What's the straight dope on e-cigs?

I had a smoker friend tell me e-cigs are bad because they can give you pneumonia and mildewy breath. I decided it wasn’t worth it to debate the pros and cons.

See, this is sort of what I mean. Addiction is only a problem when the addiction is maladaptive. If the chemical to which one is addicted has minimal adverse health effects, then the addiction is not a health issue. If one really likes eating cherries, and often craves them, then one is in some sense addicted, but we don’t worry about cherry addictions. (Even if one says, “cherries are not physically addictive, this person only has a psychological addiction, while nicotine is physically addictive,” you should know that both physical addictions and operant conditioning implicate the brain’s reward pathways, so that may be a distinction without a difference).

Second, yes, nicotine is toxic in high enough dosages. As are vitamin A and iron, which are also both necessary for life. Now, nicotine, obviously, is not necessary for life, and its toxic dosage is lower than that of vitamin A or iron.

But my point stands that as a simulacrum, e-cigarettes are perhaps too effective. At least when it comes to public health types who see something that unabashedly looks like a cigarette, and therefore must be suppressed regardless of the evidence (or the fact that e-cigarettes seem to resemble an alternative delivery mechanism for NRT than it resembles conventional tobacco smoking).

This will probably blow a lot of your minds: nicotine, on its own, may not be very addictive. It’s the synergism between the MAOI (antidepressant) found in tobacco and nicotine that make tobacco so addictive:

http://www.statepress.com/archive/node/7194

I cough sometimes, but it’s a tickley back of the throat postnasal drip kind of cough, not a hacky phlegmy smoker’s cough. I much prefer it. And I find that if it’s happening a lot in a day, I need to rinse my tank and atomizer coil, and then all is right with the world again.

Yup. I get a lot more funny looks since I’ve switched to the style with a tank (easier to refill, longer battery life) that doesn’t look like an actual cigarette…but a lot fewer *dirty *looks.

Also, keep in mind that even if you are a E-cig smoker only, your insurance company considers you a tobacco user and your insurance premiums will reflect as much.

Note that nicotine actually adds to your stress, it doesn’t relieve it- except as any addictive drug hits the bloodstream on an addict.

Just because something is a stimulant doesn’t mean it’s going to stress you out. I’ve known people who get positively giddy after drinking caffeine, for example. Stress is an unhappy state, and anything that makes you happier can help relieve it. Sometimes the energy boost from a stimulant can make you feel better.

And if smoking didn’t make people feel better, they never would have used it often enough to get addicted in the first place.

I’ve been vaping now for two years ,after 30 years of smoking. Ecigs have come a long way in the last few years. The ecigs that look like cigarettes are just the tip of the iceberg. The best thing to do if you want to know about ecigs is to do your own research. A good place to start would be at ECF.-> http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/

They come with tons of different flavours from marshmallow to strawberry to rhum. I visited a shop yesterday, and they had a dozen of tobacco flavours alone (it turned out, contrarily to what I expected, that I don’t like tobacco flavours and enjoy fruit flavours a lot). There are even premix available (for instance I want to try the “Moscow” flavour which is honey+hazelnut) or make your own.

A lot of flavours are chemical, but a number are guaranteed natural. And “made in France” (as opposed to, I guess, China) seems often a proeminently displayed sale argument.

For example, I bought yesterday coffe, blackberry and piña colada flavours.

And those are often unsatisfying for smokers because their small size prevents them from producing a lot smoke/vapor.
ETA : just tasted blackberry…and berk (taste barely noticeable and very “chemical” rather than fruity)…while I had liked cherry a lot, for instance.

What’s unknown is the effect that regularly inhaling large quantities of propylene glycol has on the body. Yes, it’s been used in asthma inhalers for decades, but they are not used on such a scale.

It’s “generally recognised as safe” - but I still wouldn’t want it in my body.

Getting addicted to nicotine is remarkable easy and peer pressure is enough to make you light up those first few times.

Again, the ‘stress relief’ you get from smoking is *exactly *the stress relief a heroin addict gets when he shoots up. Your body has been craving the drug, and now that stress is over.

But would you prefer tar?