Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that turn liquid nicotine into a vapor that you inhale. Many of them are made to look like real cigarettes. Some even have a light at the end that glows when you inhale.
For smokers, electronic cigarettes may satisfy nicotine cravings. They can be used in nonsmoking areas. And they may have less of the harmful chemicals that are in cigarette smoke. These cigarettes are often called e-cigarettes.
Did You Know?
Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive care services, including checkups, vaccinations and screening tests, at no cost to you. Learn more.
Since most of the harm from smoking is not from nicotine but from other things in tobacco, e-cigarettes may be safer than real cigarettes. But more research is needed before experts can say for sure.
The cartridges contain different levels of nicotine. So in theory, you could lower the nicotine levels over time until you no longer crave nicotine. This is why some people use them as aids to quitting smoking.
If you are thinking about using e-cigarettes to help you quit smoking, talk to your doctor first.