Thousands are lighting up high-tech cigarettes that produce no smoke—allowing users to puff wherever they are, the New York Times reports. Battery-powered e-cigarettes use cartridges that usually contain nicotine, flavoring, and a liquid that vaporizes to create the appearance of smoke. Though health implications remain largely unknown, some users hope the tar- and additive-free cigarettes could be a safer way to smoke.
“I feel like this could save my life,” says a longtime smoker who found little success with nicotine patches and gum. With the help of the e-cigarette, she’s cut her tobacco habit in half. But “we basically don’t know anything about them,” said a doctor. “They’ve never been tested for safety or efficacy to help people stop smoking.”