Know Anything about Electronic Cigarettes?

I may have mentioned elsewhere on the Dope that I am a rather heavy smoker. On my good days I can force myself to only smoke half a pack, when I don’t pay attention I can smoke a pack and a half, when I go out drinking with friends I can smoke two. Yes, I admit, that’s alot of cigarettes and I probably should quit. Easier said than done, of course.

My mother-in-law saw an infomercial for an “electronic cigarette” that cost something like 200RMB (we live in China, BTW, where late-night infomercials are notorious for selling useless junk…even more useless than the crap sold in infomercials in the US: “Quote the Raven: WHAT A SHINE!”) and she’s been pressuring me to buy one. That’s not very much USD, and isn’t really all that much in China, but it’s not the kind of money I’d like to spend on some useless gadget that wont help. What’s more, I’ve never even heard of this kind of technology and, frankly, don’t really want to use it. In the long run, though, it seems cheaper to have a rechargable cigarette than to keep buying a pack each day. Anyone have any experience with “electronic cigarettes” or know anyone who does? It all just reeks of snake oil to me, but I’d be willing to give it a whirl if I could cut down on my smoking and save a few bucks in the process.

“Electronic cigarettes” are voporizers built in the shape of cigarettes. Wikipedia link. You insert a cartridge containing nicotine-bearing liquid. There were a number of articles a few months ago about them in the Toronto news. They would seem to answer a number of concerns relating to smoking (no more fires, ashes, stench, etc), but they are apparently illegal in Canada.

I had one, but I returned it to the store.

Basically, the way it works is that there is a heating element that vaporizes a flavored oil, creating an odorless liquid vapor, that is inhaled just like cigarette smoke. If used normally, a typical cartridge is equivalent to about 2 packs of cigarettes (although some people have reported that it doesn’t last that much.) Imho, ecigs should be smoked less than real cigs. If you chain smoked an ecig cartridge, I would assume it would last less than a few hours.

In the US, a pack of 10 refills (so about the same as a 20 pack carton of cigarettes) is about $20. Maybe it’s cheaper in China. I calculated I would save around 1k/year (cigs are ~$6/pack here.)

However, after using it, I found out a few things:

  1. Vapor doesn’t feel the same as smoke.
  2. As smokers, our lung cilla doesn’t work so great. My lungs can’t handle any type of oil or pollution in the air. Scented candles and incense also cause me to cough. So, after a few days, I started coughing too.
  3. Like anything with a rechargable battery, it runs out when you need it the most.

However, some people have reported online that while they didn’t switch 100%, they used it when they couldn’t smoke, and they were still able to save money.

The people locally who have one said they were disappointed with it, and they still smoke regular cigs.

For reference, here is the thread from much earlier in the year.

Thanks so much to all of you, that earlier thread (posted before I joined the Dope) gave me some good insight. Seems like an ecig could also solve that pesky problem of me having to find some deserted place to smoke lest I offend the lungs of my co-workers. I guess I’ll buy one and try it out and, if it turns out to not be so great, I’ll just take the monetary loss, I guess.

They’re banned in several countries, including Australia and Israel. Put that in yer pipe and smoke it.

I think they’re useful for situations where cigarettes aren’t allowed, or possibly if you want to quit, but little else.

I think the atomizzer works without heat.

I got my son one to try, and he will use it now and then, but he says the nicotene/tobacco flavor burst you get with your first drag isn’t there. I think that’s because the e-cig gives out the same amount with each puff. Others say you get used to that aspect.

I think you could certainly use it to cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoked.

Good luck!

Be aware that they might still be illegal to use indoors (at work, the pub etc), though they might be useful for smoking in the house, that way all your clean clothes don’t pick up the smell of cigs.

Does anyone have any information on why they’re banned in certain places? There must be some sort of health risk (or at least untested aspect where the country’s health ministry won’t allow them to be sold until studies are conducted on their safety) otherwise I can’t imagine why they’d be banned unless there was some indication smoking real cigarettes was actually safer.

I’ve been looking into seeing how I can get some BluCigs; I generally thought I couldn’t get them shipped into Canada because of tobacco regulations. (i.e. I could probably bring it across physically and possibly pay necessary duty, but couldn’t get it shipped across.) But if it’s actually banned here that could put a new wrinkle in the plans.

Does anyone know how they compare with the nicotine "inhalater"s? I got one of these for flights and they’re disgusting - make me hack and cough and feel sick. Is the eCigarette (or eFag as it would be over here) different?

I wonder why. The output is only water vapor, from what I’ve read. The one my son uses has no odor at all . I can’t even tell he’s been using it.

They’re certainly not illegal to use in my neck of the woods. Neither is smoking indoors, actually.