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Three-quarters of people who use e-cigarettes say their motivation was to replace cigarettes, a new survey finds. People using e-cigarettes believe they are safer than regular cigarettes, according to Reuters.

The online survey of about 1,400 e-cigarette users found 76 percent said they started using the devices as a complete alternative to smoking, while 22 percent said they tried them for other reasons, such as stopping smoking, for health reasons and to get around smoking restrictions.

The survey found 86 percent of survey participants had not smoked cigarettes for several weeks or months since starting to use the devices, or said the amount of regular cigarettes they smoked had decreased dramatically, the article notes. The majority said their health had improved since they started using e-cigarettes. They reported less coughing and improved breathing, noted lead researcher Lynne Dawkins.

The findings appear in the journal Addiction.

An international survey published in February found 80 percent of people who use e-cigarettes do so because they consider the products less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine in the form of a vapor, which is inhaled by the user. They usually have a rechargeable, battery-operated heating element, a replaceable cartridge with nicotine or other chemicals and a device called an atomizer that converts the contents of the cartridge into a vapor when heated. E-cigarettes often are made to look like regular cigarettes.


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