The explosive growth of the industry was led by consumers. Tobacco companies have only recently gotten involved. A large portion of the industry is made up of independently owned small business that specialize in 2nd and 3rd generation products and e-liquid.
Electronic cigarettes are a substitute for combustable cigarettes. They provide smokers with the nicotine they are addicted to and the rituals of smoking with out combustion. They are estimated to be 99% less harmful than cigarettes based on current research.
The public health community has long said ‘smokers smoke for the nicotine, but die from the smoke.’ The US Surgeon Generals 2014 report on smoking clarifies that the vast majority of tobacco related death and disease can be attributed to combustibles. Because electronic cigarettes are appealing to smokers, they present the best chance of saving the lives of those already addicted.
Small cigarette shaped devices are 1st generation electronic cigarettes. They are common among dual users. Higher quality 2nd and 3rd generation products include personal vaporizers, tank systems, mods and e-liquid. They are more common among users who have obtained complete smoking abstinence. E-liquid is sold in varying nicotine strengths and many users gradually reduce nicotine levels over time.
As a new technology, electronic cigarettes have changed significantly over the past eight years. These changes have made them safer and more effective. If innovation is not stifled by excessive regulation they will continue to improve.
The overwhelming majority of electronic cigarette users are current or former smokers. The number of children that use electronic cigarettes is very small and is made up almost entirely of youth that already smoke cigarettes.
Thousands of testimonies from electronic cigarette users world wide who quit smoking successfully after many failed attempts as well as population level data from the UK and France show that electronic cigarettes are working.
Adult electronic cigarette users report that flavor options in electronic cigarettes make them more appealing than combustibles. For many, using non-tobacco flavors greatly reduces the desire to return to smoking.
There is a significant amount of research available on electronic cigarettes and more continues to become available. All research to date has shown electronic cigarettes to be significantly safer than combustable cigarettes.
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