E-cigarettes, also known as vape pens and e-cigs, are a relatively new technology that has become extremely popular in America and throughout the world, especially among the younger generation. After years of anti-smoking advertisements pervading the media, the allure of smoking as a hip activity was starting to take a hit. However, with no such existing stigma, e-cigarettes have become ubiquitous.
So what is an e-cigarette? E-cigarettes are a small tube shaped roughly like a cigarette, with a segment inside designed to hold e-cigarette liquid, also known as vape juice. The activator inside the tube vaporizes the liquid through pressure and heat, allowing it to be inhaled similar to tobacco smoke. This smoke looks superficially similar to tobacco smoke, but dissipates more quickly, smells less strongly to second hand inhalers, and is less hot upon being expelled.
The technology behind e-cigarettes is what has allowed them to obtain such stark market dominance in the wake of the decline of smoking in America. Originally marketed as an awesome way of quitting smoking, e-cigarettes have also taken a bite out of the existing smoking population. While some experts have concerns about the long term health effects of vaping, it is generally agreed to at least be better for you than smoking. In particular, second-hand smoke is a much reduced, though not non-existent, issue for those near an e-smoker.
This is because of the way the technology differentiates e-cigs from normal smoking. Tobacco smoking is a messy process involving burning leaves and inhaling the smoke. This necessarily creates a lot of ashes and dust, and leaves behind a persistent smoky odor that over time will pervade an area. The smoke will also stain teeth, tar lungs, and has been proven to be linked to cancer and other diseases. These less than pretty realities are a big part of the decline in smoking over the past few decades.
E-cigarettes are able to avoid these pitfalls by being a much cleaner version of smoking. Without lighting anything on fire, the vapor is no more damaging or destructive than water vapor, and there is not very much of it. Whether this translates well for the smoker’s lungs is up to debate, but most of the other downsides of smoking are eliminated. Vaping is not messy, nor will it stain teeth or cause an area to permanently smell like vape liquid. The second hand smoke from e-cigarettes is also much less foul smelling to second hand inhalers than that of tobacco smoke.
E-cigarettes are a cool, shiny, and new way for the new generation to experience smoking. It has all the advantages of smoking, such as the nicotine rush, having something to do with one’s hands, and a social aspect, but without the messy, sticky tobacco tar. While the long term effects of vaping have yet to be studied, short term e-cigarette use seems to be harmless, and more people pick up the habit each day. With e-cigarette technology, smoking just got a lot more modern.