Many people have been trying electronic cigarettes for a variety of reasons. They may not like the many bans that are in place in public places, or they may prefer to use a product that does not create smoke, ash or unpleasant smells on their hair and clothing. No matter what the reason is, there are more than a few considerations that you might keep in mind when choosing an electronic cigarette. For instance, what should you do if you become ill? Should you replace any of the parts like you would with other personal care items? There are no clear cut answers to that question, and it might fall to common sense.
Parts that You Might Be Concerned about
For the most part, the only e-cig part that might be affected by your recent bout with a cold or flu virus is the cartridge, which is the part that goes into your mouth. In addition to colds and flu, the cartridge might be contaminated by other types of germs including those that lead to cold sores, germs related to stomach viruses and more. The other parts of your electronic cigarette are only touched by your hands and should be considered as well.
The sicker that you have been, the more likely you are to want to avoid getting sick like that ever again. You may also want to avoid infecting your family members or coworkers. That might mean that you set out on a mission to disinfect, wash or replace all of the items that could potentially give those germs a breeding ground, even parts to your electronic cigarettes.
Experts suggest that you throw away and replace items such as toothbrushes and similar items when you have had certain kinds of illnesses, including strep throat or the stomach flu because the germs can be very difficult to kill effectively. However, there are very few opinions about your electronic cigarette cartridges. If you are using disposables, there is no problem- you are throwing away the used cartridge plus the germs. If you are using the refillable cartridge, however, you might consider replacing it just so that you do not become infected all over again.
But, What about Other Parts?
In addition to the cartridge, (the part that goes into your mouth) you should also consider the other parts of the electronic cigarette including the atomizer and the battery section. Depending on where you hold yours, those two parts may be exposed to the germs on your fingers and hands. And while you might do your best not to sneeze or cough into your hand any more, sometimes getting germs on your hands is a little unavoidable. We touch things all day long that are less than sterile including doorknobs, car keys and other things. One of those things is your electronic cigarette.
With the exception of certain germs, there are no reasons to get rid of or destroy your entire e-cigarette, especially if you have opted for the more expensive brands and kits. You can wipe all of the parts (besides the cartridge) with a disinfectant solution and then allow them to dry completely before reassembling and using them once again. Again, if you are using disposables, none of this matters.
What if You Didn’t Use the E-cig While Sick?
Face it, while you are sick, the last thing you are thinking about is vaping at all. You probably had very little contact with the cartridge or other parts of your electronic cigarette while sick, so you should have very little to worry about. But, some germs are more contagious before you get sick- so, you might still consider changing the cartridge just to be on the safe side. Unless you go to the doctor and are told exactly what strain of germs you have been infected with, you won’t know how strong they are or how long they can live on a hard surface. Some do well and can live as long as a few hours to even a few days on a solid surface, while others will only last a few minutes when they are exposed to open air.
If you were sick but still vaping, then change the cartridge and disinfect the rest as described.
Some people may find themselves soothed by the menthol or other flavors while they are sick, especially if they are congested. That is not to imply that vaping can make anyone get better, only that some people may be comforted by the flavor/aroma of menthol in this instance. No matter what type of sickness that you might have, it is important that you first get better and then figure out whether to replace or disinfect your e-cigarette parts.