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E-Cigarettes are Becoming a Practical Option

Posted by on Feb 26, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 11.07.33 PMIt’s no secret that a significant percentage of the population smokes cigarettes.  It’s also no secret that, in recent years, those individuals have been shunned like lepers because of their choice.  Smoking restrictions have become increasingly stringent, even going so far as to restrict smoking in outdoor public areas in some instances.  Very few people will argue against the fact that cigarettes are incredibly unhealthy, but people are addicted to them nonetheless.  So what’s the answer for those looking to quit?  Gum?  The patch?  Hypnosis?  Quitting cold turkey?

A fairly new addition to the marketplace, e-cigarettes, may be the answer.  After having smoked traditional cigarettes (called “analogs” in the e-cigarette world) for 16 years, I haven’t touched one in over a year…all thanks to electronic cigarettes.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, electronic, or “e” cigarettes use a battery that heats up and vaporizes a mixture of propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin combined with liquid nicotine and flavoring, allowing it to be inhaled. The byproduct is an odorless nicotine/water vapor.  This vapor emission is also what gives smoking e-cigarettes one of its most commons nicknames; vaping.

From time to time, cigar smokers get the itch for a cigarette while they’re enjoying a premium cigar.  Instead of having to put down the cigar and smoke an entire cigarette when the need arises, e-cigarettes provide a convenient alternative.  You can take a few puffs from the electronic device, put it in your pocket and go back to enjoying your cigar.  Gone are the days of feeling like you have to power through an entire cigarette when all you might need are a couple of drags to curb your craving.

E-cigarettes also allow you to mix and match flavors.  There are myriad flavors available, ranging from traditional tobacco and menthol to beer, coffee, fruit flavors and just about anything else you can imagine.  You can also buy e-liquid (the liquid nicotine mixture) with varying levels of nicotine, providing the potential to gradually decrease until you are able to quit – if that’s what you plan to do.

The money saved by using e-cigarettes is also a huge bonus.  You can certainly get carried away with your setup and spend several hundred dollars, but there are many cost-effective options available.  My configuration cost about $35 to get started and provides everything I need.  The only recurring costs are the e-liquid (after having smoked a pack a day for over a decade, I spend about $11 a month on liquid) and the replacement atomizers – which are the components that actually heat the liquid and cost about $3.  The atomizer generally needs to be replaced every 1-2 months, depending on how frequently you use the device. So, if I still smoked a pack a day and was spending a very conservative estimate of $6 per pack, that’s $180 every month.  I’m saving around $166 each month using an e-cigarette.

I’ve spoken with a few doctors about the health risks of electronic cigarettes and their answers have all been very non-committal.  This is due, in large part, to the fact that e-cigarettes haven’t been around long enough for any long-term studies to have been completed.  The general consensus among the people with whom I’ve spoken is that they can’t say that e-cigarettes are better for you than “analogs”, but they do feel that they probably aren’t any worse.  Basically, e-cigs are definitely, maybe, perhaps not quite as bad for you as regular cigarettes, but nobody knows for sure yet.  Aren’t you glad we got that cleared up?

The bottom line is that e-cigarettes and vaping may be a practical option if you’re a smoker looking to change things up.

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I’m a husband and father from central Pennsylvania who has recently rediscovered his love for cigars. By day I’m a mild-mannered insurance marketer. Out of the office, however, I can usually be found spending down time with my family, golfing, camping or hiking. I’m also die-hard Philadelphia Eagles and Boston Red Sox fan whose wife says he spends too much time playing fantasy football.

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