Let's say someone quits smoking, and that person smokes electronics cigarettes. So regarding yom tov (chag), the only prohibition I can think of is Nolad every time you activate the heating element within the electronic cigarette. Doing this is a rabbinic prohibition. However what if the person did it in an abnormal manner (Shinui) or better yet if it's yom tov sheini. So in those two cases it's a shvus dshvus, and it's for tza'ar because lack of nicotine in a smoker causes many unpleasant side affects such as light headedness and nausea. Would the manner of using the electronic as listed above be permitted under those circumstances?

  • Well, the difficulty is that you can also get nicotine from a tablet, a gum, or from a normal cigarette on Yom Tov, so it's not really a case of health issues. Activating the heating element may constitute the melocho of ma'avir, depending on what opinion you follow, and many e-cigarettes have a sponge-like material in the cartridges from which the vapor is released, possibly being an issue of dosh. Like all issues related to electronics on shabbos or yom tov, e-cigarettes are something that require case-by-case and device-by-device analysis by a qualified rav.
    – Tatpurusha
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 3:17
  • chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/15993155#15993155 et seqq.
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 20:29
  • Its hard enough getting a hetter for the regular ones.....
    – user6591
    Commented Sep 7, 2014 at 22:04
  • @David Feigen Molid or Nolid?
    – Orion
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 2:21

3 Answers 3


Electronic cigarette

An electronic cigarette (e-cig or e-cigarette), personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) is a battery-powered device which simulates tobacco smoking by producing a vapor that resembles smoke. It generally uses a heating element known as an atomizer, that vaporizes a liquid solution. Solutions usually contain a mixture of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings,[1] while others release a flavored vapor without nicotine.[2]

As a matter of logic, the heating element can be considered to be like a fire that is "lit". This is not only a matter of completing a circuit, but of causing something to heat up. While you might say that "cooking" the nicotine out of is sufficiently "like" ochel nefesh to be mutar, you are still creating a new "fire". Since you are producing heat, this is not like the other types of electricity uses that some people say are mutar on Yom Tov (or Shabbos) because they do not turn on a light or produce heat.

This would be analogous to turning on the stove from a completely off position and not just raising or lowering the flame.

  • I understand that there is an issue of creating a new flame. But a theoretical loophole would be to do it in an abnormal manner (derech Shinui) because then it becomes a shvus dshvus or better yet at least it should be more meikel regarding the second day of yom tov in the diaspora Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 23:45
  • 1
    @DavidFeigen We don't usually use Yom Tov Sheni as a Shevus.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 23:52
  • @DavidFeigen since the device is not set up to allow a "shinui" then it would not apply. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 3:41
  • You can use a Shinui if you use your knuckles Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 4:18

Shalom u'vracha! Strictly speaking, it is forbidden because smoking is not ochel nefesh.

There is no issur of nolad with electronic devices or electricity, as explained by Chacham Ben-Tzion Meir Chai Uziel ztz"l in shu't Mishpetei Uziel and R' David Shlush ztz"l in shu't Chemda Genuza, among other poskim. Although their psak was specific to electric switches, the same can be applied to battery-powered electronic devices because the battery "contains" the power and merely transfers it to the parts of the device. Another reason for nolad to be applicable, is that it must be visible to the eye; like an egg coming out of a chicken or sparks coming out between two rocks when bringing them together(microscopic vision doesn't count in Talmudic law).

However, only ochel nefesh was permitted on yom tov and the rule is that for a non-ochel nefesh melacha to be done on yom tov is that it must be enjoyable to the general population on a similar level, which doesn't apply to smoking(cigarettes or e-cigs); rendering smoking a forbidden act on yom tov. So too, was the psak of Rav Elyashiv ztz"l.

It is my opinion that electricity is permitted on yom tov when used for ochel nefesh(like the poskim listed above and my personal reasoning), even though this is not my practice. Even though the tzibbur is machmir, it is due to the doubt of the nature of electricity and not a gezera; rendering it permitted due to it being accepted as a matter of doubt and minhag ta'ut.

For detailed sources, please comment. Not a psak! Merely my humble opinion on the issue

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 23:19

using the electric function is also a problem of binyan, at least according to the chazon ish

  • Was this answer meant to be a comment? It doesn't really answer the question...
    – MTL
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 20:14
  • @Shokhet It answers the question by challenging its assumptions. This answer is suggesting that it is a Biblical violation, not Rabbinic, and therefore the reasoning offered would not apply. Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 3:40
  • 1
    @YEZ I suppose.....
    – MTL
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 3:42
  • 1
    Did the Chazon Ish say that about battery operated portable devices or only devices that are attached to a house?
    – user6591
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 2:36

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