Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, smokeless cigarettes are now available to help addicts enjoy a guilty pleasure with a little more convenience — or quit altogether, ultimately (at least if the promoters of these products, and some scientists, are to be believed). Instead of lighting up with a good old-fashioned flame, it’s now possible to simply press a button, same as with almost anything else in the 21st Century! Electronic cigarettes are powered by batteries, not fire, delivering nicotine without the combustion, offering a possibly slightly healthier alternative to traditional methods of getting one’s fix. It sounds ridiculous at first, but no one gets up out of the chair anymore just to change a channel, either — if they are still watching television in the first place, broadcast or cable, when services such as Netflix exist — so the development is actually not so surprising, on second thought; it was only a matter of time.
However, even though carcinogenic substances may be absent in an electronic cigarette, many manufacturers still slap warning labels on their products on account of the nicotine. Indeed, in the United States, these devices are regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), same as any drug delivery system. But the matter has gone against the FDA, with court decisions making their sale something for local determination, at the state, county, or even municipal level. Thus, e-cigarettes are perfectly legal for minors in New Hampshire despite a strong movement against it in the legislature, while most other jurisdictions ban them for those under eighteen. Research scientists are just about as divided, too, with the World Health Organization finding them to be just as harmful as conventional cigarettes while the Boston University School of Public Health concludes that these products may well be safer and therefore of likely use to those looking to quit.