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An electronic cigarette (e-cig or e-cigarette), personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) is a battery-powered device which simulates tobacco smoking by producing a vapor that resembles smoke. It generally uses a heating element known as an atomizer, that vaporizes a liquid solution. Some solutions contain a mixture of nicotine and flavorings, while others release a flavored vapor without nicotine.

First generation electronic cigarettes were usually designed to simulate smoking implements, such as cigarettes or cigars, in their use and appearance. They produced less vapor than second generation personal vaporizers since they use smaller batteries. New generation electronic cigarettes have an increased nicotine-dispersal performance, housing higher capacity batteries, and come in various form factors, including metal tubes and boxes.

The benefits and risks of electronic cigarette use are uncertain. They carry a risk of nicotine addiction, and their regulation is the subject of ongoing debate. There are concerns that these products should be adequately regulated, mainly to protect users, while avoiding unintended consequences caused by excessive or inappropriate regulation. Most people who use electronic cigarettes have a history of smoking cigarettes while some young people who have never smoked cigarettes have tried electronic cigarettes at least once. The frequency of use has increased with up to 10% of American high school students having ever used them as of 2012 and around 3.4% of American adults as of 2011.

A "smokeless non-tobacco cigarette" was patented in 1963 by Herbert A. Gilbert, which drew moistened air through a heating element. Hon Lik invented an e-cigarette using piezoelectric components in 2003. Because of the relative novelty of the technology and the possible relationship to tobacco laws and medical drug policies, electronic cigarette legislation and public health investigations are currently pending in many countries. Current regulations vary widely, from regions with no regulations to others banning the devices entirely.

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