Electronic cigarettes are presently experiencing a boom in popularity. Unfortunately, those who are interested in trying them out will quickly find that there is not a lot of authoritative or unbiased information available about them. Much of this is due to the fact that the technology is mostly new and there has been relatively little in the way of large-scale tests or research. This can make choosing an electronic cigarette (or “e-cigarette”) difficult.
Among the other factors that make using e-cigarettes problematic is that it requires a new vocabulary and a taste for experimentation. This can be quite off-putting to some but thrilling to others. Whereas smoking is a minor diversion and a means to satisfy a nicotine craving, using an e-cigarette has the potential to become a full-blown hobby for many individuals.
The Vocabulary of eCigarettes
The term for using an e-cigarette or personal vaporizer is “vaping” and refers to the vapor that is produced by the electronic cigarette. The vapor is the product of the device and the nicotine liquid (usually called “e-liquid”) that is used in it. A basic e-cigarette kit will typically consist of an atomizer, a battery and a cartridge to hold the e-liquid. The atomizer is the part of the e-cigarette that converts the e-liquid to vapor. There are several different atomizer designs on the market. There are many variations on the atomizer-cartridge-battery set up, including “cartomizers.” Cartomizers are cartridges and atomizers combined into one unit. There are also different connection-types for atomizers, cartomizers and batteries; not all components will work together.
E-liquids come in a variety of different nicotine levels. The nicotine-levels range from six milligrams on the low side, to 24 milligrams of nicotine or higher. Those who have only recently quit cigarettes will typically start out with the higher strengths and may choose to gradually move down to the lower dosages. E-liquids may be made with a base of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, both of which have an effect on the flavor and the amount of vapor they generate. The range of e-liquid flavors available is immense, as is the number of vendors online. Choosing e-liquids is largely a matter of taste and finding the right one will often take much experimentation on the part of the consumer. Generally, e-liquids are rated on the amount of vapor they generate as well as the sensation they produce in the throat (“throat-hit”) and their flavor.
Electronic Cigarette Manufacturers
There are many electronic cigarette manufacturers operating in countries all over the world. The largest producers operate in the United States, the EU and China. The prices among e-cigarette models are equally diverse, with some kits selling for $20 to $40 and others going for several hundred dollars. E-cigarette kits are usually rated on a variety of factors including battery-life, the quality of the user’s vaping experience and the appearance of the device. Some consumers prefer smaller devices that have the appearance and shape of an actual cigarette, whereas others prefer larger models that are able to last for longer and which provide more power to the atomizer.
With careful research and the willingness to try something new, a consumer will usually be able to find a pleasant cigarette substitute among the many e-cigarette choices. They may either use an e-cigarette as a tool for gradual quitting, or they may switch to it as a new way to use nicotine.