Research swayed back and forth on the health risks associated with e-cigarettes since their debut in the US about three years ago. The faux cigs, which are essentially nicotine inhalers intended to help smokers kick the actual smoking habit while still getting their dose of nicotine, the main addictive ingredient in tobacco. In the first truly comprehensive study of the somewhat controversial nicotine replacement method, researchers at Boston University's School of Public Health has found that not only are e-cigarettes much safer to "smoke" than normal ones, they may also aid in kicking the addictive habit altogether. According to the researchers, "few, if any" of the chemicals found in e-cigarettes pose serious health risks, and carcinogen levels in them are up to 1,000 times lower than in actual tobacco. This research, of course, disagrees with the FDA's findings that essentially, the chemicals found in e-cigarettes were risky and unknowable. The FDA has yet to evaluate e-cigarettes the way that they have done with all medications and other nicotine replacement products, so we can't be sure, but it's looking more and more possible that if you just need to smoke, an e-cigarette may be a safer route... for everything but your dignity, of course.