An electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette), electronic vaping device, personal vaporizer (PV), or electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) is a battery-powered device which simulates tobacco smoking. It generally uses a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution. Some solutions contain a mixture of nicotine and flavourings, while others release a flavoured vapor without nicotine. Many are designed to simulate smoking implements, such as cigarettes or cigars, in their use and/or appearance, while others are considerably different in appearance.
The benefits and risks of electronic cigarette use are uncertain. They may carry a risk of developing nicotine addiction, and their regulation is the subject of ongoing debate.
Tobacco smoking is the practice of burning tobacco and inhaling the smoke (consisting of particle and gaseous phases). (A more broad definition may include simply taking tobacco smoke into the mouth, and then releasing it, as is done with tobacco pipes and cigars). The practice may have begun as early as 5000-3000 BC. Tobacco was introduced to Eurasia in the late 17th century where it followed common trade routes. The practice encountered criticism from its first import into the Western world onwards, but embedded itself in certain strata of a number of societies before becoming widespread upon the introduction of automated cigarette-rolling apparatus.
German scientists identified a link between smoking and lung cancer in the late 1920s, leading to the first anti-smoking campaign in modern history, albeit one truncated by the collapse of the Third Reich at the end of the Second World War. In 1950, British researchers demonstrated a clear relationship between smoking and cancer. Evidence continued to mount in the 1980s, which prompted political action against the practice. Rates of consumption since 1965 in the developed world have either peaked or declined. However, they continue to climb in the developing world.