Posted August 15th, 2012, 12:00 AM
An electronic cigarette contains nictone that's vaporized by a battery-operated heater when the user draws on it.
Quite a few people use it by reducing the level of nicotine so that it goes down to a zero nicotine level (as I am now) - it is then a way of dealing with context dependency (what most people call 'habit') which is as powerful, if not more, than the nicotine itself - that is why being around people smoking actual cigarettes can be a problem, it can easily trigger the habit and the e-cig may not be enough.
That is my only issue with HImom's argument - I understand what you are saying but, in my case, I actually do know what I am inhaling because I source my liquids very carefully. Of course, not everybody may do the same and some might be using the cheap stuff which contains all sorts of stuff (and this is where the FDA studies have found things) - so that part of the argument I do agree with you on.
However, I do have a problem with the FDA studies and arguments - there are an incredible amount of things which contain carcinogens - for instance, if I breathe on you after taking a sip of coffee it is highly likely that I am breathing a known carcinogen onto you, particularly if my lungs are inefficient. But at the molecular density level and dispersion rate of 'coffee breath' it won't do you any harm (hence the 'kissing gives you cancer' scare stories a few years ago!). The truly scandalous thing about the FDA is their seeming inability to understand the dispersion rate behaviour of molecules at even a basic level (a first year undergrad learns that measuring dispersion rates at source, such as the end of a cigarette or someone's mouth, is very different to measuring it six inches away) - either everybody at the FDA got very dumb all of a sudden (and if so, I could give them names of about 10,000 people who could carry out better studies and write better reports) or they have a reason for doing so.