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Smoking Cessation Health Center

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Electronic Cigarette


An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, runs on a battery, either disposable or rechargeable. The airflow sensor senses when you suck in air from the mouthpiece. The sensor tells the microprocessor to turn on the heating element and start the process that turns the nicotine solution into a vapor that you inhale. Many e-cigarettes have an LED (tiny light) at the end that glows red when you inhale.

For some smokers, e-cigarettes may satisfy nicotine cravings. But the nicotine in e-cigarettes is addictive. And they do contain small amounts of harmful chemicals.

The FDA does not regulate e-cigarettes. So there is no government oversight or standard for how much or what chemicals are in nicotine cartridges. means that the contents printed on these cartridges may not be true.

An e-cigarette cartridge contains a high concentration of nicotine that, if ingested, can be very poisonous or even fatal. Keep these cartridges out of the reach of children.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn Hughes, MD - Psychiatry

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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