Switching To E-Cigs? Here Are The Answers To Your Likely Questions

If you're starting to consider switching to electronic cigarettes from smoking tobacco, you may have a few questions about popular devices. Read on to discover the answers to those questions, so you can start smoking e-cigs as an informed, educated consumer.

Do e-cigarettes contain tobacco?

No, the "e-juice" used for e-cigarettes is not made from tobacco. It is typically a mixture of water, glycerin, flavorings, and nicotine. It is the nicotine in e-cigarettes that most users are after. It produces the same feelings as nicotine obtained from smoking a cigarette, and thus most people find that smoking an e-cigarette satisfies their craving to smoke in the same way a tobacco cigarette would.

Are e-cigrettes safer than tobacco cigarettes?

The jury is still out on this one. It is a common belief that e-cigarettes may be safer than tobacco because they do not release tar. Tar is a major cancer-causing substance that builds up in the lungs as cigarettes and other tobacco products are smoked. Studies have shown that fewer carcinogens are released when an e-cig is burned compared to when a cigarette is burned. What is not known, however, is the effects that inhaling the ingredients found in e-juice will have in people who use e-cigarettes over a long period of time. Some scientists believe that the chemicals and impurities in e-cigarettes may be bad for the lungs in different ways that are not yet known since these products are still new.

If you are switching from cigarettes to e-cigs for health reasons, there are a few ways to decrease your chances of poor health effects. First, make sure you buy your e-juice from a reputable supplier, rather than a rogue supplier who makes it in his or her basement. This way, you have a lower risk of coming into contact with harmful impurities. Second, consider using e-cigs as a step towards quitting smoking all-together, rather than relying on them indefinitely.

Is there nicotine in all e-cigs?

No, there are some versions of e-juice that are nicotine-free. These have a very practical use. If you're using e-cigarettes as a tool to quit smoking all-together, you can first switch from cigarettes to e-cigs with nicotine. Then, as you adapt, you can switch to an e-juice with a lower concentration of nicotine, before eventually switching to one that's completely nicotine-free. Then, all you have left to break is the habit of smoking -- you've already kicked the nicotine addiction, which for many people, is the hardest element of quitting.

Can people become addicted to e-cigs?

Absolutely. As mentioned above, most e-juice does contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance. If you are not currently a smoker and you begin to smoke e-cigarettes on a regular basis, you will likely become addicted and have a hard time kicking the habit.

Do you have to be 18 to legally smoke e-cigs?

Laws governing the sale of e-cigarettes and e-juice actually vary by state. Some states ban the sale of all vaporizer-type products to minors and consider e-cigs to fall into that category. Other states allow e-cigarettes that are nicotine-free to be sold to minors, but restrict sales of nicotine-containing products to those over the age of 18. Still other states, such as New Mexico, do not prohibit the sale of these products to minors, but require that the packaging on them be child-resistant. This resource from the National Conference of State Legislatures will help you find the specific laws regarding e-cigarette sales in your state.

If you're looking for a way to break your tobacco smoking habit, switching to e-cigarettes may be a great choice. Just keep in mind that while these devices probably are safer than cigarettes, their safety has not been fully studied and proven yet. Buy your juice and cigarettes from a reputable source, and make sure you're following the purchase laws in your state to avoid penalties.