E-cigarettes: Helping smokers quit, or fueling a new addiction?

Story highlights

  • The e-cigarette industry is worth $2.7 billion worldwide
  • E-cigarettes satisfy urges for nicotine whilst removing exposure to the tar and toxins when burning
  • Some are concerned about e-cigarette use among adolescents

Vital Signs is a monthly program bringing viewers health stories from around the world.

(CNN)It's a portable piece of technology providing seemingly bottomless access to a drug craved by more than 1 billion people worldwide -- nicotine. That craving is caused by smoking tobacco but is now being increasingly satisfied by e-cigarettes and the trend to "vape" instead of smoke.

The selling point is the clean image e-cigarettes purvey by removing the simultaneous exposure to the tar and thousands of chemicals found in the tobacco smoke of regular cigarettes -- removing the cause of lung diseases as well as other tobacco-related conditions.
Tobacco kills almost 6 million people each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and a growing number of people are now "vaping" instead of smoking, resulting in industry worth $2.7 billion worldwide.
    Since their introduction in 2006, e-cigarettes have become commonplace among smokers trying to kick their habit, with a third of smokers trying to quit in the United Kingdom tur