Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are nicotine-delivery devices. They are battery operated, but are designed to look and feel like a cigarette. The nicotine in them is derived from tobacco plants. The potential user is led to believe that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes and can be used to help stop smoking.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the e-cigarette as a smoking-cessation aid and says it has not been shown to be safe. Preliminary FDA tests of e-cigarettes indicate they contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals.
In addition, e-cigarettes model smoking behavior to youth. Many of the nicotine solutions come in fruit and candy flavors. This increases the appeal of e-cigarettes to young people, paving the way for the product to become a “gateway” to tobacco use.
The best advice for the health of tobacco users is to quit using tobacco
products of any kind. For help with quitting, visit http://smokefree.gov.
— Sources: National Institutes of Health; North Dakota Department of Health; U.S. Food and Drug Administration