E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that resemble tobacco cigarettes, cigars or pipes except that they do not contain tobacco. The device allows users to inhale nicotine and other chemicals in vapour form rather than smoke. There are also a number of non-nicotine devices that contain a variety of ingredients and flavours like fruit, sweets, coffee or alcohol flavours. Some devices resemble conventional cigarettes, cigars or pipes where others look like everyday items such as pens, USB memory sticks, and larger cylindrical or rectangular devices.

E-cigarette products can be bought online from overseas, which raises safety concerns about the lack of regulation governing their manufacture and distribution.

Wrong Assumptions about the E-Cigarrettes

There have been frequent reports about nicotine poisonings as well as injuries and property damage arising from product malfunctions. E-cigarettes are sometimes mistaken for approved nicotine replacement therapy as some manufacturers market them as devices designed to help people overcome tobacco dependency. E-cigarettes may be used as a quitting aid in the future, but at the moment there is little conclusive evidence about its effectiveness. There is also very little known about the other chemicals found in e-cigarettes, and how it affects the smoker as well as bystanders.

Are E-Cigarettes Safer?

Over 200 cases have been reported in the US and UK of e-cigarettes overheating, catching fire or exploding, causing serious and in some cases life threatening injury, disability and disfigurement.