Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Electronic Cigarettes: A Safer Alternative - an Infographic

21 Century Smoking is proud to introduce our first infographic! We wanted to bring you an awesome visual about choosing electronic cigarettes as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. Electric Cigarettes: A Safer Alternative explores why making the switch to widely popular e-cigarettes really is the best bet for you, your health, and the health of those around you. Don't forget, 21 Century Smoking is your source for the best e-cigarette products on the market. Located in Chicago, we're also online 24/7 to fulfill all of your electronic cigarette needs. We hope you enjoy our first infographic! Feel free to share this with your friends! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

21 Century Smoking Presents Brand Video

21 Century Smoking is proud to present an awesome short video all about our brand. We specialize in electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, e-liquid, and other accessories right here in Chicago. Our knowledge team is prepared to help with any questions or concerns you may have about making the switch to electronic cigarettes. If you don't live in the Chicago area, our online store www.21centurysmoking.com offers the same great products and service carried in our store. Stop on by or hop online today! We hope you enjoy our brand video!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The FDA Steps In

The Food and Drug Administration has put a lot of pressure on the electronic cigarette market within the last few years. The FDA has called for widespread testing and it seemed liked they were set on proving electronic cigarettes were just as bad - if not worse – than real cigarettes.

This was until the director for the FDA’s Center for Tobacco came out and said, “If we could get all of those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health.” – Mitch Zeller.

Although preliminary testing has shown positive results for the vaping community, the FDA is not backing down on seeking hard regulations. They still have concerns that have not been addressed, but they fail to see the whole picture.

FDA Concerns 

• Children 

One of the main concerns the FDA has about e-cigarettes is that children have been able to get their hands on them. This has long been addressed and was halted almost as soon as it started. E-cigarettes are a nicotine product and most e-cigarettes have labels warning against use by children and pregnant women.

• Not enough testing 

There has not been extensive testing on e-cigarettes, but as a relatively new product it is to be expected. The FDA regulations and testing would drown out smaller, start up e-cigarette companies, leaving only room for big tobacco companies to flood the market. The testing that has been both independently done and done by the FDA has shown e-cigarettes to be a safer alternative to smoking. Water vapor is much safer for your lungs than tar filled smoke.

• Health Risks 

The long term health risks of e-cigarettes are still up in the air because – quite frankly – e-cigarettes haven’t been around long enough. Things like this take time and this doesn’t mean the FDA can crush a whole market with strict regulations or even banning them entirely. The preliminary testing has been positive. E-cigarettes are not designed to be for non-smokers. They are an alternative for preexisting smokers to avoid the tar and carcinogens found in traditional cigarettes.

How They Miss the Mark 

The biggest concern for e-cigarette manufactures is the money all of the regulations will cost. Having private tests done, or even FDA testing is extremely expensive. The FDA and larger corporations will snuff out small e-cigarette businesses. This is also bad because there seems to be more pride in a small business and those e-cigarette businesses would provide a safe, alternative to cigarettes that uses already FDA approves ingredients. The e-cigarettes that have been independently tested by the manufacturers to show transparency in their products have come back with positive results. Not all manufactures have the funding for these types of testing, but they follow suit to what the rest of the market is doing.

All in all, regulation is not always a bad thing. Keeping children away from the addictive properties of nicotine and warning pregnant women against its use is absolutely a good idea. It is not okay to use FDA sanctions to crush the market and suffocate those businesses trying to sell a quality product and make ends meet. E-cigarettes still have a long way to come, but there has been plenty of push back against the FDA and big tobacco companies. Doctors, government officials, vaping advocates, and business owners are all taking a stand to prove e-cigarettes are a safe tobacco free product and should not be put under the same pressures as deadly tobacco products. We should want smokers to have a healthy alternative and not have to breathe in carcinogens anymore. E-cigarettes provide that option for those who have already become addicted to nicotine, but no longer want to smoke. It can be extremely tough to cut back smoking, but because of e-cigarettes smokers have that option. The FDA shouldn’t be able to take that away from people who already understand the risks of smoking and want a better alternative.

The �Dark� Truth Behind E-Cigarettes

E-Cigarette Juice: Disbanding the Myths

E-cigarettes are in hot debate and they are coming under more scrutiny everyday. This is not necessarily a bad thing because they are relatively new products, which – until recently – did not have a lot of testing. Lately, e-cigs have gone under the microscope and have been tested and quite a few of the main myths have been disbanded. This comes with a grain of salt of course. Trusted e-cigarettes should always be bought from trusted brands – just like any other product. Trusted e-cigarette brands are in the business of STAYING in business. They don’t want their products to be taken off the shelf because they aren’t safe. The three myths below have been in hot debate and now there are some cold hard facts to shed some light on the situation.

• MYTH 1: E-cigarettes Aren’t Safe 

This is not true. In the past, people didn’t have the facts to whether they were harmful or not because no tests were done. Certain companies have had different tests done on their products that revealed the ingredients and the amount of harm they can do. The Ruyan e-cigarette – one of the first e-cigs on the market – went through extensive research to determine what was actually in their products. The research found that the Ruyan e-cigarette,

“Is very safe relative to cigarettes, and also safe in absolute terms on all measurements we have applied. Using microelectronics it vaporizes, separately for each puff, very small quantities of nicotine dissolved in propylene glycol, two small well-known molecules with excellent safety profiles, – into a fine aerosol. Each puff contains one third to one half the nicotine in a tobacco cigarette’s puff. The cartridge liquid is tobacco-free and no combustion occurs.” 

The last part of the quote above is especially telling. As a tobacco-free product, there is no actual combustion occurring. Water vapor is emitted and not tar filled smoke. The lack of combustion and tar makes the e-cig automatically safer than a conventional cigarette.

• MYTH 2: We Don’t Know What Is In E-cigarettes 

This is also not entirely true. Although there have not been tests on every single brand, the tests that have been done do show what is in certain brands of e-cigarettes. Another study was conducted on the NJOY brand of e-cigarettes. The study broke down the detectable traces of all ingredients. The test results found that,

 “A total of 22 organic chemicals were found at detectable levels in the aerosol. The major constituents were found to be propylene glycol, glycerol, water and nicotine. Minor constituents were primarily FDA-approved flavoring agents, and two nicotine derivatives.” 

Most e-cigarette companies are following suit to Ruyan and NJOY, but they do not have enough funding to have research done to prove otherwise. •

MYTH 3: E-cigarettes Haven’t Been Tested 

As previously stated, most companies are following the same personal guidelines and providing a safer alternative to smoking, but – as startup companies – they are putting everything into producing quality, affordable products. If they had the funding to do it they would. As a new product, it will take time to get proper research done to verify what these companies are already telling you. The fact that e-cigarettes produce water vapor as a non-tobacco product makes them already safer than conventional cigarettes. Tar as a result of cigarette smoking is a huge concern and e-cigarettes have already done away with that.

The Truth Is Out 

E-cigarettes get a bad rap because they are the new kid on the block and threaten the big tobacco companies. This leads to added pressure for research. Bigger companies with more funding have no problem having research done on their products, but where does this leave the small businesses jumping on this expanding market? This pressure for research and lack of funding in some companies is what creates these rumors in the first place. It will take some time for all the research to be out, but it will be clear that electronic cigarettes are the safer, cheaper alternative.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Traveling with E-Cigarettes

Guidelines for flying with e-cigarettes have been up in the air (pun absolutely intended) for quite some time. E-cigs were originally marketed as the alternative to cigarettes; you could smoke everywhere you couldn’t normally – even planes. This quickly changed, but not as definitively as you may think. The Federal Aviation Administration has still not set specific guidelines for electronic cigarettes, so the decision is left up to the airlines to decide. Unfortunately, most major airlines have banned the use of electronic cigarettes on planes.

Although e-cigarettes cannot be used on planes, you can still fly with them, use them in airports, in cabs, at resorts, or even in hotel rooms. Luckily, the strain of traveling can still be greatly reduced when you’re able to have your handy e-cig with you.

Guidelines for Flying With an E-cig 

• Liquid Requirements 

If you plan on carrying liquid nicotine with you in your carry-on, you must still follow the TSA’s guidelines of 3.4oz – or smaller – containers. Then, you must put all liquid containers in a clear, one-quart, Ziploc bag. This will ensure you can take all your e-cig refills with you for your travels.

• Battery and charger 

It would be a good idea to take apart your e-cig – if possible – and place the battery and charger with your laptop or other stored electronics. This provision will safeguard you from setting off any red flags and spending unnecessary time going through security. It will be much easier to reassemble your e-cigarette after your flight than spend hours in security being questioned by the TSA.

• DO NOT try to smoke on the plane

This may go without saying, but you never know. Trying to hide your e-cig and stealthily smoke it during your flight will not end well for you or your e-cig, so just don’t do it.

Benefits of Packing an E-cig 

• E-Cigs Make Layovers Tolerable 

Although electronic cigarettes cannot be used on planes, they CAN be used in the airport. Long layovers will no longer be so bad when you don’t have to worry about missing your flight to get that last cigarette in before takeoff. You now can sit in the waiting area and enjoy as much of your e-cig as you would like.

• Smoke in Cabs or Company Cars 

On some trips, especially business trips, you may end up in a cab, or in a company car, much longer than you would ever want to be. Company vehicles and cabs can sometimes be a problem for smokers. E-cigarettes allow you to smoke without the repercussions that would normally come from smoking in a rental car.

• Smoke in Hotel Rooms 

Its been a long day, your feet hurt, and the last thing you really want to do is get out of your hotel bed to smoke in the pouring rain. If you brought your e-cig along in your travels, you no longer need to worry about that. You can enjoy smoking in your room after a busy day.

Relish unlimited and careless smoking pleasure using E cig
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The Moral of the Story 

Traveling with e-cigs could seem like a hassle, but it is certainly worth the extra steps for the convenience it will bring to you when traveling. Going out of town can be stressful enough, and not having to worry about where you can smoke will be one less thing to deal with in your travels. Plus, e-cigs are lighter, cheaper, and healthier than traditional cigarettes; so why not bring one with you?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

E-Cigs: A Convenient Alternative

Electronic cigarettes are creating plenty of buzz lately; citywide bans have been enforced, the FDA wishes to crack down and regulate e-cigs, and dirty looks are shot from across the room anytime a tiny LED lights up; but people, even smokers, are missing the mark on e-cigarettes. Generally, e-cigs are helping people quit smoking everyday. They also make the life of a smoker more convenient, for all parties involved.

I know you might be thinking how e-cigarettes could possibly be convenient, especially for non-smokers. All of the wonderful advancements the e-cig has to offer may surprise you, but it’s actually quite impressive.

Electronic Cigarette Etiquette Survey
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Pros for non-smokers 

• E-cigs eliminate the harsh smell of smoke 

Non-smokers, rejoice! The foul, lingering smell of cigarette smoke is a thing of the past with e-cigs. The vapor emitted does contain nicotine for the smoker, but does not produce a smell that will stick to you, your clothes, or your car. E-cigarette vapor also dissipates in a matter of seconds.

• No more second hand smoke 

Going off of the first point, the use of vapor also eliminates the chance of second hand smoke because there is none! Second hand smoke, in the United States, contributes to roughly 3,400 lung cancer deaths per year. The staggering number of deaths related to second hand smoke is staggering, but the use of e-cigs can eradicate that all together.

• Give smokers the freedom to smoke anywhere 

 Have you ever tried to walk through a sea of smokers on a rainy day just to get into the entrance of a building? It can be rough enough to awkwardly snake through a crowd, but the instant you get into the building, you reek of smoke. E-cigs give smokers the freedom to smoke anywhere at anytime. You no longer have to fight through a crowd to get into a building anymore.

Pros for smokers 

• Ne need to make frequent trips outside 

E-cigarettes offer versatility and freedom that you may have never experienced before. With the use of vapor, e-cigs enable people to smoke anywhere at anytime. Instead of running outside multiple times in a day, which can disrupt your work, you have the newfound freedom to smoke right on the job.

• Save a boat load of money 

As I’m sure you know, cigarettes are expensive and the prices keep rising. In the early 80’s cigarettes were only a dollar a pack, and now prices reach well over five dollars. By switching to e-cigarettes, you could easily save thousands of dollars a year. With all the extra money you’ll save, you can go on a vacation, get a new car, or renovate your home.

• No mess 

This is easily the best advantage of the e-cigarette. Ash and cigarette butts are disgusting, even to smokers. Switching to e-cigarettes eliminates all that. No more ash all over the dashboard of your car or your clothes. You also no longer have to worry about getting a fine for littering because you flicked the butt of a cigarette into the street after you were finished.

To sum it up 

E-cigarettes are the healthy, convenient alternative to outdated traditional cigarettes. The benefits go on and on for both the smoker and non-smoker alike. Smokers no longer have to feel as if their rights are being infringed upon and non-smokers don’t have to be concerned with harmful second hand smoke. E-cigs provide versatility that has long been lost to smokers in this day and age. Its time smokers had the freedom to smoke where they wanted without disrupting those around them.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

E-Cigs Banned in Chicago and L.A., Despite All Logic

Even as cigarettes continue to ravage Americans’ health, two more major cities have joined New York City in their ban on e-cigarettes in public places. Specifically, both Chicago and L.A., arguably the two other major metropolises of the United States, have enacted public e-cig bans similar to New York’s that are intended to “save” bystanders from the supposedly harmful effects of second-hand e-cig vapor, much as public smoking was banned to protect bystanders from the scientifically-proven-to-be-unhealthy effects of second-hand smoke.



In January, the Chicago City Council voted 45-5 in favor of regulating e-cigs similar to how tobacco cigarettes are restricted in Chicago: anywhere within 15 feet of a building entrance, along with indoor public spaces including restaurants and bars, is off-limits as far as smoking is concerned. The primary argument, of course, wasn’t really based in science; there is no proven negative health impact from e-cig vapor, so bystanders have nothing to fear. Instead, the reason for the ban was to dissuade others from picking up smoking in the first place – the notorious “that looks cool so I’ll do it too!” reason.

Of course, this amounts to a massive infringement on the rights of e-cig users for no reason other than the desire to prevent others from picking up a poor habit that is not, itself, the use of e-cigs! It simply makes no sense, but then, city councils aren’t obligated to make sense. Sadly, the banning of e-cigs from public places can only have the effect of dissuading current tobacco smokers from changing over to e-cigs, thereby preserving their health and lowering the cost of medical care for the city.

After all, one of the primary benefits of switching to e-cigs had, previously, been that you could use them just about anywhere. You didn’t have to stand out in the rain, wind, and snow (all of which are plentiful in Chicago!) shivering away while getting your fix. You could vape anywhere, anytime, and it didn’t bother anyone; in fact, the smell of the vapor is often quite pleasant and refreshing! Of course, now, that reason is gone in Chicago, which is unfortunate. Fewer people will be switching to vaping, which means fewer people will be able to save their own lives and improve the quality of those lives.

Los Angeles 

In March, the L.A. City council followed suit, voting to include e-cigarettes as one and the same as tobacco cigarettes. What this translates to in L.A. law is that e-cigarettes are banned in clubs, bars, on beaches, in parks, in most office buildings, in markets, in restaurants, and in outdoor dining areas in the city. Yet again, this ban on e-cigs makes it harder for current smokers to justify switching to e-cigs, which means that they are less likely to quit smoking; they will continue to suffer the same ill health effects as other smokers. It is truly tragic.

An exemption exists for vapor lounges and e-cigarette stores, but this move largely pushes e-cigarettes out of the public eye – an arena in which they were becoming increasingly more apparent and therefore popular, with more and more people switching to e-cigs. After all, if you were addicted to cigarettes and you knew all the ways you could save money and save your life with e-cigs, you would want to switch too. Some people, sadly, don’t know about everything e-cigs have to offer – and now, they never will, as they may never discover they exist, though they might have if they had simply seen someone using them one day.

E Cigarette Direct UK Vapers Study
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Truly, it is appalling how some cities are banning e-cigarettes based on hysteria, hearsay, and completely unscientific reasoning. Fear without any kind of logical reasoning behind it amounts to poor policy on the part of government, and that is certainly what we can see here with these most recent bans on e-cigs. Fortunately, considering the many benefits e-cigs bring to the population, from health to affordability, the march of the e-cig will move ever forward, with more and more people adopting them as a way to quit smoking or, at the very least, reduce dependence on nicotine and the poor health that accompanies regular tobacco use. At least there’s that!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Big Apple’s Big Ban

For one of his last acts as mayor of New York City, the most incredible and possibly important city in the world, Michael Bloomberg took a parting shot at electronic cigarettes, banning e-cigs everywhere that smoking was already banned, including e-cigarettes in the Smoke Free Air Act. For vapers living in the Big Apple, this is, of course, a disaster.

After all, there are a variety of reasons to take up vaping, including your health and the money you can save from no longer buying pack after pack of cigarettes (not to mention savings on medical bills!), but another great reason to vape is that you can do it absolutely anywhere. In restaurants, in your apartment, it doesn’t matter – or at least, it didn’t, not in New York City. Now, with vaping banned in every major public area, this reason for vaping no longer exists, driving vapers trying to improve their lives through e-cigarettes back out into the cold and rain and designated smoking areas with those poor, poor tobacco smokers.

Why A Ban? 

The battle over the ban has been hard fought. Certainly there were business interests at stake; vape distributors and retailers in New York City see a huge financial cost to this ban, while civil libertarians are concerned that government is overreaching into an area of living that they have no right to be involved in, as there is no scientific evidence that vaping harms users, and therefore no reason for the government to be involved unless proved otherwise.

Supporters of the ban generally point out that while there is no evidence that vaping harms the health of bystanders as per second-hand smoke, there is also no evidence that it doesn’t, but vaping ought not to be considered guilty before proven innocent. In fact, e-cigarettes continue to be tested and examined for any ill health effects, and no cause for concern has yet arisen. Indeed, while there are now many concrete studies on the positive impact of e-cigs, there is more than a little anecdotal evidence that doing so can help users quit smoking, which provides massive health benefits to the person quitting smoking as well as potential bystanders, along with the city that is saving on medical costs.

Health effects of second hand smoking.
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It is disturbing how swiftly and without solid reasoning the New York ban on e-cigs has come to pass, especially when e-cigs present such a huge opportunity for the improvement of New Yorkers’ health and quality of life. It would seem that some individuals feel that quitting smoking via patches, gum, or completely abstaining from nicotine, is the preferable way to quit, but as anyone who has attempted those routes can tell you, that is all incredibly difficult. Only vaping offers the social and physical elements of smoking while still providing decreasing amounts of nicotine over time. You aren’t just addicted to smoking, after all; you’re addicted to the act of smoking, and vaping helps to mitigate that.


Of course, the ban on e-cigarettes has had something of a perverse effect on vaping culture in the city as well, as often happens when government regulates things it ill(barely) understands. Rather than discouraging vapers from stopping their vaping – after all, to switch to smoking wouldn’t make it easier to smoke, it would simply mean many more negative health effects – the ban has driven vapers together to venues where they can safely vape and enjoy each others’ company undisturbed.

It is unfortunate that a burgeoning industry and way to finally start making serious progress on ending smoking has been curtailed by the scientifically unfounded fears of a few, but new changes in how the world works have always led some to feel afraid. In the end, this isn’t that different.

Vaping is the future for smoking: it is more affordable, less offensive (even pleasant!) to bystanders, and ultimately, offers little if any negative health impacts to users and bystanders. This is the direction smoking has to go if we’re to wean ourselves off the habit of smoking and improve the overall health of our population. It is unfortunate that New York City, that struggles with its population’s health to the point that large soda is banned, would take action against a great step in the right direction for New Yorkers’ health!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The State of Smoking

The dangers of second-hand smoke are well documented, with public smoking proving to be an absolute nuisance in some areas. For smokers, it isn’t much of an issue – the smoke you inhale from smoking a cigarette yourself is far greater than what you might inhale through second-hand smoking – but for non-smokers, it can drive you out of an establishment, and pose a health risk. To combat this risk to non-smokers, as well as to discourage individuals from smoking by providing further impediments and inconveniences to smokers, a number of smoking bans on a municipal, county, state, and in some cases countrywide basis have come into effect.

At first, only a few restaurants and other establishments banned smoking out of concern for the interior (smoke can do quite a number on the walls, ceiling, and furniture over the years) and for patrons who are disturbed by cigarette smoke. Over time, however, this spread to other public areas and even bars, that great haven of smokers. Today it can be difficult to find a place you can smoke outside your home (if you aren’t in a non-smoking apartment, anyhow!). Now you can see smokers standing behind shops and on the streets, shivering in the rain and snow, smoking their cigarettes miserably.

Health effects of second hand smoking.
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Coming Inside 

Why be one of them, when you can dodge smoking bans entirely? E-cigarettes are a brilliant invention for many reasons. They fill a need that has existed ever since the ill health effects of smoking were made public: the need to stop inhaling the thousands of toxic chemicals contained in cigarettes. Many have tried and failed – gum, patches, injections, tablets, lozenges, and many other nicotine treatments were tried to help smokers break their addiction, to little effect. However, e-cigarettes often succeed where current cessation devices fail because they also provide the physical sensation of smoking that has come to be associated, in a Pavlovian manner, with the nicotine addiction of smoking.

A new need has been created, though – the need to indulge in a nicotine fix while still being able to remain indoors, eating, drinking, and generally engaging in merriment! With more and more locales banning smoking in public places, you simply can’t expect to be able to smoke. An e-cigarette, of course, gets around this whole problem. An e-cigarette smoker can smoke in a restaurant, a bar, or even a museum. You could smoke in a hospital, in a school, or just about anywhere else where, for the past few decades, it has been absolutely forbidden to smoke. And best of all, you aren’t even threatening the health of anyone around you – you’re being totally safe and responsible!

Seeking Acceptance 

There are some countries that oppose e-cigarettes. After all, they’re a new technology that threatens a multi-billion dollar industry; namely, the tobacco industry. It is unsurprising that business interests are working to oppose e-cigarettes, blocking them from entry in some countries.

Certainly, e-cigs should continue to be tested and examined by scientists; as with anything else consumers take into their bodies, there is always the potential for new developments in science and technology to see problems with e-cigarettes that were previously unknown. As it stands, however, e-cigarettes are remarkable alternatives to cigarettes (which in some countries, receives more acceptance than e-cigs!).

The fact, however, is that as concern for citizen health grows, acceptance of e-cigarettes – the active encouragement of their use by governments and health organizations – is going to become more and more common. This isn’t at all surprising, as the cost to society of smoking is considerable. The health impact of smoking can cost quite a bit, with citizens taken out of working condition sooner, and stricken with cancer and other ailments more often. This puts a strain on the medical system and other care systems that doesn’t have to exist… if only e-cigarettes and other effective techniques for curbing smoking were more widely known and accepted.

Once upon a time, it was rare to see someone using an e-cigarette. They were strange, and probably caused more than a few double-takes. It isn’t hard to get behind the idea of quitting smoking – quitting the phlegmy mornings, the constant ill feeling, the regular bouts of bronchitis, the high cost of cigarettes themselves, and the need to go outside whenever you want to relieve your desires. Today, anything else seems crazy!

When There’s No Harm in Smoking…

For smokers looking to save their own lives, their skins, and let’s be honest, their wallets, electronic cigarettes have been a godsend. It is said that once you become an addict, you are always an addict, even after you have ostensibly “quit” what you are addicted to; every day is then another battle against relapsing into old, bad habits. Yet what is largely bad for you about cigarettes isn’t the addictive substance itself, but rather the byproduct or your drug of choice: the many toxic chemicals produced by smoking tobacco.

Here’s just some of the 4000 chemicals you take into your body when you smoke a cigarette: Benzene, formaldehyde, pesticides, TSNAs, vinyl chloride, arsenic, cadmium, lead and polonium (radioactive materials), ammonia, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide. Of course, the key component in all of this is nicotine – the addictive substance in tobacco that keeps you coming back to cigarettes again and again.

Inside E-Cigarettes 

Or did, anyway, until the advent of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, as they’re known. E-cigarettes work by storing nicotine in a cartridge, loading it into the e-cigarette, and then having the nicotine vaporized for inhalation. The only dangerous chemical you then inhale is nicotine – which, admittedly, can be used as a pesticide in high concentrations. In this watered down form, however, you simply receive your addictive hit of nicotine, free of the carcinogens, poisons, and other materials that can cause cancer and other illnesses in smokers.

 Of course, the cartridges don’t only contain nicotine; a capsule of pure nicotine is actually a little on the dangerous side! Instead, the nicotine is dissolved in propylene glycol, or perhaps vegetable glycerin, both of which are common food additives with no serious side effects. While nicotine concentrations vary (think of it like the difference between smoking filtered and filterless cigarettes), you can also choose to have particular flavors and smells for your e-cig. Various fruity flavors are available, as are less typical flavors like pina colada and birthday cake!

Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke
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The Machine Behind the Miracle 

An e-cigarette itself is a rather simple device, though as users get deeper and deeper into the culture of it, they tend to get more and more elaborate e-cigarettes. Your basic model, however, is made up of a mouthpiece, atomizer, battery, and a few other electronic components. The mouthpiece is also called the cartridge, and it is typically fixed onto the end of a tube with an absorbent material that is drenched in liquid solution containing nicotine.

The atomizer is the heating element which heats up your liquid, vaporizing it so that it can be safely inhaled by you, the user. These need to be replaced on a fairly regular basis, unlike the battery, which is typically a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Though of course, like any battery, it needs to eventually be replaced depending on how often you use it, what type it is, its size, and the environment in which you use it.

Some e-cigarettes have a button on them which, when pressed, activates the vaporizing process; newer models, however will sense when you are “sucking” on the end and vaporize automatically, simulating the smoking experience.

The Act of Smoking


 Ultimately, a big key to the success of the e-cigarette in helping smokers move away from smoking actual, poisonous tobacco is in how easily it simulates the act of smoking. It isn’t just the nicotine itself that smokers become addicted to, after all; otherwise, nicotine patches and gum would work like a charm! You also become addicted to the smoke breaks, to the gestures of smoking – it’s nice to have something to do with your hands – and to the oral element of it. (You wouldn’t say you have an oral fixation, but…)

E-cigarettes are designed to look and feel exactly like an actual cigarette – at least, insofar as they can look and feel like that while still housing electronics! This allows you to satisfy all of the rituals associated in your mind with smoking, rituals that you have become addicted to just as much, if not more, as you have the nicotine itself.

With time, some e-cigarette users ratchet down their intake of nicotine, to the point where they eventually have no nicotine in their e-cigarette at all. After that, it’s just the act of smoking they enjoy, and there’s no harm in that!

Six Movies Where Smoking Steals the Scene

1. The Graduate

Mrs. Robinson probably wouldn’t look quite as demure – and, well, let’s say it: seductive – without a cigarette dangling between her fingers.

2. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It can seem like Blondie is chewing on the same ratty cigar for the entirety of the film, but nothing punctuates a shoot-out like that single, swift readjustment at the end of this scene...

3. Pulp Fiction

 It’s easier to punctuate sentences in that awkward silence with a cigarette. You’ll note that it’s sometimes important for actors to have something to do with their hands – we don’t want things getting too awkward, after all…

4. Goodfellas

 De Niro doesn’t get anything in this scene except a cigarette, his eyes, and a badass tune. That’s all the master needs, though.

5. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

It’s hard to imagine Depp’s Hunter S. Thompson without a massive cigarette holder clenched between his teeth, seemingly never smoking it, just holding on from start to finish like it’s the only thing of permanence in the entire film.

6. Girl, Interrupted

Cigarettes do a lot in films – here, Lisa Howe introduces herself, and we get to see a little bit of sociopathic behavior, all over a cigarette.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

E-Cigs Go to Hollywood

It’s a well-known fact that smoking tobacco can do serious harm to you – at least, it has become a well-known fact in the last few decades. It isn’t surprising, then, that a whole industry has sprung up around the desire to quit smoking, with everything from pads to pills to medical treatments to cleanses, exercise routines, and everything else you can think of that could possibly impact your body and mind in some way that might possibly potentially some day lead to quitting smoking.

Of course, all of those treatments focus on ridding you of the chemical aspect of smoking, but doctors are coming to realize that compared to the chemical addiction to nicotine that you get from smoking, the psychological habit is just as strong, and sometimes stronger. That’s why e-cigs were developed, but for a long time, if you smoked an e-cig people looked at you weird. After all, with its shiny black casing, LED tip lit up, and pleasant-smelling vapor, it just didn’t seem to fit.

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Fortunately for those of us who want to finally quit smoking for good, e-cigs have really taken off, largely thanks to their popularity among celebrities. Fringe trends go to Hollywood to die and be reborn as mainstream cool, and e-cigs are no different; with the top names in film vaping e-cigs both on and off the camera, it is becoming increasingly normal to use an e-cig. After all, seeing some random person on the street smoking an e-cig is notable until you’ve seen celebs on the red carpet doing the same thing for years. Then it’s just another day in paradise.

Don’t believe us? Who better to vape e-cigs than celebrities, people whose paycheck relies on their face staying young and fresh and their voice being strong and flexible? Smoking cigarettes prematurely ages you and makes your voice hoarse and raspy – unpleasant thoughts for any working actor or actress. Check out this list of celebrities who regularly partake in the vape to dodge all those nasty side-effects:

     1. Leonardo DiCaprio

Go big or go home, right? Leo started his career with Titanic, the film that men loved to hate, but let’s be honest – it’s a great movie, and he has picked a lot of winners since then too, including The Departed (awesome), Inception (mind-bending), and The Great Gatsby (beautiful). The man is a big supporter of green energy and the health of the planet, too – he drives a Nissan Leaf and is very vocal about it, after all! It’s no wonder he cares about his own health as well. He was even recently spotted vaping an e-cig at the Golden Globes while mixing with some other A-listers.

      2. Katherine Heigl

You may remember Heigl from Grey’s Anatomy and Knocked Up, but what we know her for is her early and vocal support for e-cigs. She was vaping as early as 2010, and even went on Letterman vaping one! While she started with e-cig models that resemble an actual cigarette, like many e-cig users she eventually moved on to more advanced models that seem like something Spock would smoke.

     3. Sean Penn

Sean Penn gets a lot of hate these days – from his shenanigans in Iraq to his vocal political activism, he has become the poster boy for “entitled Hollywood actorvist.” Whether you agree with his politics and rhetoric or not, though, you can’t deny that he can, on occasion, be a true badass. That’s why it’s so awesome that he uses e-cigs as well, which he was actually spotted using during the Clinton Global Initiative in 2013. Of course, that’s what’s so awesome about e-cigs: anytime, anywhere, even if you happen to be at an international NGO’s annual event being covered live.

     4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Louis-Dreyfus is best-known for her role as Elaine on Seinfeld, and although she has done a ton of work since then – most recently on Veep, which continues to win awards and viewers – she will always be Elaine in our hearts. Considering how beautiful she is, it isn’t surprising that she was spotted using an e-cig during the Golden Globe Awards; why would she want to give up even an inch of how attractive she is?

There are more, of course – Katy Perry, Dennis Quaid, Britney Spears, and Jack freaking Nicholson. These names should give you some idea of why it is becoming more and more common for the man or woman on the street (or in the office) to vape an e-cig: when celebrities are seen doing it on a regular basis, it makes it cool for everyone else to get in on it. Let’s just hope that the health benefits keep everyone vaping for some time to come!