The term e cig or e cigarettes have been around since 1963 when the very first e cig was patented by a person named Herbert A. Gilbert. They are intended to function as a substitute for actually smoking a cigarette. Their purpose is to supply the smoker with the nicotine they are craving without the other harmful effects that come along with smoking. Whether they are a benefit or harmful is still to be determined.
An e cig works because it has a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution that in most cases contains nicotine and some type of flavoring. However, in some cases it does not contain the nicotine which is a primary reason most smokers smoke. When they first were introduced back in 1963 they were not as powerful as the ones on the market today. Today the e cig is generally bigger because of the larger battery and has a much more effective delivery system for supplying nicotine to the user.
According to the World Health Organization, they haven’t determined whether or not using an e cigarette are completely safe or not. In fact they have stated that smokers that use this type of device should be strongly advised to not use them until many more studies have been performed to determine if they are safe of not. I suppose even after the results come back there will continue to be much debate as to whether they are harmful or not.
On the other hand a review that was performed in 2011 states that an e cig may actually aid in smoking cessation. In fact, they may be a better solution than even the more traditional pharmacotherapy. Now in order to be fair the study did not find any direct connection to its effectiveness when it comes to smoking cessation. It only took a look at two studies that were published having an indirect effect on the cravings of smokers.
Finally, the American Association of Public Health Physicians has come out with their own statement suggesting that if a smoker is unwilling to quit using more traditional methods that they should consider using the e cigarettes instead. Now this is not an endorsement by any means, but only their way of telling us that smoking cigarettes is very harmful and using an alternative like the e cig is preferable over actually smoking.
Of course at the end of the day you will have to make your own decision based on the studies and facts that are circulating throughout the world on this subject. The best solution of course is to quit smoking altogether, but for some it is enjoyable and who is to say what someone should or shouldn’t do.