Do Electronic cigarettes have nicotine or tobacco in them? 

Electronic cigarettes, otherwise known as e-cigarettes or vapourisers, are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional cigarettes which are made of tobacco. While e-cigarettes contain nicotine, both smokers and non-smokers see vaping as a more favourable and healthier option than smoking, because they do not produce the same harmful effects as the tobacco-laden cigarettes.  

The battery operated cigarettes first debuted in 2003. Since then, sales have soared and are threatening the £525 billion cigarette industry worldwide. Experts even predict that e-cigarettes will outsell traditional products within ten years. 

The appeal

E-cigarettes are used just like traditional ones. As a person inhales, the e-liquid contained within is heated up and vapourised, which the user takes in just as he or she would with smoke. The addition of sweet, fruity flavours enhances the user’s overall experience. 

Each e-cigarette contains three key components: a heating element, a battery and a cartridge that holds the e-liquid. The products come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours. Some are disposable while more modern versions have refillable tanks and rechargeable batteries. And, since e-cigarettes do not have tobacco, they do not have the same pungent smell.    

A safer alternative

In 2015, Public Health England (PHE), a part of Britain’s Department of Health, issued a report detailing the questions and benefits of e-cigarettes. The report indicates that the use of e-cigs is about 95% less harmful than smoking. Preliminary research by other industry leaders across the globe has yielded similar results with the viewpoint being that vaping is significantly better.   

For health experts, the main concern and opposition to traditional cigarettes stems from tobacco and the detrimental effects it has on people and the environment. When burned, tobacco produces toxins and carcinogens that can lead to cancer, other health complications and death. According to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), smoking is the greatest preventable cause of premature death in the UK. 

Unlike tobacco, nicotine is not a carcinogen. Additionally, research has shown that the hazardous chemicals in traditional cigarette smoke is either not present in e-cigarette vapor, or, if it is, the chemicals exist at such a low level that they are not a cause for concern. 

Why use e-cigarettes?
While many see e-cigarettes as a healthier, trendier version of cigarettes, some view them as a way to quit smoking. For heavy smokers, the nicotine in the e-cigarette is almost comparable to nicotine gum or patches. Yet, with e-cigarettes, users still have the sensation of smoking – holding the cigarette, inhaling, puffing and the effects of nicotine. 

It is believed that e-cigs have contributed to the decrease in cigarette smokers. PHE reports that while the while the number of e-cigarettes users has increased, the number of adult and youth smokers has decreased. Furthermore, sales of nicotine replacement products have decreased significantly in recent years. According to Euromonitor, the sales of vapourisers are three times greater than that of other nicotine products.