The electronic white stick hit the Chennai market on May 31 that is observed as the 'World No Tobacco Day'.
The e-cigarette looks like a normal cigarette and the white part of the cigarette is the battery. The filter part is the cartridge, which can be replaced. Diluted nicotine is kept in the gadget.
The good news is that puffing these cigarettes does not compromise on the stimulation aspect of smoking, as it lends the same stimulation sans carcinogenic elements.
When the smoker starts inhaling, the atomizing chamber converts the diluted liquid nicotine into vapour, and this satisfies the smoker. The vapour evaporates soon, causing no irritation to people near the smoker.
Sunil Praveen Kumar of SPK Company that has brought the product to India, said: "These cigarettes are called electronic cigarettes or super cig. And, for the first time these have been introduced in Chennai. We are getting this from Hong Kong and this particular product is used to quit smoking using nicotine replacement therapy."
"You would have heard about chewing gums and patches and this is also another form. Well, this gives the smokers the real feeling of cigarette without the dangers of traditional cigarette," Kumar said.
"Normally, a traditional cigarette has got around 4,000 chemicals among which 24 are cancer-causing chemicals. But in the e-ciggies, using nicotine replacement therapy we just give a diluted nicotine, water, glycol and tobacco perfume to give the smokers a real feel of smoking and this can be smoked anywhere indoor outdoor anywhere. Legally, you can smoke this everywhere because smoking refers to possession of lit tobacco and in this device there is no tobacco and you need not light it. You can just put it in your mouth and inhale like a regular cigarette without the dangers of cancer causing chemicals," he added.
The product has already appealed the smokers, who even after being aware of the ill- effects of smoking find it difficult to kick the habit.
Srinivasan, one electronic cigarette user said: "I am a regular smoker, I heard about electronic cigarettes and now I am using it. Other cigarettes causes cancer and other disorders but electronic cigarette does not, so I am using it."
Specialists from the medical fraternity too have showed their faith on this product.
"Mainly people get addicted to smoking because of stress for office-goers, from school, from friends they learn how to smoke. The main health hazards of smoking are the many macro- vascular problem and heart-related problem. Smoking can affect all the organs using the electronic smoking device all the health hazards are not there. So, using that patient can reduce himself from smoking level to non-smoking level by using this device," said Dr. Benedict Aruldas, member, Indian Medical Association, Tamil Nadu chapter.
These cigarettes have been recently introduced in China, Israel and European countries and now have now made a mark in Chennai.
There are two varieties of e-cigarettes. The first meant for those keen to quit smoking is priced rupees 3,600 for a packet of 900 cigarettes, costing rupees Rs. 4 per cigarette. The other one is priced rupees 2,000 for beginners for the same quantity, costing just over two rupees a piece.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labs have certified the cigarettes after testing for toxic content and by The European body called Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS). By Jai Kumar