If you think electronic cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes, think again! According to CNN, manufacturers claim that electronic cigarettes - also known as e-cigarettes and e-smokes - are safer because they don't burn tobacco. The small cylinders look like cigarettes and contain cartridges of nicotine, flavoring and other chemicals, and when you "puff" on them, a small battery heats the chemicals to produce a fine mist that can be inhaled. The result: Users feel like they're smoking while they get their nicotine fix. Some e-cigarettes complete the illusion with a glowing red tip that emits puffs of odorless white vapor. Since there's no toxic second-hand smoke, e-cigarettes can be used where regular cigarettes are prohibited. Are they safe? No. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration analyzed 19 varieties of e-cigarettes and found that half of them contain nitrosamines - the same cancer-causing chemicals found in real cigarettes. A lot of them also have more nicotine than they claim and some even contain a toxic ingredient found in antifreeze! Even worse, critics say that e-cigarettes target gadget-crazy kids. The nicotine cartridges come in "fun flavors" - like chocolate, mint, cola, apple, and bubblegum, and they're available at kid-friendly hangouts, including online and at shopping malls. Dr. Matthew McKlenna from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that kids who use e-cigarettes are more likely to use regular tobacco products, too. Seeing adults use e-smokes in public places could make kids think that every kind of smoking is safe and normal. The good news is, e-cigarettes are illegal in many countries, including Australia and Hong Kong. While they haven't been outlawed yet in North America, the FDA has been confiscating shipments of e-cigarettes while they decide whether to ban them, or designate them as drugs that need to be regulated. In the meantime, talk to your kids about the dangers of smoking - electronic and otherwise.