What do you think about electronic cigarettes?

Apparently the tobacco co's are up to their old game, marketing e-cigarettes to kids in an effort to get them hooked. 

Tobacco is a test case for drug legalization, for example the question of how to keep an addictive drug away from kids.  Just making it illegal for kids isn't enough - restricting advertising of the e-cigarettes and not building "kid appeal" into them is also important. 

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Anyhow* have a Winfield !

Electronic or conventional, you're still talking about a nicotine delivery system, with the attendant potential for addiction.

Shit by any other name still stinks.

I wonder if there's any other drug that feels like nicotine but isn't as addictive.

I used to drink yerba mate', before I developed an allergy to it.  That gave me a feeling of relaxed but energized well-being. 

Maybe that's similar to how nicotine makes you feel?

Yerba mate' has caffeine but also other psychoactive compounds.

Some people make tobacco tea.  Apparently they get a kind of high from it, although using dried tobacco leaves might be better than the perhaps hugely processed shit that's in cigarettes.

It would be less antisocial than smoking.

It will soon be 15 years that I haven't smoked. A friend of mine quickly volunteered the idea that I could smoke e-cigarettes. Why would I want to? I do not smoke any longer. My one daughter smokes and has had operations on her vocal cords and voice box because of it. They say if she doesn't stop she will end up talking through a machine. She somehow thinks that e-cigarettes will help her to stop smoking. This is false information.

The e-cigarette has nicotine just like the tobacco cigarette. Only recently have they started making a non-nicotene version. If you were a smoker which version of this would you rather have? Other than thinking you might be able to smoke openly in restricted places, what benefit would it have? Children will be even more facinated with the e-cigarette, so smoking will not loose it's appeal. It's hard to resist something when "everybody is doing it."

This is just another nicotene delivery system, and the desire for nicotene is where the addiction comes in.

what benefit would it have?

E-cigarettes are less harmful than regular ones, no?  So they could be useful for people who have a hard time quitting smoking, which is notoriously difficult.

Marketing them to kids is very scummy, though.

E-cigarettes are not helpful in allowing you to quit smoking. If anything, they will promote smoking and deter you from quitting. This much is known and is why they are now talking of regulating them. The body's desire for nicotene is the reason why people continue smoking.

Here's the account of someone who was helped by e-cigs.

E-cigs may help people to quit nicotine, as well as quitting smoking.  It hasn't been well studied yet, but one study concluded

E-cigarettes, with or without nicotine, were modestly effective at helping smokers to quit, with similar achievement of abstinence as with nicotine patches, and few adverse events.

It seems that with cigarettes, the act of smoking is a big part of the habit, as well as the nicotine addiction.

According to a review article,

nearly all the health risks come from tar, chemicals and other substances found in the smoke, not from nicotine ... Products that deliver nicotine without the smoke carry no more than 1% of the health risks of smoking

So even if smokers just switch to using e-cigarettes with nicotine, that's a huge improvement. 

Nicotine does have health hazards as well as perhaps some beneficial effects

The big question though, is how to keep e-cigs away from children and keep them from being marketed to nonsmokers.  If e-cigs weren't advertised, but simply available at tobacco shops, this would probably achieve this.

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