What are e cigarettes?

The electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette was developed as a reduced harm product as an alternative to smoking. e-cigarettes deliver vapor (which looks similar to smoke) and optionally, nicotine- the addictive ingredient in cigarettes and tobacco. (also a naturally occurring substance in some fruits and vegetables.)

e cigarettes were invented in China in 2003. While there were earlier US patents on similar devices, the first “true” ecigarette was created by Hon Lik. (The electronic cigarette concept first appeared in a patent acquired by Herbert A. Gilbert in 1963, and is described as a warm, moist flavored air producing device)

(see History of eCigs – https://guidetovaping.com/2011/09/history-of-electronic-cigarettes/)


[stextbox id=”alert”]Your typical ecigarette, or ecig, will simply be a battery, an atomizer or cartomizer to heat the eliquid. eLiquid, or eJuice will usually consist of 2-3 ingredients- much less than your burning tobacco cigarette, or analog.[/stextbox]

Typical ejuice/eliquid Ingredients

1. PG and VG
ejuice starts with a base of PG, VG or a combination of the two. PG (Propylene Glycol) is a common delivery base in many industries including medical, baking, health and hygene and more. PG is used in nebulizers, baked goods and skin products. The FDA considers PG as GRAS (Generally recognized as safe). VG stands for Vegetable Glycerin, and is the natural cousin to PG.

2. Food Grade Flavoring
ejuice will usually consist of food grade flavoring, up to %25 or so. In earlier days, when ecig juice vendors started popping up, flavoring wasn’t as researched nor under the microscope as it is now. Modern day flavoring companies have developed lines of flavorings that are safe for use in ecigs and ejuice.

3. Nicotine (OPTIONAL)
ecigarettes will usually contain from 0mg to 26mg (and even higher) nicotine, this breaks down to 0-2.6% nicotine.


Why use an ecig?

e cigarettes are being embraced by a growing community of adults who have previously tried to stop smoking, but failed time and time again. ecigs DO NOT produce smoke, but rather, vapor. There is no combustion going on in an ecig, therefore nothing burning and leaving a foul stink in the air.  ecigs are up to 1,000 times safer than cigarettes.

Are “e cigarettes” Misunderstood?

The millions of ecigs users that have quit smoking by using ecigs have a strong opinion, most based on success rate- and overall feeling of better health and respiratory function. While it seems “common sense” that some flavorings in a base of PG/VG (already approved by FDA) wouldn’t be criticized, somehow- by adding nicotine, it’s an issue. We can smoke all of the cigarettes, with THOUSANDS of chemicals added, but the FDA says this about e cigarettes:

[stextbox id=”alert”]e-Cigarettes may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans, and may contain other ingredients that may not be safe. Additionally, these products may be attractive to young people and may lead kids to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.[/stextbox]

Unfortunately, too many other groups base their opinions off of  this one statement, vs. using in depth studies and science that are available.

…what about the dangers of cigarettes and smoking? What about harm reduction? What about the thousands of e-cig users that don’t smoke analog cigarettes anymore? It sounds to me that a lot of those in a position to help would rather have ecig users just smoke and die.


Seeing some community reaction almost reaches borderline insanity. This “vapor” has politicians trying to pass laws against ecig use in apartments for instance. As of this writing, Vermont’s politicians want to ban internet sales and put people in prison if they choose to vape instead of smoke. IT IS VAPOR, NOT SMOKE.

e Cigarettes could be confusing to those that don’t try, or don’t want to understand -but the truth is, they are a viable harm reduction option and they DO NOT produce smoke.  It’s up to our representatives to be informed- yet it appears science and common sense seem to have little to do with the legislation process in the battle at times.

Who wrote this?

Friends call me Troop. I used to smoke for 20+ years, up to 2 packs per day. I’ve been a slave to nicotine for the most part. I enjoy the taste of a good tobacco, or a good cigar too. The point is, I smoked a lot- and I felt like shit knowing I couldn’t kick the habit. Any smoker knows the morning hack, and sometimes it just catches up to you. I felt it. Smart people quit smoking, but it’s not easy. Me?  …patches several times, I did the xyban twice, multiple attempts with patches, gum many times, lozenges and even hypnotism. I won’t get into the fails that I experienced with the above, but I haven’t smoked a cigarette in 14 months and don’t want to. I vape.

To be clear, I still like my nicotine. I feel fine with that, as nicotine is not what is killing smokers. With that said, nicotine is addictive- don’t start if you haven’t already.

This is just one guy, with an opinion- that found a better way. If you start outlawing vapor in public, you might as well start banning the more olfactory offensive “burn your nose  perfume-bathed” grandmas that we all love. Vapor would make your grandma happy. Vote informed.

GuideToVaping would like to direct you to two groups/projects that are worth checking out.

CASAA– Consumer Advocates for  smokefree alternatives association

Linc Williams’  “We Are Vapers- a documentary on tobacco harm reduction”.