7 Things You Should Know About E-Cigarettes


You probably know by now that vaporizer pens and e-cigarettes are battery-operated substitutes for joints and traditional cigarettes. But what you might not know is … well, anything else about them. Like how they work, or if “vaping” is really any better than traditional smoking, or if they’re going to send you to an even earlier grave than cigarettes.

For starters, e-cig devices don’t produce smoke; the vapor that’s inhaled gets exhaled as mist, which is why people can puff on them in public without getting hassled by Da Man (though the FDA is urging local governments to change that).

E-cigs are typically loaded with liquid nicotine, while vape pens usually contain an herb or THC oil. (E-cigarettes are essentially miniature versions of vapor pens, and they can be used for 200-500 and 1,000-2,000 puffs, respectively.) To see if you should make the switch from cancer sticks to, uh, cancer e-sticks, we asked some experts for the good, the bad, and the ugly on e-cigs.

E-cigarettes deliver a nicotine fix through water vapor, which is void of tar, arsenic, and a handful of other carcinogenic ingredients associated with regular smokes. Trouble is, that doesn’t make them good for you. Dr. Mary Lambe, a HealthTap family physician from Washington, informs us they still contain chemicals such as “nitrosamines, which cause cancer, Diethylene Clycol, which is used in antifreeze, the known toxin Tetramethylpyrazine, and liquid nicotine, which is addictive and damaging to the heart.” Uh, on the bright side, your breath smells much better with an e-cig.

According to HealthTap’s Dr. Chad Levitt, a radiation oncologist, “a study from UCLA looked at what the most efficient and safest delivery mechanism is for THC — which is the active psychedelic chemical in marijuana. In comparing water bongs, joints, pipes, and vaporizers, the study monitored the amount of THC delivered in relation to the amount of contaminants and pollutants. The vapor method ranked first, followed by the joint, then the pipe, then the water bong.”