The jury is still out on the electronic cigarette, or e-cig. While many users swear by them, the electronic gadgets are getting a wary eye from the FDA as an untested new drug. It’s easy enough to see both sides of the equation, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t fascinated with the e-cigs based purely on their technological standpoint. We, as a society, are officially gadget addicts, but hey that’s better than smoking addicts, right?
E-Cigs and Legal Limbo
The electronic cigarette is a much simpler version of a real cigarette, helped along with a bit of battery. The e-cig looks just like a traditional cigarette with a slender, white body and brown filter. Inside the body of the e-cig, however, you’ll find a container of liquid nicotine and a battery. When you puff on the e-cig, the battery heats up the liquid nicotine which makes a bit of theatrical smoke, along with a small amount of propylene glycol.
The e-cigs deliver nicotine to the body without tar or cancer causing agents, or at least these are the claims of the companies selling the e-cigs in the United States. The FDA tried to stop the importation of the e-cigs and did for awhile calling them an untested drug, but then the federal courts ruled that the e-cigarettes aren’t sold for therapeutic uses, which leaves them out of the jurisdiction of the FDA. It’s a rather strong case of legal limbo, but meanwhile the American people can’t seem to get enough of the electronic cigarettes. Move over iPad, the e-cig may be our new gadget of choice.
The Gadget Appeal of E-Cigs
It’s such a simple gadget compared to the more complex computer-chip driven devices of the day, but as small gadgets go, this one is catching on with lightning speed. Suddenly you’re allowed to smokewhere you weren’t before. The e-cig doesn’t produce real smoke and you may even be allowed to smokeit on a plane. Imagine the joy of delivering pure nicotine to your system while playing Angry Birds at 20,000 feet. Heavenly.
Since it’s considered healthier than traditional cigarettes, many who might otherwise try cigarettes are giving the e-cig a try. It provides the oral fixation many smokers or would-be smokers crave while also delivering nicotine in a simple, if theatrical way. The smoke from the e-cig is cool in the same way it’s cool to put water on dry ice. We, as a collective society, obviously dig the fake vapor.
E-Cigs: Effective or Worthless?
There are some who might call the e-cigs a clever new toy for the masses to play with. They are marketed as recreational items in a sense, much like tobacco normally would be. While others might call the e-cigs are great new gadget for helping smokers stop, they would meet resistance from the government who claims the e-cig isn’t therapeutic, and if it were deemed to be therapeutic, the FDA would jump all over the shipments of e-cigs again in a heartbeat. As it is they are waiting on the perimeter looking for a chance to edge back into the fight.
As a somewhat confusing gadget used for purely recreationalpurposes, but that might also help you stop smoking as purely a byproduct, it is reasonably safe to say that e-cigarettes are an effective gizmo on many levels. And the fake smoke is cool, too.
=== About the Author ===
Guest post by Rebecca Garland of internetauthor.net
Image of smoker from Reason.com