This doesn’t include cases where dogs swallow e liquid or where people forget their e cigarette on charging which might result in the battery to blast.
Studies and Reports on Electronic Cigarettes
The very fact that there is no concrete proof against or in favor of electronic cigarettes is the reason why health authorities around the globe are concerned with what electronic cigarette may or may not do. There are independent studies and reports on electronic cigarette. Some of the studies suggest that e cigarette may work better than nicotine patches like a recent study done by university college London which said that 60% smokers are more likely to quit by using e cigarettes. There are reports which show data which might suggest otherwise like a data sheet released by CDC which has figures to support that more number of teenagers have tried e cigarette now than before, but there was no data that would indicate at a continuo’s use. Minors’ getting lured to electronic cigarette is a concern that most of the health authorities have and electronic cigarette brands are products meant for adults which make this concern a valid one.
Electronic cigarettes are hugely debated over that whether these can change the smoking routine or can they help eliminate the smoking habit, the answer to this question in theory would be that electronic cigarette are not a smoking cessation aid and hence these should not be perceived that way. But, there are many a users worldwide who claim to have been helped by electronic cigarettes in their attempt to wean of nicotine.
What does the FDA say?
The FDA was to come out with regulations on electronic cigarette way back, it got much delayed but now finally the regulations are out. The FDA has put two regulations on electronic cigarette for now.
The first rule is that electronic cigarette is prohibited to be sold or marketed to minors. This regulation is very easy to implement as all of the e cigarette brands already endorse e cigarettes as a better alternate to smoking for adults. These products are not made or marketed for minors, which is why it is easier to apply this regulation.
Under the effect of the second regulations, e cigarette brands are expected to put warning sign, list of constituents, composition of products used. On paper, the FDA released a statement asn HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said,” This proposed rule is the latest step in our efforts to make the next generation tobacco-free,”
The proposed rules as given by FDA are
- Register with the FDA and report product and ingredient listings;
- Only market new tobacco products after FDA review;
- Only make direct and implied claims of reduced risk if the FDA confirms that scientific evidence supports the claim and that marketing the product will benefit public health as a whole and Not distribute free samples.
In addition, under the proposed rule, the following provisions would apply to newly “deemed” tobacco products:
- Minimum age and identification restrictions to prevent sales to underage youth;
- Requirements to include health warnings;
- Prohibition of vending machine sales, unless in a facility that never admits youth.
The FDA has still left some areas open for discussion. Meanwhile, e cigarette brands are working their game up to offer premium quality products which the FDA would review before the products would be sold.
The market of e cigarette is filled with e cigarette brands, there are over 200 e cigarette brands, all the top rated e cigarette brands cater to their users with different products. What started as a $50,000 industry is now a multibillion dollar industry. The number of users is increasing virtually by the day and the e cig industry which just started as a small time alternative industry to tobacco, is now expected to surpass the tobacco industry in times to come. The growth of e cig industry is expected to be more exponential than any other alternative. Electronic cigarette, by far and large are considered better, comfortable, easy to use and are also expected to save a lot of money for the user as the comprehensive cost of smoking is much more than that of using e cigarettes.
Electronic cigarette are here to stay and are increasingly being adopted by people as a much enhanced and improved alternative to tobacco cigarette.