What are electronic cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes or personal vaporizers) are an alternative to tobacco cigarettes for adults 21 years of age or older, with an exception for military members 18 and older. They are battery-operated devices that create an inhalable, water-based mist instead of smoke. The rechargeable battery powers a heating element called an "atomizer." The element uses low heat to turn liquid in the cartridge, which contains propylene glycol, glycerin, food flavoring and nicotine, into a fog-like mist.
There are many models of e-cigarettes available. Some look like traditional cigarettes, others look similar to a pen and some even look like small flashlights. Some have LED lights, some have built-in liquid reservoirs, others have combined atomizer cartridges, some are tubular and some are even rectangular boxes. They come in all shapes and sizes and have different features for former smokers who wish to distance themselves from anything resembling a traditional cigarette or want a longer battery life and/or better performance.
Are e-cigarettes safe?
While anything containing nicotine cannot be called 100% safe, evidence from numerous studies strongly suggests that they are magnitudes safer than tobacco cigarettes. Harm reduction experts can point to research supporting that switching from cigarettes to a smokefree product will reduce health risks to less than 1% of smoking traditional cigarettes - nearly the same as non-smokers. For tobacco harm reduction health professionals, it is misleading and irresponsible for public health officials to tell smokers that smokeless products, such as e-cigarettes, are "not a safe alternative to smoking".
What e-cigarette brand most looks and tastes like a real cigarette?
This is the most common question on e-cigarette forums. The best answer to that question is "none" and "it doesn't matter."
Since those considering e-cigarettes are usually seeking to replace tobacco cigarettes, they are under the assumption that having the most realistic, tobacco-flavored e-cigarette will bring the most satisfaction. The truth of it is that after switching to e-cigarettes for a few weeks, the vast majority of users discover that looks ultimately don't matter - performance does. And the best performing e-cigarettes don't necessarily look anything like traditional cigarettes because they require larger batteries. And the most popular flavors with experienced users are often as far from tobacco-tasting as one can get.
One problem is that none of the tobacco flavors really taste like burning tobacco - they taste more like fresh tobacco smells and slightly sweet. So, experienced e-cigarette users will tell you that nothing tastes exactly like a burning tobacco cigarette. But, we know you won't believe us and insist on buying something that looks and tastes like a tobacco cigarette. That's ok - we've all been there!
Can e-cigarettes help me quit smoking?
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence and even some scientific research surveys that strongly indicate that e-cigarettes are an effective alternative to smoking. Surveys show that up to 80% of e-cigarette users quit smoking traditional cigarettes while using e-cigarettes.
However, while some users have gradually reduced the nicotine levels down to zero, the majority of e-cigarette users treat the devices as an alternate source of nicotine and not as a nicotine cessation program. So there is not as much scientific evidence yet that show how effective e-cigarettes are when used to treat or cure nicotine addiction. Yet, anecdotal reports by users who have used e-cigarettes as a way to wean from nicotine also indicates they seem to be very effective way to break smoking triggers and dramatically reduce nicotine levels. As with pharmaceutical NRTs, it depends upon the smoker and the strength of his or her addiction and resolve to quit. E-cigarettes also appear to be a much safer option for short-term use in the event of relapse.
The good news is, nicotine by itself has very low health risks, so switching to e-cigarettes can be nearly as good as quitting altogether. The most important thing for those who cannot or will not quit nicotine to do is to stop the exposure to the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke and e-cigarettes can help them do it.
Images from http://www.casaa.org/
E-Liquid in San Francisco
How do you choose the best vape shop in a city with dozens? Although the e-cigarette industry began largely as an online enterprise, it's no secret that local vape shops and convenience stores are perhaps the fastest growing segments of the market -- and if you're reading this article, you're already well aware of that fact. With nearly 30 neighborhood vape shops, San Francisco has one of the most vibrant and active vaping communities in the United States. So, where should you go when you need to buy e-liquid in San Francisco? In this article, we'll point out a few of the features that you should look for when picking a local vape shop to call "home."
Hand-Selected E-Liquid Brands
If you've spent any time on e-cigarette forums, you already know the e-liquid brands that have received the most acclaim from e-smokers. Suicide Bunny, Highbrow Vapor, Five Pawns and Halo -- these are the e-liquid companies that consistently appear at the top of the list on every e-liquid review website, and with good reason. Among the other e-liquid brands available at the Vapory Shop, these companies continue to amaze e-smokers with their innovative new flavors. While it is possible to order all of these e-liquids online, you can save time and money by staying local and buying e-liquid in San Francisco. Are you looking for an e-liquid made with real tobacco extracts for turbocharged flavor? Perhaps you'd like to try an e-liquid steeped in an oak barrel for months before decanting. These experiences and more are available in your own back yard.
Connect With Real People
When you buy e-liquid in San Francisco, you can be confident in the fact that you'll be selecting from the best flavors on the market because the associates at the Vapory Shop are e-smokers like you. If an e-liquid isn't good enough for us, we won't sell it to you. More importantly, by staying local you can be certain that you'll always be able to reach someone if your e-smoking products aren't performing as expected -- not just a faceless voice in an outsourced call center, but a local business owner who knows that his livelihood depends on your continued support. Check the other local stores before you buy e-liquid in San Francisco and see how they compare -- if you can't find clear instructions for how to contact the store via both email and telephone, you can't be certain that you'll receive help when you need it.
When It's Time to Upgrade
It's likely that you, like most e-smokers, started by using an e-cigarette with the familiar shape of a real cigarette. When you step into the Vapory Shop for the first time, though, you'll be dazzled by a sight that may be unfamiliar: mods. These luxury devices extend the functionality of the e-cigarette, bringing new features to the e-smoking experience that you may not have thought possible. These include purely mechanical mods -- which contain no internal electronics and are designed to last a lifetime -- as well as advanced personal vaporizers that allow you to dial in the "perfect vape" by fine-tuning voltage and wattage settings to your specifications. When you stay local and buy your e-liquid in San Francisco, you'll have the benefit of knowing that when you're ready to upgrade, you'll have a friendly expert walking you through the process and helping you choose the e-cigarette mod that suits your personal needs.
The Benefits of Staying Local
The e-cigarette industry is a growing one, with media outlets such as Forbes predicting that the total size of the market is set to double year over year. Every time an entrepreneur opens a local vape shop, new jobs are created that didn't previously exist. When you buy your e-liquids locally, you support these jobs and encourage the continued growth of San Francisco's economy while avoiding shipping fees and long wait times for your products to arrive. Everyone wins.