Cigarettes carry serious health risks both for the smokers and those who can inhale the second-hand smoke. Aside from this health risks, the nicotine which is the main psychoactive chemical in tobacco, is also addictive. That’s why many smokers as well as those who are trying to quit look for other options to get their ‘nicotine fix’ and reduce the health risks of smoking. One of these alternatives is the electronic cigarette also known e-cigor e-cigarette.

Electronic cigarette was first conceived in China and became available in the US in 2007. This is a battery powered device that has a heating element and a cartridge that holds nicotine and flavorings. The features and costs of e-cigarettes vary. The appearance and the mechanism of e-cigarette to a conventional cigarette are quite similar however the main difference is that e-cig is tobacco free. Even so, the benefits and risks of e-cigarettes are still uncertain. Some argue that the health risks of e-cigarette use are lower compare to regular cigarettes.

Electronic Cigarettes Vs Conventional Cigarettes

To explain further, here’s a comparison between conventional cigarette and an electronic cigarette:

1.)  Conventional cigarettes need lighters or matches to smoke. Electronic cigarettes on the other hand were powered by batteries that will heat and vaporize the liquid. Some e-cigs are even rechargeable and re-usable. An example of an e-cigarette is this hookah vape pen that comes in different flavors and is disposable.

2.)  Conventional cigarettes burn tobacco that is known to cause a lot of health risks particularly lung cancer. E-cigs don’t so there’s no smoke, no carbon monoxide and no odor.

3.)  Tobacco in conventional cigarettes contains nicotine. E-cigs are smoke-free and tobacco-free but they are not absolutely nicotine-free. Liquids in e-cigs usually contain nicotine, flavourings, propylene glycol and other additives. Some e-cigs even has nicotine content similar to the amount of nicotine in regular cigarettes. E-cig smokers though, can also opt for the flavoured liquid to be nicotine-free.

4.)  Cigarette smoke has 7,000 chemicals and 69 of it are known carcinogenic. However, e-cigs can be toxic to our body too because the liquid nicotine is very lethal compare to tobacco leaves. A small dose of it can cause harm if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. Aside from this the use of e-cigs also releases metals and other impurities.

5.)  Researches about the health risks of conventional cigarette smoking are wide and extensive. On the other hand, regulatory agencies and health experts are uncertain how safe electronic cigarettes are.

6.)  Both conventional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes are regulated by FDA.

7.)  Conventional cigarettes can cost more than $1,000 per year while electronic cigarettes can cost $30-$100 for a starter kit and the annual sustenance for the cartridge could be around $600.

8.)  Even if both conventional and electronic cigarettes are regulated, e-cig manufacturers have more leeway in manufacturing their product as smoke-free and tobacco-free.

9.)  With the use of conventional cigarettes, bystanders are also impacted through second-hand smoke. The same is true also with e-cigs. However the nicotine emissions in e-cigs are 10 times lower than from burning tobacco.

10.)  Both conventional and electronic cigarette use can cause lung damage to smokers. Conventional cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing lung cancer while electronic cigarette users mostly experience airway resistance and inflammation as a side effect of e-cig use.

Both conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes are addictive and pose health risks to smokers and non-smokers who can inhale second-hand smoke. The key to reducing these risks is for smokers to be careful and be mindful of their environment. Before deciding what to use, smokers need to check their facts first.