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Monday, August 26, 2013

What Do You Think About E-Cigarettes?

Posted by on Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Katie Drummond at The Verge writes:

More and more American smokers are opting to get their nicotine fix using e-cigarettes instead of conventional smokes — and Big Tobacco is taking note. Several major tobacco companies have this year introduced their own versions of electronic cigarettes, joining a bevy of small purveyors who've been in the e-smoke business for years. And with Big Tobacco entering the fray, new estimates suggest the e-cigarette industry will crack $1 billion in revenue this year, and that sales could outpace traditional cigarettes by 2047.

I quit smoking some seven and a half years ago now; I'm not about to try an e-cigarette and break my streak. But I know some e-cigarette smokers, and they claim to love the things. Personally, I just can't wrap my head around them. They seem so affected and silly to me, but maybe if I was still smoking I'd understand the appeal.

What does Slog think?


Comments (38) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Kris 1
I couldn't figure out where to put the weed in it.
Posted by Kris on August 26, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
6 2
E-cigs are the waves of the future. I feel ridiculous as fuck sucking on it in public, but I haven't had a real
cigarette in 9 weeks. Pass me my grape vape, please!
Posted by 6 on August 26, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
Dougsf 3
We've discussed this here before, and I think I scolded users for looking like weird futuristic junkies. Really though, let people hav'em.

They don't have the cachet of real cigarettes, so it's hard for me to imagine the e-cigarette market moving past former (or future-former) smokers. Look on the bright side, you can't smell them at a safe distance, and your neighbors can fall asleep with'em in their mouths every night if they like.

It'll be interesting to see when the data comes back as to whether or not claims that they're less harmful that regular cigarettes are true.
Posted by Dougsf on August 26, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
@1: You buy the widely available hash oil mixtures intended for just this purpose.

Posted by chrisgreen on August 26, 2013 at 4:50 PM · Report this
Kat 5
Kris, the e-juice manufacturers do actually make THC drops for e-cigs.

I like them, though I'm too poor and not invested enough in legal highs to pay for the starter kit. I was kind of annoyed when I saw a sign in a local bar that said "No e-smoking."
Posted by Kat on August 26, 2013 at 4:50 PM · Report this
My partner switched and I love them:

a) He's not inhaling ash and other nasty combustion products, so it's quite likely much better for his lungs;

b) He can take as much of a "hit" of nicotine as he wants and just put it away, so he doesn't have to smoke an entire cigarette just because he lit it and doesn't want to "waste" it;

c) He's gradually reduced the amount of nicotine in the gel shit that he buys for it, so there's less of that, too;

c) He no longer smells like shit when he comes to bed at night after having a smoke.

Yes, yes, all of this would be true if he didn't smoke at all, but this was unlikely to happen soon and going to be a much harder problem to solve. As it is now, he has a largely unoffensive habit that is (I sincerely hope) much healthier than his old habit.

I'm a huge fan of the things.
Posted by boyasunder on August 26, 2013 at 4:52 PM · Report this
...and let's pretend that second "c)" was a "d)".
Posted by boyasunder on August 26, 2013 at 4:54 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
E-cigs just make you look even stupider than cigar smokers, but without the cool factor.

On the other hand, e-joints (TM me) would be rad.
Posted by Will in Seattle on August 26, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Report this
My visual of the e-cig customer is a thirty something overweight libertarian who rewatches the Matrix Reloaded every other night when they get home from their tech basement job.
Posted by SPG on August 26, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Report this
I, for one, am interested to see how Big Tobacco manages to make e-Gel as shitty and addictive as traditional cigarettes are. I'm betting that it's some sort of chip in the cartridge, like printer toner has, to ensure that they have control over both the chemicals and the delivery system.
Posted by Ruke on August 26, 2013 at 5:00 PM · Report this
Yes, Paul, the addicts should just quit. Brilliant. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? For that matter, why don't junkies just stop using heroin? Or fatties just like, lose weight? While we're at it, we as a culture should cut out trash TV, books that aren't edifying, eliminate racism, sexism, and the rape culture, while switching overnight to renewable energy sources, reversing the tide of global warming and inevitable worldwide famine.

The point is, shit isn't easy. Shit's hard. If shit were easy, then everyone would be able to do it.
Posted by johnjjeeves on August 26, 2013 at 5:02 PM · Report this
You didn't include an option for my answer: ecigarettes are wonderful. For those who can't, or don't want to quit, like many people I know, they are a less dangerous option that is very easy to switch to. I myself was not ready to give up my nicotine habit, but very ready to give up smoking cigarettes. My health has improved significantly, my skin is nicer, I don't smell bad all the time, and I spend so much less money. You may find them "affected and silly" but whenever I smoke mine in public people are interested, want to try it, and want to know all about ecigarettes. Perhaps others like you are judging me, but whatever. I'm healthier and happier, and that's what matters to me.

Posted by <3ecigs on August 26, 2013 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Fnarf 13
Nobody LIKES e-cigs. They smoke them because they maintain their addiction in a marginally less-offensive way. But the addiction is still there. If you smoke e-cigs, the odds that you will be back on the real thing eventually are 100%. Break the addiction, and you won't care about e-cigs. Seriously: look at yourself from a distance, and cigarette smoking and e-cig smoking look like the stupidest fucking things in the world. You wouldn't hit your thumb with a hammer every half-hour, would you? Same thing.
Posted by Fnarf on August 26, 2013 at 5:19 PM · Report this
My friends who use them swear by 'em: they help cut down on tobacco usage & as someone mentioned above, they can gradually lower the amount of nicotine delivered, so it's a pretty effective means of weaning themselves of smokes. And for us non-smokers it means no second-hand smoke, no smell, and our smoking friends aren't suffering from the crankiness associated with nicotine withdrawal.

So, they look a little dorky - people invariably say the same thing in reference to most technological advances. Remember how dorky cell-phone users looked 20 years ago walking around with those brick-like things with an antenna sticking out the end? Now, everybody's got a cell-phone (or dorky cell-phone headset) clamped to their ear or stuck between their thumbs and nobody gives it a second thought.

But, that's probably because the symbol of dorkiness du jour has moved on to Google Eye...
Posted by COMTE on August 26, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 15

I agree with you on everything, except eliminating racism. It's scientifically proven that the 1000s of opinions from the brilliant minds of Slog have indeed eliminated racism.
Posted by dnt trust me on August 26, 2013 at 5:47 PM · Report this
My brother switched to ecigs and used them to gradually decrease his nicotine intake. He was smoking 100% drug-free ecigs that are simply flavored water vapor. I gave it a try, and I found it really pleasant, actually. And they are a really good tool for helping people to quit, since you can better do a controlled gradual dosage decrease. I think they're really beneficial, and the ones with zero nicotine in them can be quite nice. I certainly would rather sit next to him smoking a nicotineless ecig than a regular cigarette.
Posted by uncreative on August 26, 2013 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 17
Call Fred Hutch.

They need to work on e-Cancer to stay in biz.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on August 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 18
@8 Cool factor huh? Let me guess, you don't like cigars but smoke them anyhow to look cool.
Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on August 26, 2013 at 6:15 PM · Report this
I can't believe that a product comes out that could improve (and even save) the lives of millions of people and you're all shitting on it because it doesn't have the "cool factor" of real cigarettes. NEWSFLASH: The only people who think smoking cigarettes is cool are cigarette smokers. Everyone else just has to put up with your stench.
Posted by MRM on August 26, 2013 at 6:45 PM · Report this
Dade 20
Nicotine Bottles
Posted by Dade on August 26, 2013 at 6:46 PM · Report this
ToddO 21
@11 I like my e-cig.

Your points might be valid if you were referring exclusively to the low-end, overpriced, crappy devices for sale at 7-11 and mall kiosks. If you take your time and do your research and find a solid device and juice manufacturer, e-cigs are awesome.

For your other point about eventually ending up back on regular cigs, I doubt that. I'm 2.5 years off of regular cigs and have no desire to go back. I bummed a regular cig from a friend about a year into vaping and it was no good. I prefer to vape.

As for addiction, what's wrong with a little harmless nicotine addiction? The problem with cigarettes (and cigars, and other burning plant matter) is not the nicotine (or THC) in them but all the 4000+ other chemicals that do things like cause cancer. Nicotine by itself, in the amounts consumed by users*, is effectively no different than the caffeine you get in coffee.

* It's important to note amount, because someone inevitably comes up with the fact that nicotine is more lethal in smaller doses than caffeine. Which is true, but it's also true that you ingest quite a bit less nicotine. For example, a cup of regular brew coffee has upwards of 200mg of caffeine while a single cigarette has about 1mg of nicotine. The LD50 of caffeine is around 100mg/kg, while the LD50 of nicotine is 1mg/kg. So yes, nicotine is objectively more lethal/dangerous, but it is relatively no worse than caffeine based on usage.
Posted by ToddO on August 26, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Report this
ToddO 22
Err,that should've been @13, not @11.
Posted by ToddO on August 26, 2013 at 7:06 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 23
What @11 said.

Sheesh Paul... Judgmental much? Same with so many commenters here.

Here's an idea for you Paul: Marijuana is bad for you. So just stop it. If you don't need it medically, then you don't need it at all. And it's certainly not good for you. So just quit. Besides, you look dumb when you smoke marijuana, and all us non-marijuana smokers just have to put up with your stench. So stop because we want you to stop.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on August 26, 2013 at 7:31 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 24
Kissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray. Cigarette smokers are automatically stricken from my potential dating pool list. They are absolutely non-starters. Why would I ever want to date someone who is trying to kill themselves in slow motion, and smells gross as well?

E-cig users, on the other hand, may look a bit silly, but I wouldn't automatically cross them off my list. It looks silly, but it harms no one, and they don't stink. I'd just have to work hard not to giggle at them when they're "smoking" their little plastic sticks with an LED in the end.


Posted by Reverse Polarity on August 26, 2013 at 7:59 PM · Report this
MrBaker 25
Look Paul, it's e-weed.
The Cadillac of vaporizers:

How about a legally binding Slog poll on the Volcano?

1. Do people look like they are in a sci-fi movie when they use on of these?
2. Do people think they are Logan 5, hoping to escape the city of Coachlock after using one of these?
3. Do people just not care that it's called a Volcano but it doesn't produce a cloud of ash and steam, or flow of mud or fire?
4. What do you mean it doesn't "burn" weed?
Posted by MrBaker on August 26, 2013 at 8:29 PM · Report this
lolorhone 26
Are some of you still in high school? You really give a fuck about looking cool above maintaining your overall health? Jesus.
Posted by lolorhone on August 26, 2013 at 8:56 PM · Report this
RedwoodTree 27
The byproduct of vaping weed can get you high... so, how is the byproduct of ecigs just water...
Posted by RedwoodTree on August 26, 2013 at 10:36 PM · Report this
My partner just got into them in an effort to try and convince a friend of ours to use them to quit smoking. He doesn't even use nicotine in it, just flavors. He also replaces the propylene glycol with vegetable glycerin as a fogging agent. They're wholly inoffensive.
Posted by bitwise on August 26, 2013 at 11:21 PM · Report this
delirian 29
Nobody LIKES e-cigs. They smoke them because they maintain their addiction in a marginally less-offensive way. But the addiction is still there. If you smoke e-cigs, the odds that you will be back on the real thing eventually are 100%.
First off, it is not marginally. It is substantially and overwhelmingly less offensive and less hazardous. Second, even if people go back to cigarettes, they wouldn't have been inhaling or dispersing the toxic gases during that time. And third, the probability of a person quitting smoking in a year is extremely small. Half the cigarettes that are smoked are used by people with mental illnesses as a coping mechanism (with some illnesses such as schizophrenia, the percentage approaches 90%!). We are talking about a substance that is almost as addictive as heroin being used as a coping mechanism. It may not be possible to break such a powerful addiction. As such, non toxic gas methods such as e-cigarettes could be an alternative to a life of pain and suffering. Any person with an ounce of compassion wouldn't stand in the way just because he doesn't like addicts.
Posted by delirian on August 27, 2013 at 12:34 AM · Report this
It's not a coping mechanism. The byproduct of burning tobacco is an MAOI . That's why crazy people smoke, and why the stereotypical chain smoker is usually a depressed individual.
Posted by caltrop_head on August 27, 2013 at 4:34 AM · Report this
delirian 31
@30: Self-medication is a type of coping mechanism, whether it is alcohol, drugs, or tobacco--all of which are used far more often by those with mental illnesses.

In any case, hold off your slurs (like 'crazy'). Saying them only makes you a lesser person.
Posted by delirian on August 27, 2013 at 5:30 AM · Report this
I am not sold on e-cigarettes. Sorry. At the very best, it indicates that a user used to be a smoker, which is disgusting enough to contemplate (sorry) and it is a sign that he/she may slide back into the habit if life becomes stressful or depressing enough. Plus, I can't let go of the stereotype that smoking reflects poorly on someone's personality traits or his/her emotional health.

I'm also not swayed by the argument that e-cigarettes are "perfectly harmless". Nope, not at all. It's still early in the game. I'm going to wait for the data to be generated.

And I still wouldn't kiss an e-cigarette smoker.
Posted by floater on August 27, 2013 at 5:35 AM · Report this
Finally, a healthy cigarette. We haven't had such a healthy cigarette since Camel, Enjoyed by more doctors than any other brand.……
Posted by Root on August 27, 2013 at 7:09 AM · Report this
As a former smoker and common air sharer with several habituates, I'd argue that there is "second hand smoke" from e-cigs.

Sure, it's better than "real smoke", but I am getting incidental nicotine from their vaporizers that I had not intended on taking.
Posted by E-Cigs: Slightly Worse Than BO Or Flatulence on August 27, 2013 at 9:41 AM · Report this
SPG 35
@14: "My friends who use them swear by 'em" -That can be said of regular cigarettes, weed, guns, heroin, and hedge clippers. Your friends are still dorks.
Posted by SPG on August 27, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Report this
watchout5 36
They need this for weed and the hash oil containers should be sold right next to the "regular" ones.
Posted by watchout5 on August 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Where's the option for "they're awesome and Paul's wrong"?
Posted by Tawnos on August 27, 2013 at 1:50 PM · Report this
I prefer real cigarettes , they are way more tasteful
Posted by WadeBooth on September 9, 2013 at 1:52 PM · Report this

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