E-Cigarettes and Nicotine: What You Need to Know
E-cigarettes were invented as an alternative to regular cigarettes. Instead of using combustion to burn tobacco and deliver nicotine through the inhalation of cigarette smoke, e-cigs are designed in a way that delivers a non-toxic vapour. And the e-liquid that you choose to use with your e-cig device can have just the right amount of nicotine, whether you prefer getting a regular dose of nicotine every day or you’re hoping to taper off and eventually quit your addiction to nicotine altogether (at which time you could switch to nicotine-free e-liquid and still enjoy the pleasures of vaping).
But what do you really need to know about e-cigarettes and nicotine that hasn’t already been mentioned? Continue reading to learn more.
Getting to Know Nicotine
In order to understand how e-cigarettes and their nicotine-infused e-liquids affect your body, you first need to get to know nicotine and its many characteristics.
First, it’s important to note that nicotine is naturally found in quite a few vegetables and fruits. It’s a part of nature, which means that it isn’t artificial and you get some small doses of nicotine even from your diet. For example, one potato that weighs around 141 grams has roughly 1 microgram of nicotine. This is a very minute amount, so it certainly isn’t enough to become addictive. And 1 microgram is roughly the amount of nicotine that a second-hand smoker would receive if he or she were near a smoker for about 3 hours.
Your body really feels the effects of nicotine when you smoke a regular tobacco cigarette, which contains anywhere from 0.4mg to 2.5mg of nicotine. Heavy smokers can inhale as much as 120mg of nicotine without overdosing because their bodies are so used to it, but a non-smoker could potentially die from 30mg to 60mg of nicotine, though genetics could play a role in how much an individual is able to tolerate. Just remember that too much of anything will be bad for you.
On the other hand, the amount of nicotine that’s inhaled through an e-cig is lower than the amount inhaled from a traditional cigarette. Plus, the e-cig smoker gets to decide just how much nicotine he or she wishes to inhale.
Getting Your Nicotine More Safely
Rather than getting nicotine from regular cigarettes, smokers now have a healthier option, thanks to e-cigs. It’s important to note that when smokers die from diseases caused by inhaling the smoke of cigarettes, it isn’t the nicotine that killed them. Rather, it’s the combination of all of the toxic compounds, and by-products of those compounds, found in cigarettes. One example is tar, which is highly detrimental to the health of the lungs.
To put things in perspective, a cigarette has more than 4,000 chemicals, many of which are known to be carcinogenic or poisonous to the human body. These include cyanide, ammonia, carbon monoxide, nitrosamines, methanol, acetylene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and radioactive carcinogens.
Compare the ingredients in regular cigarettes to those of e-cigs and you’ll quickly realise why they’re so much easier on the body. An e-cigarette uses vapour that’s created from an e-liquid, which contains a mere four ingredients, which are propylene glycol (an ingredient that’s also commonly used as a food preservative), nicotine (in the dose that the vaper requests), glycerine (an ingredient that can serve as a sweetener), and artificial flavouring, such as vanillin (AKA vanilla extract). When the vapour is produced, the individual isn’t inhaling the same chemicals produced by dangerous cigarettes.
The Risks of Smoking Tobacco
In addition to the chemicals found in regular cigarettes, there are also some dangers associated with smoking tobacco.
For example, those who smoke are as much as four times more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. Their risk of stroke also increases by four times.
Cigarette smokers are 13 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive lung disease. On top of that, men are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer, while women are 13 times more likely to get lung cancer.
About 5.4 million people die each year from smoking tobacco cigarettes, which translates to about 1 in every 10 adult deaths.
Quit Smoking with E-Cigs
E-cigarettes aren’t associated with any risks, as none have been scientifically proven yet. Therefore, they can be really effective when it comes to trying to kick a smoking habit. This is great news for the 68.8% of smokers who wish to quit, as well as the 52.4% of smokers who’ve tried to quit but failed in the past.
96% of e-cig users who were surveyed stated that the use of e-cigs did indeed help them successfully quit, or at least reduce, their smoking habit. Unfortunately, regulations in certain parts of the world may make it difficult for smokers who are trying to quit to get the e-cigarettes, nicotine levels, and flavoured e-liquids that they need and prefer.