Every so often, a study is released that finds some or other health risk associated with vaping electronic cigarettes. The media blows these up into sensational stories that suggest that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. Except, it isn't. It ought to be promoted as a cool, pleasant and fairly safe alternative to smoking tobacco.
Electronic cigarettes are devices that use a metal coil to heat a flavoured liquid to create a vapour, which is inhaled ("vaped") as if it were cigarette smoke. The principle is similar to that of a stage-effect fog machine. The liquid is generally based on a mixture of vegetable glycerine and food-grade propylene glycol, with flavourants and, optionally, some nicotine added.
A vibrant industry has sprung up around these devices, because they look cool, they are cool, and they offer a safe, pleasant alternative to smoking. Thousands of variants are available, to satisfy every requirement, from simple, no-fuss starter kits for beginners, to elaborate rigs for experienced vapers who like to customise their devices or even make their own. The same is true for liquids.
This industry, of course, competes with the tobacco industry, which provides one major motive to campaign against e-cigarettes....