Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the ‘cloud’ that electronic cigarettes produce?
Electronic cigarettes don’t produce smoke. Instead they release a vapour, which looks like smoke and has a comparable feeling in your mouth and lungs, which makes ecigs a convenient smoke–free alternative to tobacco!
Q: Is the vapour from electronic cigarettes harmful?
There is no evidence that inhaled ‘mainstream’ vapour from electronic cigarettes causes harm, even thought it contains nicotine which should be consumed in moderation. The exhaled vapour has no harsh smells and it dissipates in seconds, so there are no passive smoking effects associated with electronic cigarettes.
Q: How do they generate this vapour?
Each time you puff, a small quantity of the liquid from the cartridge passes over an internal atomizer (which is rather like a miniature kettle element). The heat transforms it into the vapour that you inhale. This vapour simulates the oral sensation of smoking, and it can also carry fast–acting nicotine into your bloodstream via your mouth and lungs.
Q: Are electronic cigarettes healthier than conventional cigarettes?
Yes. If you are currently a smoker, electronic cigarettes are healthier for you – and for those around you – than conventional cigarettes. Some scientists and public health authorities have already made this assertion, however they make it clear that the healthiest option is to be free of both cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.
This is because the combustion of tobacco creates over 5,000 chemicals. Around 100 of these smoke constituents have been identified by public health authorities as causes or potential causes of smoking related diseases, including cardiovascular disease (heart disease), lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema and chronic bronchitis).
When you puff on electronic cigarette, there is no combustion, and no harmful smoke. Ecigs allow you to simulate the smoking experience without the smoke, tar, carbon monoxide, ash or harsh smell associated with conventional cigarettes.
Q: What’s in the liquid?
The ingredients of the liquid (sometimes called the e–liquid) will vary one supplier to another. Generally they include a carrier, which is normally a combination of Propylene Glycol and Glycerol, a flavour formulation, and a dosage of nicotine. Some electronic cigarettes are nicotine–free.
Q: What’s the role of the flavouring?
The flavouring adds taste to the vapour. Usually this is the tobacco taste of a conventional cigarette, although many suppliers offer a variety of flavours, particularly fruit, which has added to popularity of ecigs.
Q: What is Propylene Glycol?
Propylene Glycol (or PG) is a colourless, nearly odourless, clear, viscous liquid. It is frequently used as a food addictive or as an ingredient in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. It has a low ’chronic oral toxicity’ which is why propylene glycol is classified as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use as a direct food additive by the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease and by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.
To date there have been no studies into the long–term impact of inhaling Propylene Glycol on a regular basis, although PG is sometimes used as an additive in asthma inhalers and nebulizers, without any serious side effects being reported.
Q: What is Vegetable Glycerin?
Vegetable Glycerin (or VG) is a colourless, odourless, clear, viscous liquid with a similar risk profile to Propylene Glycol and it is also classified as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) for use as a direct food additive by the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease and by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. VG is known to produce more vapor than PG, however it has a slightly sweeter taste and it produces less of a “throat hit”.