People who use electronic cigarettes are convinced that they are better for them than conventional cigarettes, but what exactly are they?
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs, are rechargeable devices that come in various shapes and sizes. They are filled with a liquid mixture of chemicals which is heated to produce a vapor the user inhales.
Vito Defeterici has been using his e-cig, or "vaping", for four years. He says it was the only smoking cessation tool that worked for him.
"I tried everything from the nicotine gum to patches and even quitting cold turkey. The only thing that worked for me was my e-cig," says Vito.
Electronic cigarettes give smokers the nicotine their body needs, while also addressing the hand to mouth habit smokers develop.
Currently the FDA does not regulate the manufacturing or sale of electronic cigarettes in the United States.
Electronic cigarettes contain a wide variety of chemicals, including methyl benzaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and formaldehyde.
While an informal FDA review revealed that some e-cigarettes would not be approved for sale, these tests have not been verified.
Dr. Richard Monk, a pulmonary specialist at Lexington Medical Center, says they could be useful tools if they were tested and regulated.
"If they do get tested and regulated by the FDA, meaning their content and everything else is regulated, meaning they are found to be safe and everything else is regulated, I think they could be tools for current smokers to quit," said Dr. Monk.
Until then, e-cigarettes users will continue vaping despite the unknown health risks.