10: No Smoking
Most of these electronic cigarettes are designed to appear just like regular cigarettes, but there is one major difference: You do not need a match or lighter to light them up. Instead, they hold a battery, a vaporization chamber and a cartridge filled with liquid nicotine. Puff on the device as you would normally do on a regular cigarette, and the device heats the nicotine liquid, changing it into a nicotine-filled vapour. Inhale to deliver the nicotine vapour into your lungs, and then exhale. There is no burning sensation since nothing is burning.
9: Safety Concerns
Until now there is no major study claiming that there are specific side effects due to the use of electronic cigarettes. Many health experts and institutions are not yet sure whether e-cigarette is to be considered safe. While there are many companies in the World that are producing and selling e-cigarettes, these manufacturers do not make any specific health or safety claims about these products. They do, however, lean on the benefits of e-cigarettes as a direct alternative to tobacco smoking. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States and some other health experts around the world are concerned that the side effects of inhaling pure nicotine have yet to be adequately studied, and are therefore unknown.
8: Nicotine Levels
An electronic cigarette can contain as much nicotine as a regular cigarette or even more. The amount of nicotine it delivers depends on the content of the liquid-nicotine cartridge in it. Customers can choose cartridges containing nicotine in a range of strengths. Comparable to a regular, light or ultra-light cigarette. There are also cartridges that contain liquid without nicotine, for users who want only the sensory experience of smoking without its effect (placebo).
7: Makers and Sellers
Electronic cigarettes are being sold throughout the world and they started spreading in our own island. They can be easily found in shops or even be purchased online. They were originally invented in China by a company called “Ruyan”, but are now produced by several companies in the United States, Europe and around the world. Many e-cig manufacturers sell the products online, along with the required cartridges, batteries and other accessories.
6: Not Child-friendly
Manufacturers are trying to be careful not to directly market their product to young people. However, nicotine cartridges for the electronic cigarette come in a wide range of flavours likely to appeal to kids (chocolate, caramel, strawberry and even bubble gum). Due to the fact that e-cigs can be purchased online, it is much easier to be purchased by curious children, easier than buying regular cigarettes from a kiosk. A problem exists with legislation. Since e-cigarettes are not considered tobacco products, there is still no age limit restriction for their use. A child can easily purchase a cigarette from a shop without any impact nor to the seller or buyer (no proof of age needed). Also young people may be attracted to them as a result of the attention celebrities are bringing to them: Johnny Depp in the film “The Tourist” uses such a device and “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl shared one with David Letterman during a guest appearance on his show, even explaining to the audience how it works. These examples will be growing as the electronic cigarettes will be more and more into fashion.
5: They are not Cheap
Electronic cigarettes come in a range of prices, depending on manufacturer, model and style. A typical starter kit, which contains the electronic cigarette device, a battery and several cartridges, can cost anywhere from 80 Euros to 150 Euros. Consumers also can purchase the nicotine liquid in bulk and refill their cartridges themselves, reducing the total cost.
4: Maintenance Required
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices and are reusable, but users must charge the battery regularly. The nicotine-liquid in the cartridges also requires to be resupplied regularly something that may be considered as user-unfriendly. This can be done either by inserting a new cartridge or refilling the empty one.
3: Not Regulated by Health Authorities, Yet
In U.S. the corresponding Food and Drug Administration is in the process of having electronic cigarettes labeled as a drug-delivery device so they can be regulated [source: FDA]. Manufacturers, however, claim that the electronic cigarette is simply recreational, and should not be subject to FDA regulation. Two electronic cigarette companies, “Smoking Everywhere” and “NJOY”, have suing the FDA in the district court of the District of Columbia for impounding their products, and managed to win the case. The judge ruled that “there is no basis for the FDA to treat electronic cigarettes … as a drug-device combination when all they purport to do is offer consumers the same recreational effects as a regular cigarette” [source: U.S. District Court]. Such a law is not applied in Cyprus and we are far away from anything to be done in this matter.
2: Public Places
Regulation of electronic cigarette use is still evolving, as the product is relatively new. The manufacturers of electronic cigarettes market them as cigarettes you can smoke anywhere, arguing that they pose no health risks because they do not emit secondhand smoke. However, health experts claim that there is no basis for a safety claim, as electronic cigarettes have not been yet adequately tested. Regulations vary around the world but some countries, including Australia, Canada, Israel and Mexico, have banned electronic cigarettes [source: NPR]. Others consider electronic cigarettes legal, but are in the process of legislating their usage in time and space.
1: Secondhand Vapour
While e-cigarettes do not produce secondhand smoke, they certainly do produce secondhand vapour. Even though manufacturers say that this vapour is merely water vapour, hence harmless, regulatory agencies and health experts contend that electronic cigarette makers have not conducted the research needed to prove this. Individuals, particularly those with some health conditions making them sensitive towards these byproducts, have reported that the vapour is irritating to their eyes, noses and throats, and that it greatly affects their breathing and even makes them nauseous. Opponents of electronic cigarettes say people should not be subjected to secondhand vapour until studies have been done, proving their safety towards especially children, the elderly and people suffering from certain medical conditions.