By MICHAEL B. SIEGEL The Wall Street Journal
Fifty years after the Surgeon General's landmark report on smoking and health, cigarettes remain the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., and some 40 million Americans still smoke.
Enter the electronic cigarette, which has enormous potential to improve public health because many smokers can replace the deadly cigarettes that burn tobacco, producing tens of thousands of toxins, including more than 60 known human carcinogens. The e-cigarette is a battery-powered, smoke-free device that delivers nicotine vapor without most of the carcinogens produced by tobacco combustion. Yet it is feared and stigmatized by legislators and health officials, and may even be regulated out of existence.