E-Cigs Aim to Burn Addiction

Smokers who want to quit can turn to a 21st-century butt

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Associated Press
    Pick a smoke, any smoke - the e-cig's in the middle. Miao Nan, executive director of Ruyan, shows off the company's new product while sucking on the company's version of an e-pipe.

    Smokers, ditch the patches - there's a new high-tech way to kick the habit.

    A Hong Kong-based company has created electronic cigarettes that stimulate the act of smoking without pumping as much nicotine into the system, the Associated Press reports.

    The e-cigs, created by the Ruyan company in 2004, produce a nicotine-infused mist that inventors say is dramatically less harmful than real smoke. The spray is pumped through changeable cartridges that range in flavors from menthol to fruit.

    The World Health Organization said in a statement that there is no evidence to prove that the mist is any less destructive on the body than full-scale cigarette smoke and that rigorous testing should be done before any such claims are made public.

    Dr. Murray Laugesen, a New Zealand physician, disagreed with the WHO report, saying that the electronic cigarettes are the "best substitute so far" for the real deal.

    "It looks more like a cigarette and feels more like a cigarette than any other device so far and yet it does not cause the harm," he told the Associated Press.  

    Ruyan - which means "like smoking" in Chinese - is selling the battery-powered cigarettes for $60, but add-ons like extra batteries and cartridges can bring the tech-savvy tobacco up to $240.

    The company has also created a line of e-pipes that mimic old-school smoking - so your grandpa can hop on the techno bandwagon, too.