What Exactly Are Smokeless Cigarettes?

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An smokeless cigarette, often referred to as e-cigarette, is an electrical device, which is powered by a small, lithium battery, that simulates the act of tobacco smoking.  The smokeless cigarette uses heat to vaporize a propylene glycol tar-free solution into an odorless mist, or vapor, which makes the smoke appearance of the smokeless cigarette.

The vapor simulates the smoke of a cigarette, meaning you can see it, inhale and exhale it, but it’s actually vapor, instead of harmful cigarette smoke.  With the smokeless cigarette, there is no tobacco, no fire, no smoke from tobacco, and no ashes, and yet, it looks much like a conventional cigarette, tastes like a cigarette, and satisfies the craving for nicotine. The smokeless cigarette is even equipped with a LED light at the tip that lights up every time you take a puff, to further simulate traditional cigarette smoking.

The smokeless cigarette’s design was devised by a Chinese pharmacist by the name of Hon Lik, in 2003. The story goes that Lik had suffered a severe respiratory infection, and his father was dying of lung cancer, and these 2 unfortunate events prompted Lik to invent this healthier alternative to the traditional cigarette, without tar, or the hundreds of toxic chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes.

Because the smokeless cigarette is not actually lit, there’s no danger of fire; and because there is no actual smoke, simply vapor, there is no harmful second hand smoke to endanger others.  Plus, the smokeless cigarette leaves no odor, and there are no messy ashes to contend with.  For these reason, the smokeless cigarette can be used in many places where traditional cigarettes are banned, such as offices, restaurants, theaters, parks, airports, and many other places.

With smoking banned in most public places, the idea of the smokeless cigarette quickly caught on, many brands of the smokeless cigarette were produced. smokeless cigarettes made their way to the United States in 2006.

The Look and Make of the smokeless cigarette

Most smokeless cigarettes are portable, cylindrical devices similar in size and shape to traditional cigarettes.  There are many brands on the market, and most smokeless cigarettes are also reusable, with replaceable or refillable cartridges, but there are some smokeless cigarettes that are disposable, simply discarded when the battery dies.

The reusable smokeless cigarette runs on a lithium battery, which can be charged.  Battery life varies with the size of the e-cigarette, and size of the lithium battery. The smaller the battery, the more frequently a charge is necessary.  smokeless cigarette kits include a battery charger, and often, an extra battery.

The Taste

The smokeless cigarette not only looks like a traditional tobacco cigarette, but tastes very much the same. Many brands offer several strengths, such as ultra-light, light, and full flavor, and come in regular tobacco flavor and menthol, as well as a range of other interesting flavors.  

The flavoring is housed in a cartridge that looks similar to the butt of a cigarette.  The cartridge can have nicotine or nicotine-free flavoring.  Each cartridge is equivalent to about 1 pack of cigarettes. Most smokeless cigarette starter kits come with several cartridges.   Once they are gone, you can purchase more prefilled cartridges, or purchase e-liquid, which is used to fill your own cartridges.


The smokeless cigarette is used as an alternative to tobacco smoking, as it simulates traditional smoking, yet with no fire, no tar, and no carcinogens, is a healthier alternative. Some people use the smokeless cigarette as a smoking cessation device successfully; however, it’s marketed as an alternative, not a cessation device.

The possible benefits or adverse effects of smokeless cigarette use are a subject of disagreement among several health organizations and researchers. Although concerns about the safety of the smokeless cigarette have been raised, many organizations support the smokeless cigarette Laws governing the use and sale of smokeless cigarettes vary, with pending ongoing debate in many regions.


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