Could Nicotine Vaporizers End Cigarette Smoking?

Written by: Alexandra Paskulin

Nicotine vaporizers, otherwise known as e-cigarettes, are gaining popularity and giving cigarette smokers a cleaner, healthier, more environmentally safe option. Despite popular opposition, e-cigarettes help thousands of people quit smoking.

Invented in China by Hon Lik in 2003, electronic cigarettes vaporize nicotine cartridges with an atomizer, a heating element that heats the nicotine solution in the cartridge until it becomes vapor that in then inhaled by the user. Cartridges come in either replaceable or refillable varieties (refills take the form of liquid nicotine in varying strengths and flavors). The vaporizing mechanism is powered by a rechargeable battery. E-cigarettes come in a wide variety of styles and are produced by dozens of companies worldwide. According to popular vaporizer community website, the top three e-cigarette manufactures are The Safe Cig, Green Smoke, and V2 Cigs. As their names suggest, e-cigarettes are being hailed by the smoking community as revolutionary.

For smokers of traditional cigarettes, switching to a nicotine vaporizer can be, literally, life saving. E-cigarettes contain none of the carcinogenic chemicals found in traditional cigarettes! Because they emit harmless vapor, e-cigarettes pose no danger to others in the style of second-hand smoke. Vapor converts report improved respiratory health and increased energy, not to mention the freedom to vape anywhere, the elimination of cigarette smell and an inevitable decrease in the necessary for frequent laundry. E-cigarettes can also be less expensive than tobacco cigarettes depending on the individual. has a handy calculator to determine potential savings.

A study published in the Journal of Public Health Policy in February 2011 by Zachary Cahn and Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health concluded “Few, if any, chemicals at levels detected in electronic cigarettes raise serious health concerns.” In fact, the overwhelming benefits of nicotine vaporizers over traditional smoking should eliminate the concern over e-cigarettes as a gateway device into tobacco smoking. In addition to personal and social health benefits, the lack of smoke and cigarette-related trash make vaporizers dramatically better for the environment. However, public support for e-cigarettes in the United States is severely lacking.

A diagram of an E-cigarette

This diagram, courtesy of, displays the parts of the device. Inventor Hon Lik first envisioned the vaporizer as a cloud of fog.

Instead of supporting e-cigarettes as a healthy alternative for smokers, a 2011 statement by the FDA declared that e-cigarettes would be regulated under the same laws as tobacco products despite containing no tobacco whatsoever. Instead of recognizing the potential life-saving benefits of nicotine vaporizing for smokers, e-cigarettes are being lumped in with regular smoking in an upcoming 2014 University of California campus-wide ban on smoking as well a ban from use on airplanes. states that “Because clinical studies about the safety and efficacy of these products have not been submitted to FDA, consumers currently have no way of knowing whether e-cigarettes are safe.” However Michael Siegel argues, “The FDA and major anti-smoking groups keep saying that we don’t know anything about what is in electronic cigarettes. The truth is, we know a lot more about what is in electronic cigarettes than regular cigarettes.” As more smokers switch to vaporizers, the question will be whether government agencies are willing to accept non-toxic nicotine consumption in a vein similar to popular caffeine consumption. “I feel like they just don’t want us to have our cake and eat it too,” says one vaper who quit tobacco cigarettes last month. Despite FDA claims that e-cigarettes are marketed toward children, nicotine vaporizers carry an 18 and over restriction and many popular e-cigarette websites prompt age verification before loading.

Public opinion toward nicotine consumption could be experiencing dramatic changes. In addition to the rise of e-cigarettes, nicotine has been involved in recent studies as a treatment for ulcerative colitis, depression, Alzheimer’s, OCD, and ADHD. For smokers looking to switch, more information can be found at and

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