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Electronic Cigarettes - Are They Actually Better Than Real Cigarettes?

By Edited Oct 1, 2016 3 7

According to the World Health Organization fact sheet more the 6 million people die from cancer and other smoking related diseases each year. Another 600,000 nonsmokers are killed each year from inhaling secondhand smoke. [3]Smoking cigarettes is a gradual suicide for those who partake in them, too bad smoking is so awesome.

Though many who are frequent heavy smokers would disagree. Smoking is fun when you are young, with the world in front of you and cancer is a problem for "future you". However, as you get older and your life is getting shorter, smoking because a bigger and bigger issue. Smokers begin to feel the wear on their bodies from years of smoking and want to live to see their children get married and their grandchildren grow up.

For those that want to kick the habit there are pills, patches, gum, lozenges and other alternatives to help kick the habit, not to mention the old "cold turkey" method. However there is no easy way to quit smoking, even with the aids it is hard and relapses happen.

Even though some e-cig companies advertise their product as another smoking cessation aid, it is not. Smoking electronic cigarettes is a healthier alternative to the real thing. Though they can be used to gradually wean you of nicotine as many companies offer cartridges with different levels of nicotine.

electronic cigarettes

How Are Electronic Cigarettes Like Real Cigarettes?

Many people do not realize exactly what it is they like about cigarettes until they try to quit them. Of course they are addicted to nicotine and it makes them crave it and get real irritable when they are deprived. However when quitting smoking people realize how much they miss the other little things.

They miss the feeling in their throat they get when they take a drag. They miss the flavor for smoke. They miss watching it as it they exhale. They miss the feeling of it between their fingers or the flick used to get the ash off.

These are all things you do not get with smoking cessation products.

However you do get most of them with electronic cigarettes. E-cigs are designed to best mimic real cigarettes as best they can. While it is not smoke you are inhaling, it is water vapor. This vapor infused with nicotine gives you that nice full feeling in the back of your throat like real cigarettes. It also produces a cloud of what looks like smoke when you exhale, this is as thick or thicker than most real cigarette smoke. Most brands are only slightly heavier than a real cigarette, most likely to remind you not to flick it into the bushes when you are finished.

Perhaps the best part of electronic cigarettes is that they are not banned by the smoking bans in many places. There is no secondhand smoke, no smell and no tar stains. You can smoke them in bars, in restaurants, and even on planes. Though you might want to alert someone first, before they freak out.

ecig health benefits

Health Benefits of Electronic Cigarettes

vintage cigarette ad
Electronic cigarettes are a great loophole to smoking rules, however are they actually as good for you as everyone says? Is this just history repeating again. It was not so long ago that cigarettes were advertised as good for a person's health. Cigarettes advertised themselves as everything from relaxing to a way to keep a slim figure. Doctors were shown smoking them, dentists as well, and of course a myriad of beautiful young people.

Now electronic cigarettes are becoming the "thing" of the future and even the big tobacco companies are jumping on board for production. Tobacco companies have made their business on lies and that puts a lot of people off on e-cigs.

When we smoke on cigarette, it releases 4,000 various kinds of carcinogens, chemicals, carbon monoxide and nicotine into our body. While nicotine is what keeps us going back to cigarettes, it is not actually the part that is bad for us. Nicotine, contrary to popular belief is not entirely unhealthy, though it is addictive. It is all the tar and carcinogens that the tobacco is treated with that causes cancer, shortness of breath and heart disease.

Nicotine, which is diluted, heated and ingested in vapor form in electronic cigarettes can actually be used to create new blood vessels in those with poor circulation, help treat and prevent Alzheimer's, and is believed to be directly related to a healthier heart.

Many naysayers tisk at nicotine actually being good for the heart. They just love to blame nicotine for heart disease and high blood pressure. What actually is to blame is the carbon monoxide we inhale when smoking a real cigarette, this replaces the oxygen in our blood and stresses the heart by making it work harder. However after a study done by Stanford University found that heart health got drastically better when using nicotine patches instead of quitting without nicotine. However, nicotine is not miracle drug, it is addictive and has been shown in another Stanford University study to increase tumor growth.[2]


Disadvantages of Electronic Cigarettes

Like real cigarettes, many people believe there to be some health disadvantages with electronic cigarettes as well. There are a few ones, most of them minor, however they deserve to be addressed. There are also some problems with electronic cigarettes in general, that vary with the different brands.


Like mentioned previously, nicotine is an addictive drug and can cause cancerous tumors to grow faster than they would without it. E-cigs are advertised by a lot of companies to be a smoking cessation product, but often times they are not. the only time this is true is when they have different nicotine strengths to help wean you off. If you are using electronic cigarettes to quit the nicotine lifestyle, make sure you e-cig supports different nicotine strength contents.

Nicotine on the Skin

If you buy an e-cig where you can refill the cartridges or tank with different flavors of nicotine, beware. Nicotine absorbs through the skin, so getting  enough liquid nicotine on the hands can cause an overdose. It takes a lot, but it is still a fear.  Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after refilling. Never put the nicotine liquid in the mouth either, you need to keep it out of reach of children. It tastes horrid and can also cause an overdose.


When buying an electronic cigarette, you should always read some reviews about it before buying. I bought my first e-cig on recommendation and regretted it. A common problem with e-cigs is leaking. The tank kind especially are prone to leaking. This gets on your fingers, which pure nicotine liquid on the skin is just so unpleasant.


If it is your first time buying a e-cig do not get your hopes up that it will taste just like a real cigarette. Most flavors that are said to taste just like a real cigarette taste a lot more like cough syrup than tobacco. I recommend finding a flavor you like, such as coffee, fruit, or sweet flavors. One flavor e-cig smokers cannot go wrong with is menthol. Menthol flavors in any brand of e-cig always come out tasting exactly like menthols cigarettes.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is the solution used to dilute most of the liquid nicotine so that it can turn into vapor. This is also electronic cigarette naysayers biggest weapon in the war against electronic cigarettes. They like to say the propylene glycol is commonly found in antifreeze, but anyone who knows how to read can figure out that the ingredient in antifreeze is ethylene glycol.

We use propylene glycol every day. It is in our shampoos, makeup, baby wipes, deodorant, and after shave. it is primarily used in small amounts to keep moisture in our skin. Most products that are said to keep your skin moist utilize this chemical, unless it is organic. However, how does this affect our system when ingested?

Fun fact, unless you eat organically, you are probably ingesting it. It is used in salad dressings to keep the oil from clumping as well as in pre-baked cakes and cookies to keep them moist. In 1942, the University of Chicago conducted studies on the effects of propylene glycol when inhaled. It made the lab mice more susceptible to pneumonia in the short term, but in the long term had no noticeable effects.[1]

Preservatives in food we know are bad for us, many of them we do not even know are bad for us yet. Propylene glycol might be one of those things, however for now there is no scientific evidence supporting it.

In conclusion, electronic cigarettes are not exactly the healthiest thing we can do to our bodies. However, when compared to smoking a real cigarette, they are definitely a healthier alternative.



May 11, 2013 4:19pm
Hi--Enjoyed your article, your thoughts and the way it is written--job well done! I'm a long time smoker, started in 1952 so I have more than a half century of it. Obviously I will never quit, couldn't if I tried and don't want to try anyway. When I go, I don't want to go as an old neurotic. Anyway, I certainly don't encourage anyone to smoke, it truly is a bad habit and people are far better off when they don't smoke. Nevertheless, what I would like to see is a lot less emphasis on second hand smoke and more on the toxic air of factories, planes, cars and so forth. I don't know where you live but *I am in California where we get commercials from a neurotic-based group that dwells on cigarette smoke without a whimper about other toxics in the air. Non-smokers like to claim that their right to a non-smoking environment is a civil-right. Thus they are saying that smokers have no civil rights and the pursuit of happiness does not belong to them. In any case, I believe that probably in another decade or two there won't be any smokers and that's fine but to create big-brother laws in this country is simply un-American. And so, with all that said, 2 big thumbs for you and a rating
May 11, 2013 4:35pm
I agree that this article is well written, I read it from top to buttom. My father has been a smoker for many years and he actually quit. When he got back to smoking he actually started back with cigars. Now he's off cigars and on to e-ciggs. I can see how it may still be unhealthy to smoke e-ciggs but like you said, it's a lot healthier then actual smoking!
May 11, 2013 7:26pm
My uncle was the same way, he smoked for around 25 years and when he came up for our grandfather's funeral he turned my brother and myself (we are both avid smokers) onto e-cigs.

I honestly don't find them unhealthy at all, but I figured I couldn't just be one sided about it. If nicotine grows tumors faster, whatever. If I have them, they are going to grow anyway.
May 11, 2013 7:31pm
This comment has been deleted.
May 11, 2013 7:31pm
Oh, believe me, we agree on so many of the things you just said it's stupid. I've smoked in both Illinois and Indiana and I just get the most disgusted looks whenever I do it in public.

I have also heard "thanks for polluting out air" more times than I can count. However, i have never heard the argument for non-smoking environment as a civil right. Is it not our civil right to gradually kill ourselves if we want? I can understand in buildings, but in an open air environment, it is just silly.

I honestly love smoking. It is the first thing I did on my 21st birthday, but I have switched to mostly my e-cig because they are making it just too darn expensive to smoke here anymore.
May 11, 2013 9:37pm
Amerowolf--I could not resist but responding to your note--For some reason I somehow knew or at least assumed you are, beyond all else, an individualist and that really what we are talking about and a point missed by such a population of people. And yes, it is very expensive now--when I started there was a brand called Wings--17cents a package. Anyway, if you will, to me you are a breath of fresh air. Not because you "love" smoking (a kind of pun) but because apparently you love being free from the mores of society which all (especially) Americans should do. And, by the way, it is indeed our "civil rights" to do whatever we want to do...as long as we don't infringe on the freedom of anyone else--I do not smoke in homes where people object--that is their right...however, it is no one's right to claim dominance over the air such as non-smoking public beaches. As you can see, I could go on but instead I will simply say--thanks for your response...we are, as said, in harmony.
Jun 3, 2013 9:01pm
Thank you for the great info! My husband uses e-cigs exclusively. He smells so much better :). The only bad part is when he is vaping a sweet flavor, like vanilla or cinnamon baked goods, it makes me want cake.
Dec 28, 2013 12:50pm
There are so many benefits for those switching to eCigs...
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  1. "The Truth About Propylene Glycol in Electronic Cigarettes." Best E-Cigs. 11/05/2013 <Web >
  3. "World Health Organization: Tobacco Fact Sheet." World Health Organization. 11/05/2013 <Web >

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