They look like cigarettes, feel like cigarettes, taste like cigarettes – and, smokers will tell you – satisfy the craving for a smoke.
But electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, don't have any of the offensive smoke that's so harmful to health. Instead, they feature an odorless vapor in which nicotine is delivered to the user. And they're sometimes allowed in public places where cigarettes are banned.
Studies show e-cigs make smoking healthier for smokers and those around them, while also helping smokers quit.
Plus, e-cigs cost about half as much as regular cigarettes.
Big tobacco continues to place bets that electronic cigarettes can keep the tobacco industry and its annual sales north of $750 billion and growing.
Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO), the world's biggest tobacco company and parent company of Philip Morris USA, is the last of the three major U.S. tobacco firms to get into the e-cigs game.