Have you noticed the commercials on prime time TV for these devices?  Electronic cigarettes (or “e-cigs”) are finally becoming mainstream.  I’ve been using them since Feb 2009 and they are, literally, a life saver.  I went from over 2 packs per day to approximately 1 pack per month.  I actually completely quit smoking regular cigarettes within a week after I started using e-cigs.  But after gaining nearly 25 lbs during the first three months without regular (analog) cigarettes, I started smoking an occasional homemade cigarette to suppress my hunger urges.  (Unfortunately, appetite suppression isn’t due to the nicotine… it’s apparently due to some or all of the other toxic by-products of regular cigarettes)

So just what is an electronic cigarette?  It’s a device that uses electricity from a small battery to vaporize a nicotine-containing solution so that the user can breathe it in.  Are they safe?  While e-cigarettes may give smokers more or less the same amount of nicotine as a conventional cigarette, they do not produce the same toxic smoke that can cause lung disease and cancer when inhaled over time.  Since there are no products of combustion to be inhaled, no tobacco toxins are inhaled besides nicotine.  Only water vapor is exhaled, although there haven’t been any thorough studies to prove this definitively.

According to The Economist,

Electronic cigarettes do not just save the lives of smokers: they bring other benefits too. Unlike cigarettes, they do not damage the health of bystanders. They do not even smell that bad, so there is no public nuisance, let alone hazard, and thus no reason to ban their use in public places. Pubs and restaurants should welcome them with open arms.

Unfortunately, because electronic cigarettes seem just too good to be true (for smokers trying to do less harm to themselves), we can probably count on the health lobbyists to do their utmost to stub them out…  not to mention higher taxes & restrictions being proposed and/or imposed by both state & federal government.  Also according to The Economist,

Some health lobbyists are so determined to prevent people doing anything that remotely resembles smoking—a process referred to as “denormalisation”—that they refuse to endorse a product that reproduces the pleasure of smoking without the harm.

This is wrong. Those charged with improving public health should be promoting e-cigarettes, not discouraging their use

I switched to e-cigs over four years ago, primarily due to the continuously rising price of cigarettes along with increasingly ridiculous restrictions on smoking.  Since switching to e-cigs, my lung capacity has vastly improved; I no longer cough; and I no longer experience an annual bout of bronchitis.  Electronic cigarettes have definitely been “too good to be true” for me.  Which, of course, means that now that they are becoming a viable (& healthier) alternative to smoking, they most likely WILL become over-regulated; their use overly restricted; and vastly more expensive.  (Me thinks I’ll stock up on supplies before this happens)

Two vendors of electronic cigarettes that I can strongly recommend are Vapor4Life and Madvapes.  I’ve been purchasing products from Vapor4Life for nearly three years, but have recently used Madvapes because of their inventory and excellent service.

If you’re a smoker, I strongly urge you to at least try an electronic cigarette as a healthier alternative.  I’ve been smoking for over 40 years and I can honestly say that e-cigs have been a 99% solution for me.  But if the “naysayers” have their way, e-cigs may become too expensive and difficult (if not outright impossible) to obtain.

Happy Vaping!