An electronic cigarette, also referred to as an e-cigarette, is an electronic inhaler that vaporises a liquid solution into an aerosol mist, with or without nicotine, mimicking the act of tobacco smoking, and is used by some people instead of smoking conventional cigarettes due to the reduced health dangers.
Electronic cigarettes look very much like conventional ones and can also contain nicotine in the same quantity as conventional cigarettes. The amount of nicotine released can be determined by the user – some will choose high levels whilst others will chose nothing at all. Some, e-cigarettes however, do not resemble conventional cigarettes at all - the choice will depend on each individual.
E-cigarettes can deliver the taste a smoker is used to whilst being completely smokeless.
As well as potential health benefits, e-cigarettes are substantially cheaper than conventional cigarettes.
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Information written by the talkhealth team
Last revised: 4 February 2013
Next review: 13 December 2014