Electronic Cigarettes vs. Regular Cigarettes – The Pros & Cons

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Electronic cigarettes hit the European market in 2006. They have been growing more popular by the day ever since. Many smokers are pondering making the change to e-cigarettes, each with his/her reasons. Whether you are trying to quit, looking to protect your health or simply wondering what all the hype is about, you should take a look at the pros and cons of smoking and e-smoking.

What You Put In Your Body


Regular cigarettes: Most of us think that by taking a drag, we simply pull nicotine in our lungs. That is unfortunately not true. A regular cigarette contains 600 components, and its burning process produces over 4000 substances, many of which are poisonous and carcinogenic. Nicotine is an addictive drug, but for many smokers, that’s only a very small part of the health dangers that are rolled in that little cigarette.


Electronic cigarettes: The e-liquid you fill your electronic cigarette with is where the nicotine is carried. This e-liquid is made of components that are normally present in food and pharmaceutical items. E-liquid provides you with the nicotine and the electronic cigarette provides with the smoking experience, all without exposing you to the substances found in ordinary cigarettes.


Health Consequences

Regular Cigarettes: With all these substances, it’s only normal that smoking damages health. In fact, it is common knowledge that smoking causes cancer among many other diseases. Many of us choose to ignore that fact, however, in order to keep indulging. After all, low activity levels contribute to heart disease, a high fat diet can lead to stroke and eating fast food is a risk factor for diabetes, but many people still manage to get away with all that. We overlook the ‘Smoking clogs the arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes’ and ‘Smoking causes fatal lung cancer’ warning signs on the very packs we buy, and instead, choose to focus on the fact that not everybody who smokes gets lung cancer, and not everybody who gets lung cancer smokes.


While this is indeed true, it doesn’t cancel the fact that smoking is definitely getting us closer to disease. Luckily, not all of us will get there. A higher percentage of us will in comparison to nonsmokers, nevertheless. The thing is most of these terrifying disease are not caused by one factor; many risk factors contribute to these diseases. The more risk factors you accumulate, the more likely you are to get the disease, and the more effective a risk factor is the bigger its effect. Smoking happens to be a very strong risk factor.


Let’s take cancer as an example. The horrifying figure that 1 in every 3 Briton will get cancer has increased to an even worse number. In 2011, the figure changed, 42% of Britons were foresighted to get cancer by experts, and smoking was statistically found to be the leading single cause for cancer in the UK according to Cancer Research UK. To get an idea of how tobacco smoking contributes to cancer, we can compare its role as a lung cancer cause to that of other risk factors.

  • A nonsmoker who has been exposed to high doses of beta carotene, retinoic acid, or Vitamin E is 1.11 – 1.28 times more likely to get lung cancer than a nonsmoker who had no exposure.
  • A nonsmoker of African American origins is 1.5 times more likely to get lung cancer than a nonsmoker of a different race.
  • A nonsmoker who has had a lung disease (such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis) in the past is 2 times more likely to get lung cancer than a nonsmoker who hasn’t suffered from lung disease at any point.
  • A nonsmoker who has been exposed to industrial substance asbestos is 7 – 10 times more likely to get lung cancer than a nonsmoker who was not exposed to the substance.
  • A smoker, however, is 20 – 40 times more likely to get lung cancer than a nonsmoker.

The above statistics show that smoking exceeds all other risk factors combined, and this is only when it comes to lung cancer. Smoking stands as a leading risk factor in other cancers and in fatal disease such as stroke and heart disease as well.

Electronic Cigarettes: The chemicals that go into a cigarette during production, the tobacco itself and its burning process are not part of electronic cigarettes. It is because of these three elements that regular cigarettes pose such a significant health threat, and by avoiding these, electronic cigarettes pose no health hazard; you won’t find electronic smoking as a risk factor for any disease.


Besides helping you avoid a huge risk factor for various diseases, electronic smoking improves you quality of life by reducing the little negative health effects of smoking you feel right now. A report published by The BMC Public Health in 2010 stated that electronic cigarette users:



  • Suffered from significantly less coughing
  • Showed a much improved breathing
  • Have increased energy levels
  • Feel much more physically fit


Quitting Smoking

Merely replacing regular cigarettes with electronic cigarettes can improve health and help in avoiding more serious conditions in the future. Some opt not only to stop inhaling all the poisonous substances in tobacco cigarettes, but to also quit nicotine.


Regular cigarettes: One of the popular ways of quitting smoking is decreasing the cigarette intake bit by bit. This method is successful in dealing with the nicotine addiction as it decreases the drug’s supply to the body gradually. It, however, is unsuccessful in dealing with the psychological aspect of smoking. The smoker will feel the urge to reach out for a smoke whenever s/he is stressed, worried, sad, or even when s/he is socializing with smoker friends. Moreover, throughout the quitting process, the smoker will still be subjected to the cancerous and poisonous substances present in cigarettes.


Electronic cigarettes: Again, the problem in quitting smoking is the physiological factor. Neither the nicotine gum nor the nicotine patch offer the gratifications of smoking, the social factor of smoking or the stress relief and mind clarity people seek when they light up.


E-cigarettes are different. When you decide to use an electronic cigarette, you don’t have to quit smoking in order to quit nicotine. You keep smoking with the same frequency and in the same circumstances, and you can resort to your cigarette whenever you want; the only thing that changes is the nicotine concentration in the e-liquid of you e-cigarette. A study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that 30% of those who make the change to electronic cigarettes quit smoking completely.

Social Factors

Regular Cigarettes: Social life is affected both positively and negatively by smoking. If your friends are all smokers, smoking becomes a social event; you get together for a smoke and a drink in the weekend, for example. If, however, your friends and family don’t smoke, smoking becomes a social curse. They detest the smell, they complain about the ashes, and you have to leave their company whenever you want a smoke. The second happens more often, and the first makes it even harder for you to quit, or even cut back.


Electronic Cigarettes: The positive social side of smoking is not compromised by using electronic cigarettes, quite the contrary. You can e-smoke with your friends at any time, and you can even e-smoke in bars and pubs where tobacco smoking is not allowed, and your friends may soon decide to join you. More importantly, smokers who find their need for cigarettes isolating them from their friends will no longer face this problem. There will be no need to head outside to smoke, no smell and no mess.


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