WWV Part I (page 2)

Initial Concerns

That friend of mine had two concerns about e-cigs. Perhaps you share them. Here’s my response.


The e-cigarette itself (i.e., the hardware) is neither healthy nor unhealthy; it is merely an electronic device for vaporizing the liquid put in it. The liquid used in an e-cigarette contains:

  • USP-grade PG (Propylene Glycol) – used in food flavorings, cosmetics, asthma inhalers, the artificial “smoke” at rock concerts, and, yes, antifreeze. [That last usage has the crazies up in arms, falsely claiming that we are inhaling antifreeze. No … just one of its many components (a very safe, natural one).] NOTE: Some people are allergic to PG (e.g., a rash or sore throat, but usually nothing serious). They should use…
  • And/or USP-grade VG (Vegetable Glycerin – more syrupy, and derived from veggies)
  • Plus a selectable amount of nicotine (derived from tobacco)
  • Plus flavoring (derived from different types of tobacco and/or food/candy flavorings).

Because the nicotine and some of the flavors are derived from tobacco, there may be very small trace amounts of the yucky stuff in analog cigarettes, at about one thousandth of the level found in those analogs.

Any concerns you may have about the healthiness of e-cigs might be due to a misleading, scientifically-unsound, and unfair report issued by the FDA in 2009. Some of the news coverage and commentary has been negative, but not all. Here is just one of the rational independent commentaries (which refers to the issues raised in the FDA report).

To find out more, explore Vapers Forum’s Medical/Health and Safety subforum. I found articles like this especially helpful.


After an initial upfront investment, the cost of vaping will be less – perhaps significantly less – than smoking (unless you get carried away, as some of us do, with buying many different types of devices and purchasing the most expensive e-liquid). And even upfront, it may not be that much more.

I don’t know how many tobacco cigarettes you smoke each day or the price where you live. For the purpose of comparison (and round numbers), I’m going to assume about 1.5 packs/day (or one carton per week), at a price of $6/pack. If so, analog cigarettes cost you $60 per week … not counting ashtrays and lighters, deodorizers and air fresheners, and having to replace clothing with ugly holes caused by errant embers).

E-cigs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, flavors … and costs. A typical starter kit runs around $50-$70, but in Parts IV and V, I’ll be providing links to kits costing around $40 (often with free shipping). Adding in $30 worth of initial supplies (replacement parts and e-liquid), that’s an upfront investment of $70, which should keep you going in hardware for quite some time and in e-liquid for at least one to two weeks. Thereafter, you will need only more e-liquid and replacement parts (and maybe a few accessories), averaging perhaps $20-$40 per week.

Next page: Why e-cigs are better than analogs

Previous page: Caveats and Jargon

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