A New Era of Nicotine: Analyzing Electronic Cigarettes
A product has been introduced recently that promises assistance to individuals desiring to kick the habit of smoking. There is much speculation regarding electronic cigarettes, primarily because of the rapid increase in popularity since their arrival in the United States in 2007. As a smoker, I found myself compelled to learn as much as I could about this new, safer alternative to traditional combustion cigarettes.
The modern electronic cigarette was first commercially produced and patented in 2004 by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik who developed it while struggling to quit his own pack-a-day smoking habit after watching his father die of lung cancer (Macdonald). It was originally released to the Chinese market as a cessation device, quickly gaining popularity (McArdle). Within three years the electronic cigarette, or e-cig, arrived in the United States and although it had a rocky start, sales have been steadily increasing ever since. In fact, if sales trends continue on their current path, e-cigarette sales are expected to become a $10 billion business by 2017 (Carr).
Most modern day e-cigarettes contain five common components: an indicator light, rechargeable battery, vaporizer unit, cartridge, and mouthpiece. When all of those elements are combined and functional, the user is able to inhale and exhale vaporized nicotine liquid consisting of water, glycerol, propylene glycol, and flavorings (Carr).
With the recent increase in popularity, some 7,764 flavors have been developed, ranging from “gummy bear” to peach schnapps and even Dr. Pepper (Macdonald). Because of the enticing flavors, critics are worried about the real aim of tobacco companies’ production of electronic cigarettes. Although firmly denied by manufacturers, it seems that the wide range of flavors are aimed at getting young people to start the nicotine habit. In recent studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, twenty...