As we get closer to the New Year and electronic cigarettes continue to rise in popularity, many smokers are looking to e-cigs as an alternative to traditional ‘analog’ cigarettes. Success stories are common on e-cig forums and websites. Yet some people do have trouble with the switch and others eventually decide that e-cigs just aren’t for them.
This Thanksgiving, the CocktailNerd team will be running a mini-series of blog posts that will hopefully help our visitors prepare and successfully make the switch to electronic cigarettes. Our first area of focus is the advantages and disadvantages of e-cigs over analog cigs in an effort to help you decide if e-cigs are a viable option for you.
- Health: While the long-term effects of e-cigs on a person’s health are still being studied, the general consensus is that many of the side-effects of smoking cigarettes can be avoided with e-cigs. They do not contain the thousands of poisons, carcinogens or tar that are found in analog cigarettes. E-cigs are made from four basic ingredients; water, propylene glycol (or vegetable glycerin), nicotine and flavoring.
- Money: Most companies claim that each cartridge they sell is equivalent to a full pack of cigarettes. This claim is widely disputed and the actual usage from one cartridge can vary heavily between different brands. However, most people agree that cartridges commonly last between a half-pack and a full pack of analog cigarettes. The average price of one cartridge is around $2.50 so regardless of how much use you get out of one, the money you can save is very obvious.
- Freshness: Electronic cigarettes emit little-to-no odor. This is a big advantage because your clothes, house and breath will no longer smell like a used ashtray.
- Senses: Most smokers notice that after long-term use of analog cigarettes, their sense of smell and taste diminish. When switching to e-cigs, these senses begin to recover. Get ready for the full awesomeness of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner!
- Social Standards: Anti-smoking groups have done an excellent job of making smokers social outcasts. With e-cigs, many people feel that their habit is more accepted and even appreciated. It also can be a great conversation starter.
- Smoking Indoors: Our team is based in the Upper-Midwest and it’s getting pretty cold out there! I personally used to loathe the coming of winter because I knew I’d have to sit out in the freezing cold just to have a cigarette. I can now avoid the cold and stay toasty inside while using my e-cig in my home and most public buildings.
- Flavors: Eventually e-cig users find a favorite flavor of e-liquid and use it regularly. However, there are literally thousands of flavors available in the marketplace and the option to change it up is great.
- Different Nicotine Levels: The FDA has not yet approved electronic cigarettes as a smoking-cessation device, so it’s against the law for e-cig companies and promoters to make claims of using them to quit smoking. Keep in mind, though, that the amount of nicotine inside of a cartridge varies from 24mg+ down to 0mg (nicotine-free). This gives you the ability to step down the amount of nicotine you’re consuming if you’d like to.
- Complexity: E-cigs are made up of different parts and require re-charging. This means you must be organized and plan ahead to successfully use electronic cigarettes. When I first started using e-cigs, I would lose cartridges, not order enough, or forget to charge my spare batteries. Any of these can quickly result in turning back to analog cigarettes.
- Nicotine Absorption: It takes longer for the nicotine in e-cig vapor to be absorbed into your system than cigarette smoke. For me, this is only an issue in the morning as e-cigs don’t give me the immediate satisfaction that analog cigarettes do. However, most people get used to this quickly and it doesn’t bother them for long.
- Taste: No e-liquid manufacturers have been able to mimic the taste of burning tobacco exactly. Some have come very close (such as Halo Cigs) but because e-cigs don’t burn, it will never be truly the same. This is a common complaint from new e-cig users, but they typically learn to prefer the taste of their e-cigs over analogs. Also, after extended use of e-cigs, analog cigarettes lose their appeal and actually taste dirty and gross!
While we recommend electronic cigarettes to absolutely everyone who smokes, sometimes people just prefer the simplicity of analog cigarettes. If you’ve weighed the pro’s and con’s and want to try out e-cigs, stay tuned for our next post in this series – Choosing the Perfect Kit.