The Mystery of E-Cigs

| Dr. Eva Norman

It’s a growing trend… e-cigs are quickly becoming vogue & in style. Unfortunately they are also unsupervised by any entity and manufacturers can basically do what they want at this point as they are not governed by any agency. Some communities are trying to take matters in their own hands and govern the sales of the e-cigs by age limits; while others are standing by and waiting to see what the government decides to do with these new devices. However, in this blog I simply want to point out some facts, truths and maybe even give you information regarding e-cigs that you haven’t been privy to. What I am I favor of is seeing someone quit smoking. How they quit smoking can vary and the e-cigs is yet another option out there that may work.

What is an e-cig?


An e-cig is basically a vaporizer unit that has been designed to look like a cigarette or cigar. The e-cig gives no ‘smoke’ and is not a cigarette; thereby making them exempt from common smoking laws & limitations that many states & communities have in place. This is one of the positive aspects and selling points of the e-cig, making “smoking” available to the average smoker in places that they had previously been banned from. They can currently be smoked indoors, where actual smoking is banned, based on the fact that they do not leave a smokey haze in the air and generally no scent. Some businesses have put limits or bans on e-cig use also. The e-cig is a smoke free way of still taking in nicotine that normally would be taken in via a standard cigarette; however,  in the manner of an oil, which is put into a contained area of the e-cig and heated electronically in order to produce a vapor. The e-cig oils are purchased in various strengths; allowing people to wean off of nicotine as they feel comfortable. However, many are also seeing this as a way to smoke wherever and whenever they desire and not as a means of trying to quit. The newest trend is to add flavored nicotine oils to the e-cig so they get both the nicotine and a hint of a flavor of choice at the end of their inhaling. Flavors come in a multitude of possibilities including caramel cappuccino, bubble gum, cotton candy, mint, strawberry, banana and many more.

Knowing the Facts

There is no real answer to the question of how safe e-cigs are to the user. We do know that many feel they are a safer means of “smoking” than a cigarette because it is believed that removing the tobacco means removing such things as tar and other carcinogens that are associated with the smoking of tobacco. However, what many don’t consider is that an e-cig smoker is still taking in nicotine and now, with a vaporized method, the nicotine is coming in a more direct manner to the lungs. Until more studies are done on the e-cigs there really is no answer to the question of “Are e-cigs safer than smoking tobacco?” What must be kept in mind that nocitine is not good for the body and because the e-cig oils are not governed there is a huge possibility for the oils to be tainted or contain toxins that are even worse than we think. What we do know is that it is often cheaper to purchase an e-cig kit with oils than it is to purchase a carton of cigarettes. Those that I’ve spoke to who have used them say that they are using them to wean off of cigarettes or to actually save money. It is justifiable that e-cigs can save money and help to wean a nicotine addict down to miniscule levels of, or even NO nicotine at all. No nicotine means you’ve kicked the habit by removing your addiction to the nicotine and that is a HUGE positive step towards a healthier lifestyle!

However, because the oils being sold can often be mixed in tiny back rooms, unpoliced manufacturing floors and wherever a shop can be set up to quickly get the product made, packaged, and out for sale. You have to be careful where your oils are being made; even if there are no current laws regarding the oils & how they are manufactured in the U.S. they are still going to be the safest oils to purchase due to the ability to sue local/U.S. factories and producers. The oils and e-cigs are easily purchased online and inside convenience stores. Local “Vapor Stores” have actually been opening up quickly in order to cator to the increasing e-cig clientele. Packaging is an important marketing aspect too, with vibrant colors and delicious sounding flavors they can be very attractive; but, the problem is that they’re attractive to children as well as adults. The fact that the flavors and the packaging can be attractive to children has become an increasing problem.

We know for a fact that nicotine is toxic. Obviously the larger amount of nicotine you take in the more toxic it is to the
ecig-with-oilsbody. According to the New York Times and a recent release of information from the FDA, poison control centers across America are getting more and more calls regarding children (and pets) who are taking in these small bottles of oils, thinking that the packaging and even the scent of them when opened mean they are edible. Unfortunately the main ingredients in these e-cig oils contain extremely potent and powerful neurotoxins. The oils and the neurotoxins they contain can be extremely dangerous, even in small amounts. Even more frightening is that these oils don’t necessarily have to be ingested to be toxic. Small amounts absorbed through the skin can actually cause seizures, vomiting and in some cases death.1 Toxins are deadly, toxins are poisonous, e-cig oils contain toxins. These are facts.

Those who are using e-cigs MUST be made knowledgable to the fact that even a small amount of these oils can have a huge affect on both humans and animals if ingested or even absorbed through the skin. Children and pets are at an exceptionally high risk because of their inability to determine if these oils are bad for them. If you are using an e-cig it is VERY important that you take responsibility to not only remove them from the reach of any child but also to keep it away from pets who may likely chew on the bottle and release the oils into their mouth or onto their skin.

If you are using an e-cig to slowly wean off of nicotine and it’s working for you, then you probably already know that you can purchase oils with 0% nicotine too. The e-cig may very well be the answer to your fight against smoking. It may be the newest fad and perhaps an excellent way to stop or even just slow down the smoking habit. That alone makes it worthy of some insight. Either way, we simply need more facts and studies done before we know the whole truth about e-cigs. There are currently trials where the same neurotoxins that are in the e-cig oils are now being prescribed to patients via a vaporizer or e-cig for those with Parkinson’s Disease in order to help decrease some of the symptoms. Needless to say the e-cig could become a useful tool in both smoking cessation and for use with treating other neurological diseases; however, the studies simply are not complete enough to give a full judgement. Keep these facts in mind if you are thinking about or using an e-cig:

  • Buy Locally as opposed to over the internet – this should give you a resource that you can go back to for parts, etc. and to ask questions.
  • Make sure your oils are made in the U.S.A. – even though there are no “rules” being made in the USA ensures that you have some ability to go after a company if they are not creating what they say they are creating (many online suppliers buy oils from 3rd world countries made by people who have no idea what they are creating & are simply creating something for a profit).
  • Find a reputable, local dealer – many of  the local vapor shops will give you information that they know. They should tell you immediately to keep the oils away from animals and children. If they are worthy to get your business they should follow suit of most of the reputable dealers around and card you, no matter what age you appear to be, in order to make sure you are at least 18 years of age. (The legal age of smoking) If they care enough to do this and turn away business of young teens and kids who want to “vape” just to be like the stars of Hollywood then they plan on being in business for a long time. Eventually e-cigs will be monitored and the oils regulated; it’s a matter of time.
  • You can purchase oils with no nicotine in them at all if you simply need the sensation of the act of smoking and are no longer addicted to the nicotine – so it is plausible to wean down to zero nicotine in the oil but still “have your fix” that many are looking for (the act itself & not just the nicotine).


Whether you chose the popular e-cig to stop smoking or another resource, we want to be there to help you as you move towards a healthier lifestyle. We offer one-on-one physical therapy or personal training that can help you focus on a healthier lifestyle and overall well being. Once you get on board a healthy lifestyle you may find it easier to kick the habit. You can utilize one of our wellness programs in conjunction with smoking cessation options (laser accupuncture, e-cigs, hypnosis, medically supervised cessation programs) in order to give your cravings a one-two punch that will knock out your smoking habit. If an e-cig has helped you, then I’m glad and all for it being a positive way for you to quit smoking. The purpose of this blog is not to determine whether e-cigs are safe or unsafe; nor if an e-cig works to stop smoking or doesn’t work. The purpose of this blog is simply to 1) let you know some facts that many don’t know about the e-cigs & the oils they use and 2) let you know that Live Your Life Physical Therapy has healthy lifestyle options that can help you quit. We want you to Live Your Life SMOKE FREE so call us today to get started with a healthier lifestyle.


Dedicated to Keeping You Healthy & Active,

Dr. Eva Norman
President & Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Live Your Live Physical Therapy, LLC

1Editor (2014, March 26). Poisoning Cases Related to E-Cigarettes Skyrocket . The New York Times. Retrieved from


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