What is the Electronic Cigarette?

The Electronic Cigarette is an electronic device, which imitates a regular cigarette.

It is a new way for users of regular tobacco based cigarettes to regulate and control their nicotine intake while in public places.

How does it work?

The Electronic Cigarette works in the following way: the user inhales on the electronic cigarette, this causes an air flow sensor to signal to the inbuilt microprocessor, that in turn activates the atomizer. The atomizer converts the liquid nicotine in the cartridge into a vapour (by atomization), which is digested by the user. Simultaneously, a water based vapour is released from the glycol by the atomizer to resemble ‘smoke’. This ‘smoke’ has no risk to its user or persons around them.
What is in the Cartridge?

The base liquid of the cartridge is a mixture of liquid-nicotine, tobacco extract flavourings and Propylene glycol. The liquid contains no harmful chemicals, unlike a typical tobacco based cigarette.
What powers the device?

A rechargeable lithium battery powers the device.

In Summary

The Electronic Cigarette not only helps the user to regulate their nicotine intake, and creates a vapour resembling smoke, but it also  looks like a cigarette; thereby helping the user with the psychological and physical habit  of holding  a regular  cigarette.

The Electronic Cigarette has been awarded EC and RoHS certification as a safe electronic device.

Electronic Cigarette Cartridges Toxicology Report

Nicotine is addictive, and is classed as a poison, and as regular cigarette smokers, you will be aware of this. In the conclusion of the report the Laboratory have said that on balance the nicotine cartridges appear to be a much safer alternative to the traditional cigarette, as they do not contain any of the known harmful chemicals that are in cigarettes. Please read the full report here.

Propylene glycol

“Also known as propane-1,2-diol,  it is an organic compound, usually a faint sweet, odourless, and colourless clear viscous(thick & sticky) liquid that is hygroscopic( absorbs water from the air) and miscible(capable of mixing with water) with water, acetone and chloroform.”  Wikepedia 09/08

Propylene glycol is used in the following ways:

As a moisturiser in medicine, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, mouth wash and tobacco products.
In electronic cigarettes to make the produced vapour better resemble cigarette smoke.
As a medical and sexual lubricant.
As an emulsifier (prevents separation) in Angostura and orange bitters.
As a solvent for food colourings and flavourings.
As a humectant (to keep product moist) food additive labelled E1520.
As a carrier in fragrance oils.
As a less toxic anti freeze (sounds scary, but it will be because of it’s nature as an emulsifier).
As a solvent used in photographic chemicals.
In hand sanitizer lotions.

Please note this is not a full list, but is of the most common applications.


Propylene Glycol poisoning has apparently only occurred through inappropriate intravenous (straight into the vein) use, or accidental ingestion by children. However, you will need to ingest a lot of propylene glycol to cause harm.  “Serious toxicity will occur only at extremely high intakes over a relatively short period of time”  www.dow.com 09/08.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated propylene glycol to be “generally recognised as safe.” Wikepedia 09/08.

Propylene glycol shows no evidence of being a carcinogen or being genotoxic.
Propylene glycol can be irritating to some individuals.

The electronic cigarette is a new product, and as yet does not have a data base of clinical trials and evidence as to the long term effects on the smoker.