Are you a smoker who's been thinking about switching to those electronic cigarettes? These new gadgets deliver ol' Mister Nicotine to your body without the tobacco. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that look like regular smokes. Like traditional tobacco cigarettes, they contain nicotine. When you use one, a liquid inside it that includes nicotine is heated & turns into a vapor you inhale. It also produces a vapor cloud that LOOKS like cigarette smoke. The manufacturers claim that their e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to tobacco cigarettes. BUT, according to Mayo Clinic, when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed samples of 2 popular brands of e-cigarettes, they found varying amounts of nicotine & traces of toxic chemicals, including substances that are known to cause cancer. The liquid inside many of the e-cigarettes contains a substance called propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is an ingredient used in fog machines & anti freeze. NO studies have been done to examine the safety of the e-cigarettes & as a result, there is no evidence that doctors can use to assess the impact this product may have on a person's body. With the data available now, Mayo does not recommend their use. Dr. Jon Ebbert, M.D., Nicotine Dependence Center at Mayo says, "They have not been proven safe, nor have they been shown to be effective in helping people stop smoking". I quit back in 2002 but I HAVE been considering taking up these e-cigarettes. I've seen others use them & I thought they might make me, The Puffman, look appear urbane, trendy, hip, upscale & sophisticated...I'm all about "image".