Tobacco Vs. Electronic Cigarettes

As we have seen on other sections of this site, the central difference between electronic cigarettes and the conventional variety is tobacco.

A quick comparison

Issue: Electronic Cigarettes: Traditional Cigarettes:
Smoke legally indoors? Yes No
Tobacco free? Yes No
Tar free? Yes No
Nicotine free? Depends on brand/model No
Odour free? Yes No



Electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco and are focused on the delivery of the principal addictive substance in tobacco – nicotine. Unlike caffeine, a very similar natural pesticide and stimulant, nicotine is highly addictive because it stimulates the pleasure centres of the brain, in a similar way to opiates like heroin. The more you smoke, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms you may experience if you suddenly quit.

Compare electronic cigarettes against traditional tobacco ones - they are safer and cheaper

But light up a conventional cigarettes and the smoke you inhale will contain much more than nicotine. Like any organic substance, tobacco is highly complex and its smoke contains an extraordinary mix of more 4000 different chemicals, including over 50 known carcinogens.

Carcinogens in Tobacco:

• Tar (used in tarmac)
• Arsenic (a powerful poison)
• Creosote (a derivative of tar, used as a wood preservative)
• Formaldehyde (a preservative used in forensics laboratories)

Other Toxins in Tobacco:

• Ammonia (a gas commonly used in cleaning products)
• Hydrogen cyanide (otherwise used as rat poison)
• Carbon monoxide (a toxic gas emitted by car exhausts)

It is these substances which cause the lung cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses associated with smoking – NOT nicotine. So potent is tobacco smoke that ‘second hand smoking’ – the inhalation of other people’s cigarette smoke by non-smokers – can provoke the same illnesses as those which afflict smokers themselves.

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About Us was established to provide consumers with impartial, practical advice and information on E-Cigarettes and the electronic cigarette industry.

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