Leonardo DiCaprio isn't the only A-list celeb making electronic cigarettes look cool. The faux smokes are showing up in movies and television shows and enthusiasts known as “Vapers” even have their own convention called VapeFest, coming to Vegas this September.
The emerging subculture of “smokers” is obsessed with the technology of their electronic smokes, which can be tricked out with all kinds of flavors and funky accoutrement.
E-cigarettes, also known as personal vaporizers and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), are battery powered devices that provide inhaled doses of nicotine by way of a vaporized solution. They’re used by many to simulate and replace tobacco smoking.
Fans and advocates swear by them as a great way to quit smoking tobacco. But skeptics say it’s not clear whether they really help people kick the habit and that more research into their health impact is needed.
So what is it about e-cigs that’s so appealing to users? And what are the risks?
Spike Babaian, founder, The National Vapers Club; one of the creators and organizers of VapeFest
Anne Joseph, M.D., Professor of Medicine; Director, Applied Clinical Research Program; University of Minnesota; President of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco