I'm a 20 a day man and love smoking, but in truth I've had it with my inability to make it through 10 minutes of the waking day without thinking about fags (if you are a pack a day smoker, this is almost literally true: your life is measured out by 10 - 15 minute gaps between fags. It is pathetic). And the cost is just ludicrous - it is almost a week's rent in my case.
So I have just bought an electronic cigarette (e-cig, also called a vapouriser). Here's the Wiki on e-cigs, and a link to the biggest e-cig forum on the net (it is entirely non-commercial):
Electronic cigarette - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
e-cigarette-forum.com • The place for electronic cigarette reviews, news and chat
I recommend the forum for those interested in finding out more. It looks like a very large and conscientious community, but you'll need to judge that for yourself.
Boots in the UK (and perhaps here) sell a form of the c-cig, but in general the jury is very much out on their health status. If you are going to try an e-cig this is the #1 issue by a mile so you must do your own research and come to a conclusion for yourself....They are almost entirely unregulated - the FDA in the US are very anti and confiscate e-cigs and accessories coming into the US, primarily from China. In addition, most brands (there are 5 or 6 from what I can gather) are made in China which, as we know, is not exactly a Health and Safety nirvana. And, as Wiki says, there have been precious few, if any, peer reviewed, respected clinical trials on e-cigs. So this is pretty scary territory for a product that puts "smoke" into your lungs. So caveat emptor BIG TIME.
But here's my view: if the e-cig is manufactured as stated (in other words assuming it is made just as the manufacturer claims it is made and no corners are cut/additional elements sneaked in) I think these things are potentially a wonder-product for us addicts.
Having had the e-cig for a few days now, I am absolutely staggered by the effect this thing has had on me. The extent to which it replicates the smoking experience is amazing. Smokers will know the problem with nicotine replacement treatments is that you miss the smokey "hit" on your throat and lungs. The e-cig delivers this. It's pretty amazing, and the theory says that what you are inhaling is not "smoke" but rather vapourised Propylene Glycol and nicotine....Here's what PG is (we consume tonnes of it already):
Propylene glycol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nictoine is nicotine, which you know about already. The crucial point in theory is that you are not putting carcinogenic smoke into your lungs - instead, it is water vapur. Nothing burns in an e-cig. With a normal fag, it is the smoke specifically that does the real damage, not the nicotine per se...the burning of the tobacco is merely a nicotine delivery system, which is really, really, really stupid if you think about it - you are taking something carcinogenic merely as a means of getting nicotine! If that isn't the stupidist goddam thing ever, I dunno.
As a matter of public health policy, someone somewhere HAS TO do a health assessment of these things. Having used them for just a few days, I have never been more optimistic of replacing my habit with this safer alternative (assuming that's what it is!!). I am obviously very concerned with the health aspects set out above, but for now I almost don't care as long as I am not smoking bloody fags. I have had 5 cigarettes in the last 3 days, when normally I would have had 60 or 70. Do the math.
On cost, my estimation is that replacement nicotine cartridges and other parts for my e-cig should come in at about 10% - 20% the cost of my fag habit. Maybe €40 a month or something.
I bought my e-cig through an Irish supplier of one of the more popular brands. I don't want to spam the suppliers name here, but a Google search wiill propbably find it, or if you want to PM me I can pass on the details. I have no connection whatsoever with this operation and am not connected with e-cigs in any way other than as a consumer for the last few days.