As electronic cigarettes continue to pick up momentum and increase in popularity, more and more people are beginning to become more curious. The health debate for standard tobacco cigarettes versus e-cigs continues to rage on with no real clear answers. That is except for nicotine, which users can opt to get in predetermined levels or leave out completely.
Of course one of the topics that remains a hot topic in relation to any product these days is the issue of whether or not something is “green.” Being green means environmentally friendly and not causing damage to the air, earth, water or living creatures around us. New products are basically under the microscope to make sure their products are as environmentally friendly as possible. Companies who do not offer a clean and green product are then under the gun to make sure they alter their products to become cleaner and greener.
The Butts Have It
Take traditional tobacco cigarette butts, for example. For years the pressure has been on companies to try to develop an alternative to the standard filter tips, which are far from biodegradable. In fact, it takes an average of seven years for a filter tip to break down in normal conditions. In other words, the cigarette butt someone throws out the car window on the side of the road would take around seven years to break down in the elements.
While it would be easy to say things could improve if smokers would stop littering, there is still the space taken up in the landfill. Not only that, but these small bits of filter can actually cause harm to other living organisms. If the filters find their way into oceans, streams or any body of water, the toxins can be released into the water and cause harm to fish, plants and other sea life.
The filter contains the remnants of what was filtered out between the cigarette before the smoke enters the mouth and lungs. Even rain water when added to these bits of trash can cause the toxins to seep into other places and do harm. Birds and fish have had the unfortunate problem of mistaking floating wads of old cigarette filters as food and fatally ingesting this litter. Again, it would be a perfect world if users would make it a point to stop trashing the planet with butts, however this is the real world.
Where Ecigs Fit in
Electronic cigarettes may not be able to come along and save the universe, but this could be a step in the right direction. As long as one is using a starter kit and not using a disposable e-cig, you immediately have less waste. When users “fire up” their device for some vaping, afterwards they simply pack their device back up instead of throwing it out or tossing it from the car window.
What makes these devices green is also that you need only use battery power or power through USB to make it work. You can recharge the batteries through standard wall plug-ins; this also uses less power, making the entire process greener. So far there are less lingering chemicals, no littered butts and very little power usage to get a device charged.
Beyond the Obvious
Aside from just data and obvious facts, there are other things to keep in mind concerning how an electronic cigarette can affect the Earth. For example, each year there are numerous acres of forest ravished by forest fires. The problem is many of these fires are ignited by someone throwing a lit cigarette from their car window or smoking near the forest and not properly extinguishing their smoke.
The loss of forest acreage as well as animal and plant life is an environmental concern that few people take into account when comparing tobacco to electronic. While e-cigs require the elements to heat up, they do not have any actual burning components. Aside from that, the main part of this device is not disposable so a user would not be throwing this from a car window or leaving it as trash in the woods.
The truth is that nothing is fully as green as it could be for the environment. Being environmentally responsible also means making the choice that does the least harm. In this case electronic would be the way to go. Take for instance that for every 20 standard cigarette butts the electronic version may result in one if someone were to liter their old cartridge. Not to mention the lingering cartridge will not contain the same traces of chemicals found in a standard filter tip. This is especially true if the cartridge came from an electronic device that was used by someone who chose e-juice without any nicotine content.