Welcome to the ECCR FAQ section (Frequently Asked Questions)
ECCR has compiled a list of the most frequently asked ecig questions that people have about electronic cigarettes. Here you will find clear, no-nonsense answers that allow you to effectively sort through the mass of confusing, most often misleading, information that is out there. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.
Q. We begin at the beginning. What is an E-cigarette?
A. An e-cigarette is an electronic device, typically powered by a rechargeable battery, which vaporizes a liquid, called e-liquid, into a vapor that the user can inhale. The e-cigarette can take on many forms and many names. They are also referred to as e-cigs, personal vaporizers, vaporizers, vape gear etc.
There are many types of e-cigarettes. The type that actually looks like a tobacco cigarette (tobacco cigarettes are often referred to as ‘analogs’ by the vaping community) is called a ‘cig-a-like’. This is still the most common electronic cigarette and for good reason. It most looks like a cigarette and most closely mimics the act and ritual of smoking.
Cig-a-likes are recommended for new vapers and we also urge experienced vaper to give the current cig-a-like technology a fresh look because you will be impressed. Overall, cig-a-likes have come a long way and today’s models are very effective for first time users and veteran vapers alike.
Cig-a-like ecigs are very easy to use, light, portable and convenient. The cartridges can be pre-filled and simply screw on to the battery and puffing on the e-cigarette automatically activates the battery and generates vapor. Many people are looking for an alternative and not a hobby and cig-a-likes perfectly fit the bill.
Many experienced vapers recall the early cig-a-likes and often take a less than flattering view of cig-a-likes but the technology has changed. The best cig-a-like e-cigarettes represent the latest technology and produce excellent vapor and last much longer.
The next most popular style of is what is called a ‘mod’. Now, the term mod is short for modified. That is because the first mods were actually modified by adventurous vapers who wanted more vapor.
By taking an electronic cigarette cartridge, or cartomizer, and attaching it to a more powerful battery more vapor could be produced. Of course a mod comprised of a cartridge connected to a large battery no longer looks like an analog cigarette. They are larger and kind of futuristic looking.
Mods do create more vapor. Soon, e-cigarette companies were making factory mods that had additional features such as allowing the user to actually control the voltage. More voltage means more heat and more vapor. Of course, it also drains the battery faster and burns e-liquid at temperatures that are akin to burning your steak. So, some voltage control is recommended.
The modern incarnation of a mod is also often called an eGo e-cigarette. Mods and eGo style e-cigs utilize refillable e-cig tanks that contain an absorbent ‘wick’ that is connected to the heating device, aka the atomizer. With a larger battery and larger capacity e-liquid tank, mods and eGos last longer than a typical cig-a-like.
Box Mods, Mech Mods And RDAs
A box mod is a box shaped e-cigarette that contains a battery, atomizer or some type of heating coil and a tank of e-liquid. Box mods can often contain a powerful battery and a large capacity tank in a sturdy box case that adds to durability. It may or may not have variable voltage, variable wattage capacity. The more powerful battery can generated larger amounts of vapor. An example of a box mod is the iTaste VTR e-cig.
A mech mod, short for mechanical mod, is a battery casing that is capable of housing and adapting to batteries of different sizes, heating coils and an e-liquid source. There is no regulation of the battery in a mech mod. It’s operation is entirely mechanical, hence mech. Conceivably, you could overheat the ecig and even cause a runaway battery discharge if you do not use the mech mod properly. Before using a mech, you need to be very well acquainted with safe operation.
An RDA is a rebuildable drip atomizer. This type of electronic cigarette connects a battery to an atomizer and the user then drips the e-liquid directly on to the heated coils. Many vapers build their own coils, most often of silica material. RDA’s work better with a vegetable glycerin based e-liquid and the advantage is the amount of vapor produced.
The battery powers a low temperature heat source that converts the liquid into a vapor. The liquid inside the Ecig varies depending on the product chosen by the user but generally the liquid is a mixture of nicotine and propylene glycol. Ecigs come in many shapes and sizes but most commonly they actually appear similar to a tobacco cigarette.
Q.Are E-cigarettes safe?
A. More and more studies are showing that e-cigarettes have virtually no impact on human health. As time goes on, more and more studies are directly contradicting the alarmist positions adopted by the media and many in the medical community.
You will often hear about “studies” that indicate that e-cigarettes produce dangerous byproducts. If you track down the source of this study it can almost always be traced back to a 2009 FDA study that found trace elements of toxins in one e-cig brand. They tested nine. So, six years ago eight of nine e-cigarette brands tested did not produce toxic byproducts. Of course it is never reported that way!
Some common sense e-cig facts are in order. Not all e-cigs are alike. Some of the less reputable brands may have production issues or perhaps their e-liquid is not blended to any standards.
In these cases, there is a risk of harmful byproducts. Although even the worst ecig is better than a tobacco cigarette there are good reasons to avoid cheap e-cigarettes. That’s what we are here to help with and why we spend so much time testing each brand.
By the way, the one brand of e-cigarette that did show trace elements of toxins did not produce those toxins to a level that would affect human health. The formaldehyde levels detected were similar to what you would find in the soap in your average public restroom.
Bottom line, e-cigarettes create a nicotine vapor that you inhale by converting a nicotine solution into vapor. That solution contains vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol, flavor and nicotine.
Vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol are both FDA approved food additives. Nicotine is a stimulant and the source of the craving but nicotine itself is not a carcinogen.
Cigarettes have nicotine, each cigarette has about 12 mg of nicotine, but the real problem with cigarettes is the tobacco additives and the combustion. There is a big difference between vapor and smoke.
That smoke is the problem and that smoke is now more dangerous then ever. There are currently more tobacco additives than there have ever been before and the toxicity of cigarettes is worse than it was a generation ago.
E-cigarettes vaporize three non-toxic substances to produce an inhaleable vapor. To recap that is 5000 toxic chemicals in smoke versus three non-toxic ingredients that comprise vapor. The math speaks for itself.
Did you know that a recent survey indicated that a majority of practicing physicians support e-cigarettes? That is doctors who see real, human patients, not doctors who wear lab coats and appear on TV.
When e-cigarettes were first released to the market, the Cancer Society and the Heart Association were very much against them. Today, that has changed. Both the Cancer Society and Heart Association are beginning to look at e-cigarettes as an ally in the fight against smoking.
The most comprehensive health study to date conducted by the Drexel University School of Public Health examined more than 9,000 investigations of e-cig vapor. The study concluded that e-cigs pose no health concerns. The study also concluded that second hand e-cig vapor posed no risk to health.
E-cigarettes may be the best ally in the fight against smoking that we have ever seen. If you are not a smoker, by all means avoid e-cigs or at least use non-nicotine e-cigs. Why mess with anything addictive? If you are a smoker e-cigarettes may be an alternative. Consider the facts and make your own decision.
Here are some additional studies from 2014 that may help you understand where the research stands today:
A. When it comes to the health risks associated with smoking cigarettes, nicotine is not the issue. Make no mistake, nicotine is an addictive stimulant, similar to caffeine, but nicotine itself is not carcinogenic.
Nicotine comes from the tobacco plant. Pharmaceutical technology enables skilled chemists to extract nicotine in liquid form. The standard that you need to look for is USP grade, pharmaceutical quality nicotine. That way you can rest assured that the nicotine was extracted in a safe and effective manner.
Nicotine is can have beneficial effects of concentration and cognition. The draw back is the very addictive nature of nicotine.
Nicotine in excess can have side effects but the amounts that you would be exposed to through the proper use of an e-cigarette is similar to what you would be exposed to with the patch or nicotine gums.
Pregnant women should avoid nicotine, as it may be associated with potential birth defects. A lot of this depends on the amount of nicotine and the timing but overall avoidance is the best strategy for moms to be.
Q. What are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin?
A. Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are both used as in electronic cigarette liquid, or e-liquid. In combination with liquid nicotine and flavor, e-liquid, or e-juice, is what is converted into vapor and inhaled via an e-cigarette.
Propylene glycol, or PG, is an organic chemical that is actually classified as an alcohol. It is not the kind of alcohol associated with intoxication. It is actually a food grade substance that is found in food, medicines, cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste etc.
PG has been with us for almost a century and there is extensive data documenting the fact that it does not harm human health. For some, it may be an irritant but that’s about it. Propylene glycol is FDA approved and GRAS, or Generally Recognized As safe.
Vegetable glycerin, or VG, is a carbohydrate that is made from vegetable oil. Like propylene glycol, it is a food additive as well as being used in medicines and cosmetics. It is often used as a treatment for skin problems.
In some cases, an electronic cigarette user may have a reaction to PG. In those instances, it is often recommended to switch to a vegetable glycerin based e-liquid.
Vegetable glycerin is more viscous than PG. As a result, it tends to produce more vapor while at the same time being more gentle. The downside is that has less throat hit, meaning the sensation is not as strong as when using a PG based e-liquid. Additionally, VG does not convey flavor as well as PH.
Many e-liquid brands use a variety of PG / VG mixtures. As you gain experience, you may want to try different blends.
Q. Can e-cigarettes help me to quit smoking?
A. The FDA and WHO (World Health Organization) do not recognize e-cigarettes as a valid means of quitting smoking. Both of these bureaucratic agencies advise that smokers stick to established smoking cessation methods such as medications or other nicotine replacement therapies, or NRTs.
The problem is that these established methods have a terrible success rate with only 7% of patients reporting that they are no longer smoking after one year.
Quitting smoking is difficult enough just because of the nicotine. Nicotine is very addictive, as we all know. Still, quitting smoking is about more than the nicotine.
The act and rituals of smoking are also addictive. For example, having a cigarette with morning coffee is part of a daily routine for millions of people around the world. Enjoying a cigarette after the evening meal is also common and part of an entire process of winding down a day.
Smoking is also a routine, or ritual. It is ingrained in our daily activities and functions. For many people, popping a pill, putting a patch on their arm or chewing some gum leaves a massive gap in their daily routine. They miss the nicotine and the act of smoking.
E-cigarettes allow people to carry out the same habit, actions and routines. Addiction experts tell us that these routines are very much a part of addicition and may explain why other NRTs have such a glaring failure rate.
There is significant data that indicates that e-cigarettes do appear to have a much better success rate helping people get away from cigarettes. Some data actually shows that nearly all e-cig users are able to at least cut down on smoking.
In late 2014, an eight-month study conducted by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, a peer reviews scientific journal. The study demonstrated that e-cigarettes helped 21% of smokers quit and 23% to cut down. That may seem low but when you compare it to other NRT’s e-cigarettes stand out with authority.
Many studies show that e-cigarettes have a much greater success rate. Studies vary. The fact of the matter is that none of these studies do an effective job of dealing with smokers as individuals. Lumping all smokers into one basket is problematic.
In the aftermath of this particular study, a large number of experts are insisting that had the journal actually catered each participant with the e-cigarette specifically suited to the individual’s smoking habits the results would have been even more impressive. Most say vastly more impressive.
That’s why finding the right e-cigarette for you, as an individual is so important. Following our tips and tricks like learning to choose the right e-liquid nicotine level can be immensely helpful and put the odds in your favor.
When it comes to choosing an e-cigarette, we work hard to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each electronic cigarette brands so that you can apply the data to yourself and your own specific needs. This really is all about you.
That’s why ECCR is here – to put those odds in your favor and to make this about you as an individual.
Q. How do I know which Ecig will work for me?
A. Everyone is different and which e-cigarette you enjoy is a matter what your goals are and what your needs are. For example, someone who smokes three packs a day is not going to have any luck using the same e-cigarette as someone who goes through one pack of cigarettes per week. There is no one size fits all.
There is one easy thing you can do if you want e-cigarettes to work for you. That easy thing is to not buy your e-cigs from a gas station or convenience store. The brands you find there are most often a one size fits all. They may have two flavors but only one nicotine level. In most cases, the person selling you the e-cig will not even be able to tell you what the nicotine level is!
Obviously, heavier smokers need more nicotine and lighter smokers need less. You have to be careful. Here is a scenario that could really happen:
“A smoker who goes though half a pack per day walks into a gas station and buys a Vuse thinking that all e-cigarettes are basically the same. He or she tries the Vuse and finds it to be harsh but keeps using it anyway.
The issue is that the Vuse contains 48 mg of nicotine, about 400% more than the tobacco cigarettes that he or she was smoking previously. Without knowing it, this individual has actually made their nicotine addiction worse.”
Likewise a heavy smoker may try an e-cigarette with 15 mg of nicotine and find that it does not satisfy at all. This individual decides that e-cigarettes are not effective and gives up on the altogether and winds up back smoking two packs per day. This is not good for anyone.
Finding the right e-cigarette for you may take some trial and error but if you spend some time thinking about what you need specifically for you the process can be informed and valuable. We can help minimize the trial and error.
Think about your goals. If you would like to get nicotine out of your life altogether, look for e-cigarette brands with a number of e-liquid options as well as a non-nicotine option that will allow you to gradually reduce nicotine over time. Look for flavors that you like. Of course, look at costs and long-term value.
Use ECCR as your guide. Watch the reviews, compare brands and by all means contact us anytime if you have any questions.
Q. Are Ecigs more expensive than regular tobacco cigarettes?
A. No. Not even close! You can save a lot of money by switching to electronic cigarettes.
Doing some quick math we can tell you that all of ECCR’s top rated e-cigarette brands offer refill cartridges that provide the equivalent number of puffs as a pack of tobacco cigarettes. Now, most e-cig brands do not meet these standards, that’s why you will never see them on our list of recommended e-cigarettes.
So, if one cartridge is at least the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes and the average cost of an e-cig cartridge is $2.75 you can see the savings.
Q. Which e-cigarette tastes the most like a real cigarette?
A. There are a number of tobacco flavors available form all of our recommended brands that do an admirable job of mimicking the taste of cigarettes.
The issue is that mimicking the taste sensation of something that is truly burning is not easy. Still, the tobacco flavors that we talk about on the pages of ECCR will be satisfying.
Here’s another thing to think about. After a while you probably will not even worry about this question. More than half of e-cigarette users prefer flavors that have nothing to do with tobacco. They like flavors like coffee, chocolate, cherry and other fruit and dessert flavors.
So, yes the best e-cigarette brands do a good job of providing a tobacco taste that smokers enjoy. In the long run, there is a good chance that you will end up favoring non-tobacco flavors.
Q. What are some other benefits of switching to e-cigarettes?
A. The health and financial benefits are the most obvious but there are many more.
Your home and car will not smell like smoke. You know how hard it is to get rid of that smell, especially if you have tried selling your home or car. Cars and homes that have been smoked in depreciate more than smoke free cars and homes.
By the way, you won’t stink either. Vapor does not leave any smell or residue. Not stinking has serious social benefits!
Less mess, less litter on the streets, no ashtrays and no second hand smoke. No burning, no fire hazards.
ECCR’s E-Cigarette Terms Glossary
Now here is a list of some of the electronic cigarette glossary items including jargon, acronyms and ecig slang terms you may hear:
Vape or vaping – Now a word in the Oxford dictionary! In fact, it was the “Word Of The Year” for 2014. To vape is to use an e-cig. Vaping is basically smoking an e-cigarette. For simplicity, simply replace smoke with vape and smoking with vaping.
Vapor Production – The amount of vapor produced by an electronic cigarette.
E-liquid, e-juice – The liquid that is heated and converted into vapor by an e-cigarette. Contains vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, liquid nicotine and flavor. Mixtures vary from brand to brand.
Battery, batt – The battery that powers the e-cigarette. Most often a rechargeable battery but it may also be a disposable.
Atomizer, atty – The heat source that converts the e-liquid into vapor.
Manual – A battery that requires the user to manually activate the battery with a button or trigger.
Automatic – A battery with a sensor that detects when the user is puffing on the e-cigarette and automatically activates the battery to produce the vapor.
Cartridge, e-cig tank – The container that stores and supplies the e-liquid on an e-cigarette. It attaches to the battery and the atomizer heats the liquid to make your vapor.
Clearomizer, e-cig tank – A clear e-cigarette tank that allows you to see your e-liquid reservoir. The most common design.
Cartomizer, carto, refill cartrdige – A combination of an atomizer and cartridge in one piece. This is currently the most common design. Cartomizers are most often pre-filled and store the e-liquid in a foam or other fibrous substance. Refillable cartomizers are an option for many ecig brands.
Filler – The material inside a cartomizer that contains the e-liqid.
Starter Kit – A complete e-cigarette kit that includes everything needed to begin vaping.
Disposable – A disposable, non-rechargeable electronic cigarette.
Pass Through – An e-cigarette that plugs into a power source such as a USB port to provide the power to vaporize e-liquid.
Portable charger case, PCC – A portable e-cigarette battery charger most often fashioned to look like a conventional cigarette package. The PCC will allow the user to recharge batteries without having to plug in to a power source.
Throat Hit – The sensation in the throat that is similar to smoking.
NicoSat – The nicotine satisfaction provided by an e-cig.
Dripping – Dripping e-liquid directly onto the atomizer to generate vapor. Considered to produce more vapor than conventional methods.
Noob or newbie – A beginner or new e-cigarette user.
Pull – Basically the same as drag or puff, pull is when you inhale from an Ecig.
Cut-Off – An internal regulator that limits how long a battery can be activated. Prevents overheating and battery malfunctions such as thermal runaways (dangerous overheating of a battery).
Analog – A conventional tobacco cigarette.
APV – Advanced personal vaporizer.
NRP – Nicotine replacement therapy.
ENDS – Electronic nicotine delivery system.
BT – Big Tobacco.
VV – Variable Voltage.
VW – Variable Wattage.
Hopefully our faqs page has been helpful and answered a few of your questions. If there are any questions you may have that weren’t covered here, please feel free to contact us via our live chat and we’ll do our best to help you out!