Saturday, May 26, 2012

Discovering E-Cigarettes

I was a career smoker you could say. Until one day I walked into the pharmacy and saw an e-cigarette. It had 0 nicotine but I decided to try it. Although there was something missing (nicotine), I was impressed. Taking a drag was much the same as a real cigarette. I got menthol and even though the taste was a bit different, I found it comparable (better than the Indian smokes I used to have!) The 'smoke' was quite realistic and I thought the light that glowed orange at the end was a cute detail. It was a bit larger than a king size and about double the weight. I decided to do some research into what this product really was, how it worked and how it came to be. 
In short (there's a lot of info elsewhere on the net), it was created by a pharmacist in China.  The ingredients are propylene (or vegetable) glycol, water, nicotine, and flavoring (like cherry, mint etc...)
The only ingredient I had to do more research on was the PG. It's actually the synthetic version of vegetable glycol and both are used as food and other additives. PG is also used in asthma inhalers.  There has been extensive research on PG and it has been deemed as safe since the 50's. 
Next was how it worked. Again, in short, a battery heats a cartridge automatically when you inhale. The cartridge contains the water, PG, nicotine.  When you exhale, the "smoke" is actually vapor (thanks to the PG). 
The other tidbit I came across is that Health Canada hasn't "approved" e-cigs for use in Canada WITH nicotine. The reason cited was that there is no process/quality control to discern how much nicotine is in each drag and labeling concerns. Therefore, Health Canada has prohibited the sale, advertisement and importation of e-cigs containing nicotine. This was about 2 years ago and if you do some digging on the net you'll see some forum posts of people complaining that their orders were seized by Customs. 
In contrast, the FDA approved e-cigs however, it is trying to back-track because of concerns that it will encourage children to take up the habit. 
Next, I dug into what people thought of the cigs. There's a site in the UK that created a survey and they posted the extra comments that people had volunteered. Simply amazing! Career smokers, those who smoked 3 packs a day, those with COPD and other smoking related illnesses reported having quit tobacco in its entirety without any effort. Even Dr's have been commenting in surprise. 
This caused some concerns for me since I didn't want the expense and hassle of this happening to me.  Lucky for me though, I found a Canadian distributor (it's a large company) with excellent delivery options and great customer service.  When you call, someone  answers the phone and the wait times are nominal. They also back up their products and customer service is knowledgeable and friendly. Use the coupon code "FREEDOM" for a 10% discount. Get an even bigger discount when you purchase the VIP card. 
More to come...

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