If you are a smoker and are looking to go green in your life, making the shift from traditional tobacco to electronic cigarettes can have a significant impact on your footprint on the environment. Electronic cigarettes are reusable products with cartridges that can be reused, and even if they are not last for a significantly longer time-frame than a single tobacco cigarette or even a packet.
How Are Electronic Cigarettes More Environmentally Friendly?
There are two ways that consumers “vape” an electronic cigarette: 1 – They buy pre-filled electronic cigarette cartridges as they run out. It varies by company, but one cartridge generally provides a minimum of 30 cigarettes (or a pack and a half) of vapor equivalent with many providing significantly longer vaping times. or 2 – They buy e liquid to fill empty electronic cigarette cartridges. The e liquid typically comes in 30 ML bottles which last a pack a day smoker up to 2 weeks. Each of these methods will produce recyclable plastic waste (E Cig companies normally use recyclable #2 plastic) with empty cartridges or e liquid bottles at a frequency of no less than every 7-10 days, and more commonly every 2-3 weeks.
Traditional smoking on the other hand will produce 20 cigarette butts daily and one empty cigarette packet for a pack a day smoker. The cigarette butts are not recyclable, and the cardboard is normally not depending on the tobacco company. The British company, ButtsOut, estimates that there are more than 4 trillion (that’s trillion, not billion) cigarette butts discarded annually which contain cadmium, arsenic, and lead.
Electronic Cigarette Smoke vs Traditional Tobacco Smoke
Electronic Cigarette vapor is produced through the atomization of propylene glycol and quickly dissipates. Some consumers may be allergic to propylene glycol which is also used in other food and beauty products, but the vapor smoke does not produce carbon monoxide and other toxins found in traditional tobacco cigarette smoke that poses proven and significant harm to those around the smoker.
The FDA has not made final conclusions on how it will classify electronic cigarettes as tobacco products or smoking cessation devices, but with the information that we know at present, using electronic cigarettes over traditional tobacco has a significantly positive impact on the environment.