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Electronic Cigarette

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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. They can be used in nonsmoking areas. And they may contain less of the harmful chemicals that are in cigarette smoke. But they still 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. This 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.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
Current as of August 15, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 15, 2013
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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