Because using a product that can cause addiction to nicotine is generally a bad idea, it stands to reason that people should steer clear of electronic cigarettes, which provide doses of nicotine and other additives in an aerosol form. On the other hand, for current smokers, the battery-powered devices that contain no tar and fewer toxins might offer a less unhealthy alternative to traditional cigarettes.
Regulators, public health officials, and clinicians are struggling with these and other complexities associated with e-cigarettes as they work to regulate the products and advise individuals concerning their use.
Hampton T. Experts Call for Research Plus Regulation of e-Cigarettes. JAMA. 2014;311(2):123-124. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.285292