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Electronic cigarettes are designed to look just like regular cigarettes, but there's one major difference: You don't need a match or lighter to use them. Instead, they hold a battery, a vaporization chamber and a cartridge filled with liquid nicotine. Puff on the device as you would a regular cigarette, and the device heats the liquid and changes it to a nicotine-filled vapor. Inhale to deliver the nicotine to your lungs, and then exhale the vapor. It looks like you're smoking a regular cigarette, but there's no smell, because nothing is burning.
Although the long-term health effects of electronic cigarettes are unknown, a new survey finds people who use the devices think of them as a safer alternative to tobacco and a means to break the smoking habit.
Manufacturers and satisfied customers say that this nicotine vapor offers many advantages over traditional cigarette smoke.
Don and Lee Weckler
E-cigarettes don't contain tobacco. Instead, there's a mechanism that heats up liquid nicotine, which turns into a vapor that smokers inhale and exhale.
The electronic cigarette offers the nicotine-addicted an alternative to smoking tobacco. Some "e-cigs" are similar in appearance to be mistaken for regular cigarettes, but one look inside and you'll see the main difference.
The Electronic Cigarette