If you are considering using electric cigarettes as an alternative to regular cigarettes it is important to understand the similarities and differences between the two. In this review I will compare electronic cigarettes to regular cigarettes as opposed to reviewing a particular brand of electronic cigarettes.
The best way to begin comparing regular cigarettes to this alternative also known as electronic cigarettes or just e cigs for short is to explain how these new devices work. If you already know how they work continue reading, but if not then I suggest you read an earlier post: How do Electronic Cigarettes Work?
So far they look the same! I have grouped the rest of the comparison into 3 catagories in this post:
The electric alternative to cigarettes in terms of the taste and feeling is very comparable.
The first thing you will notice is that the water vapor created by the device that gets inhaled into the lungs is not as harsh but warm and has a nice tobacco flavor to it resembling a real cigarette. You will also notice the electronic alternative includes the highly satisfying nicotine sensation kick in at the same time as it does with a regular cigarette.
The tip of the alernative device lights up like a real cigarette and many of the devices provide fairly thick clouds of water vapor that closely resemble actual smoke with the exception that there is only a faint smell from the flavor essence in the water vapor. This smell is barely detectable even by non-smokers in close vicinity. After only a few seconds when the vapor evaporates there is no lingering smell on clothes, drapes, furniture etc.
Smoke from regular cigarettes on the other hand is noiticed instantly by other people even outdoors. This odor persists in the clothes of smokers and bystandars until the clothes are washed. The smoke and odors that get into interior fabrics and foam padding of cars and furniture is very difficult if not impossible to remove completely.
Since the water vapor from electric cigarettes is virtually odorless it can be smoked indoors including public places where smoking is banned such as retaurants, bars, malls, stores etc. This is a far more convenient alternative to smoking especially during harsh cold or rainy weather. It is also more convenient in some cases to be able to take a drag off an electronic cigarette and put in back into your pocket. Since electronic cigarettes are battery operated and don’t need to be lit (obviously) there is no need for lighters or ash trays.
Even though electric cigarettes are not approved by the FDA most people agree that they are probably the healthier alternative. There is no tar and no known carcinigens in electronic cigarettes. There is no second hand or first hand smoke for that matter because these devices only create water vapor that disipates rapidly. The health implications are mainly limited to a few conditions that could be caused by nicotine consumption.
Regular cigarettes are now known to be extremely unhealthy and is the #1 preventable cause of death in the U.S. and probably other places in theh world. The smoke produced from the combustion of the tobacco, paper and glue that gets inhaled into the lungs contains 4000 chemicals including toxic carbon monoxide, tar, arsnic (rat poison) and hundreds of known carcinogens. It is a miracle that the U.S. Surgeon General only puts a warning on every package of these cancer sticks and that laws haven’t been passed banning them completely.
The cost of smoking electric cigarettes depends on your smoking habits and the brand of electronic cigarette you decide to purchase but for most people it is about 50% cheaper than smoking cigarettes. Rather than provide exact numbers to break this figure down I will just list a few things to consider that might help you do some of the math on your own.
In order to start using electric cigarttes as an alternative most people buy what is called a “starter kit” which is offered by all the manufacturers I have seen. A starter kit costs about as much as cartons of cigarettes and usually includes enough refil cartridges to last about as long depending on the manufacturer and model. Once you have a starter kit you will have to periodically buy refil cartridges and replace the rechargable batteries when they wear out. Cartidges are about 60-70% cheaper than cigarettes. I’ve seen replacement batteries run about $15.
Cigarettes are more expensive than the electric alternative overall. One factor some people don’t consider right away as a cost of smoking cigarettes is higher health / life insurance costs especially later down the road. Probably the most important thing to consider is that if a person continues to smoke they will die sooner. Period. So what’s your time on this earth worth? Some people, myself included, would say its priceless.
So this concludes my first review which examined using electric cigarettes as an alternative to smoking regular cigarettes. To most people it seems clear that electronic cigarettes are an alternative. Check out the other review posts which compare the various electric cigarette manufactures and models. Happy smoking!