Understanding the Emerging Vaping Technology

Habits are a hard thing to break especially when such habit involves the presence of a highly addictive substance such as nicotine. Despite its harmful effects, smokers still continue to look forward to getting their regular nicotine fix every day. Attempts to quit are seldom successful. In most cases, smokers who do manage to go cold turkey can only sustain it for a period of time. The more abruptly they kick the habit, the bigger their chances of experiencing a relapse. While it’s not entirely impossible to quit smoking for good, smokers who are planning to salvage their health and wellness should try a more effective approach. They can either undergo a gradual process wherein they slowly try to minimize the amount of cigarettes they smoke in a day until they reach a point where they have grown accustomed to its absence and no longer feel the need to continuously look for that fix, or they can try and reduce the negative effects of smoking by looking for a cleaner and safer alternative. Since the latter option sounds more doable, a trend has been developed to make it truly possible for smokers to enjoy the effects of smoking without compromising their health. While it’s not entirely considered the same thing as smoking, vaping was created with the intention to provide smokers the same high without exposing them to the same amount of risk.

To simulate the experience of smoking, a tiny battery operated atomizer is used to vaporize a mixture of small amounts of nicotine with a vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol-based liquid and a bit of food-grade flavoring. The user can inhale and exhale the vapor the same way he does with a regular cigarette thus the term “vaping.”

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Because the idea appealed so much to people, the vaping industry experienced a dramatic increase in sales over a short period of time. Staring with roughly 50,000 electronic cigarettes in 2008, the number grew to about 3.5 million in 2012. While e-cigarettes were mainly invented for smokers who wish to do a little harm reduction or as a way to gradually recover from their nicotine addiction, e-cigarette users are not exclusive to people who smoke or have a history of smoking. The concept has also appealed to non-smokers, especially the younger ones. Since e-cigarettes are known to cause little harm and can be used in places where smoking is usually prohibited, a growing number of non-smokers have claimed to have tried it at least once.

Used as a means to minimize the harmful effects of smoking to one’s health, plenty of e-cigarette users still continue to smoke traditional cigarettes. Alternating the use of both can still make a difference since it reduces the number of cigarette sticks that a person can smoke in a day. An increasing number of e-cigarette users also report that vaping has helped them to quit smoking gradually. Although cutting back on cigarette smoking has been the primary reason as to why people consider vaping, a percentage of users also resort to this method as a way to evade strict laws on smoking.

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E-cigarettes have started to gain popularity over the last decade. However, the concept of a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette has existed since the early 60s. The earliest e-cigarette prototypes were created by a man named Herbert Gilbert. Much like the recent kinds of e-cigarettes used nowadays, these devices employed heat to vaporize a specialized nicotine solution. Although the device was patented as “smokeless non-tobacco cigarettes,” they were never commercialized.

A similar idea was also embraced by a Chinese pharmacist named Hon Lik. As Herbert Gilbert failed to market his invention, Hon Lik became widely known for the development of the modern electronic cigarette. As with Herbert Gilbert, Hon Lik was himself a smoker. However, he managed to quit right after his father died due to lung cancer which was caused by his habit of smoking. Eventually, he developed the idea of using an element that efficiently emits piezoelectric ultrasound to turn a pressurized jet of propylene glycol solution that’s diluted with certain amounts of nicotine into vapor. The smoke-like steam can be delivered into the person’s bloodstream through the lungs by inhaling it the same way as a traditional cigarette. Hon Lik’s invention also suggests the use of propylene glycol to dilute the particles of nicotine and storing it in a plastic cartridge which serves as both a mouthpiece and a liquid reservoir. Electronic cigarettes first became popular in the China and it’s easy to understand why. According to statistics, around 60 percent of the total male population in the country are smokers. Right after it started to reach international markets, Hon Lik patented his invention in 2003.

The use of electronic cigarettes reduces health risks as it does away with the negative effects of combustion. Since it’s the process of burning that creates these harmful cancer causing by products, Vaping is considered to be a far healthier alternative. However, it doesn’t work the same way as a hookah or a water pipe. In a simple hookah contraption, a mixture of burnt tobacco and molasses are drawn through water to lower the temperature of the smoke produced. Since the herb is still burnt, this method doesn’t save the user from the harmful effects of burning.

Basically, electronic cigarettes employ a mixture composed of flavoring, nicotine, and polyethylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. This solution is place in the device’s inhaler cartridge. The device features a sensor that triggers the vaporizer to heat a percentage of the mixture every time the user inhales. Vaping technology doesn’t require anything to be burned; it simply employs the right amount of heat to turn the liquid mixture to vapor.

Polyethylene glycol, the main component used in e-cigarettes, is approved by the FDA. It can also be found in a wide range of other consumer products. In 2013, a study published in the journal Tobacco Control reported that the harmful substances produced through vaping are found to be 9 to 450 times lower as compared to that of a traditional cigarette smoke.

Clearly, a lot of people are considering this approach in an effort to lead a healthier lifestyle. In fact, subcultures of vapers or vaping enthusiasts have emerged in random parts of the world to try and advocate the benefits of vaping.