Electronic cigarettes heat liquid (which may contain nicotine) to make vapour for inhalation. They are intended to simulate smoking traditional combustible cigarettes and give smokers the feeling and pleasure of traditional smoking but without the flame, tar, ash or other products of combustion. Ethical traders and manufacturers market, label, and sell recreational nicotine products solely for adult use as an alternative to conventional cigarettes.
The present invention relates to a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette and has for an object to provide a safe and harmless means for and method of smoking by replacing burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavored air; or by inhaling warm medication into the lungs in case of a respiratory ailment under direction of a physician.
In 1987 the US FDA closed the consumer market for the “Favor Smokeless Cigarette” by classing it as a medical product. It was a small tube containing “a plug impregnated with a nicotine solution” that allowed the user to inhale nicotine vapor and it was marketed to provide “cigarette satisfaction without smoke”.
The latest electronic cigarettes were patented in China by Hon Lik in 2003 and have been widely available to consumers since 2004. They are not designed for and generally should not be labelled or marketed as a means to quit smoking without a medical license. Some countries have banned the use and/or trading of ecigs by using medical, poisons and tobacco control legislation. Other countries are regulating under general consumer protection legislation. There are no ecigs or nicotine liquids with medical licenses, probably because that market is not profitable for manufacturers and traders.
The main issues currently surrounding electronic cigarettes are summed up by Thomas J. Glynn, PhD as follows –
Proponents of e-cigarettes list as benefits:
- Their ability to deliver nicotine to the user without many of the other 7,000+ chemicals in a regular, burned cigarette;
- Their absence of secondhand cigarette smoke;
- Their resemblance to regular cigarettes, which provide the tactile and visual sensations – holding them in a certain way, a glowing tip, blowing smoke, etc. – that many cigarette smokers have become used to, or even psychologically dependent upon;
- Their potential for aiding cigarette smokers to who wish to quit to do so.
Those with concerns about e-cigarettes warn of:
- Lack of scientific data about their safety. Simply put, e-cigarette users cannot be sure of what they are inhaling, since e-cigarettes have not been subjected to thorough, independent testing and, due to their manufacture by many different companies, there are no quality assurances in their production processes;
- Lack of scientific data about their effectiveness as quit-smoking aids;
- Lack of scientific data regarding their ability to deliver enough nicotine to satisfy withdrawal effects;
- Lack of scientific data about the effect of secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes;
- Lack of scientific data about whether the use of e-cigarettes encourages smokers who might have otherwise quit to continue smoking and only use e-cigarettes when they are in no-smoking environments;
- Lack of scientific data about whether youth may use e-cigarettes as an introduction to smoking regular cigarettes.