Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, were a natural evolution for the cigarette market. Cigarette smoking is so pervasive, even now that we know how damaging they can be to your health. Smoking cigarettes is easily one of the most common addictions of modern humans, and for a good reason: nicotine. The unfortunate side effects of smoking, including terrible breath, stained teeth, smelly clothing, and of course damage to your lungs and throat, do not do much to deter people from taking up smoking cigarettes. E-cigarettes allow people to still get their nicotine fix, but they can also avoid those nasty side effects.
The first person to take out a patent on what would become electronic cigarettes was Herbert A. Gilbert. He described a smokeless cigarette which would use moist, heated air rather than tobacco and paper. Unfortunately for him, his patent was acquired in 1963 and the technology to create a compact and effective e-cigarette was not around. Additionally, most people were unaware of the significant health effect of normal cigarettes and it is unlikely people would have been interested in an alternative.
The vision that Gilbert had was not realized until 2003, when a Chinese pharmacist by the name of Hon Lik invented the first usable electronic cigarette. His company started to export the product in 2005 and finally acquired an international patent in 2007. The modern e-cigarette is designed to be smokeless, with fewer poor health effects, and can be used to help quit smoking, however there have not been significant studies to show that there are health benefits or that they are an effective smoking cessation tool.
E-cigarettes are a relatively new invention and as such they are not as pervasive in the cigarette market as some would hope. The idea of a cigarette that is less dangerous appeals to many people, especially those who live with or are related to people who smoke. But of course, it is not only the health dangers that discourage people from smoking tobacco cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Smoking tobacco smells awful and for many people the alternative that e-cigarettes offer is highly preferred.
E-cigarettes allow you to inhale water vapor rather than smoke. The vapor can be infused with nicotine or not, depending on the preference of the smoker. If you want to try smoking without the nicotine, to see if you can quit, e-cigarettes offer an interesting alternative to going completely cold turkey. You can also purchase electronic cigarettes with various levels of nicotine, allowing smokers to slowly reduce the amount of nicotine they smoke, or simply to set the level that they prefer.
Evolution and Marketing
The initial idea of the smokeless cigarette was one that looked like a cigarette in every way, a white tube-like cartridge and a light brown filter, down to the glowing red end and the way the vapor curls upwards similar to smoke. You can even exhale the vapor and it looks like you are smoking. But as cigarettes become less and less of a style symbol, e-cigarettes are also changing their image.
You can now buy electronic cigarettes that are stylized and personalized, with colors and patterns that fit all kinds of preferences. There are even e-cigarettes that are all black or all white, giving a sleek and subtle appearance, and electronic pipes and cigars that give an entirely different aesthetic look. The varieties of styles and the flexibility of the image that smokers want to achieve encourage all kinds of smokers to make the switch from tobacco to electronically delivered nicotine infused vapor
There are also a variety of flavors available on the market today. If you prefer to try an e-cigarette that tastes like tobacco, you can have a very similar experience to smoking tobacco cigarettes. You can also choose menthol, if you are used to smoking menthol cigarettes. But if you really want to try something new, some companies offer flavors similar to hookah pipe tobacco flavors, such as watermelon, grape, and cherry, among others.
Some electronic cigarette brands will even tout the safety of electronic cigarettes. While health claims have yet to be substantiated, the obvious factor that comes to our minds is the fact that there is no flame or lighter to mess around with. Those can lead to problems if they fall into the wrong person’s hands.
A Growing Market
Today there are a considerable number of e-cigarette sellers in the market, hoping to cash in on a new idea that shows a lot of promise, both for the health and well-being of smokers and for the aesthetic benefits of smoking vapor rather than smoke. Many smokers, and their friends and families, do not like the smell of tobacco smoke, especially modern cigarettes that contain a lot of additives. e-cigarettes leave no smell in your clothing or your hair and can be smoked indoors without leaving a stale ashtray smell. Tobacco cigarette smoke will stain the paint on your walls and imbed itself in the upholstery of your car. e-cigarettes will do neither, offer relief from those inconvenient and often unattractive side effects of being a cigarette smoker.
Electronic cigarettes can be bought in mall kiosks, but most of the sales happen via the internet. Online retailers are all hoping to appeal to smokers in different ways. Some emphasize the health benefit of switching to electronic cigarettes. Others emphasize the lack of smoky, ashtray smells in your life. And still others remind people that smoking e-cigarettes is considerably cheaper than smoking tobacco. Even disposable e-cigarettes can last as long as three packs of tobacco cigarettes, depending on the smoker. The price difference is often obvious, and when added to the health benefits e-cigarettes are even cheaper. The cost of higher medical bills due to illness from cigarette smoking can be astronomical.
While the coolness factor has not really caught on with electronic cigarettes, more and more people are at least willing to try them. The dangers of smoking cigarettes are many both on their health impact and the possibilites of fire, and the effort it takes to quit smoking can be overwhelming. As people becoming busier and more stressed out, they have less energy to devote to their health and well being. As a result, cigarette smoking is still very popular, despite the health risks. Electronic cigarettes offer smokers an alternative to the tobacco vs. quit dilemma, allowing them to continue to quench cravings with nicotine, while avoiding the tar build up that cigarette smoking inevitably leads to. e-cigarettes took a long time to go from idea to reality, but now that they are here it seems the options are endless.