Jan 30, 2014 · 1 minute


Like with so many issues related to public health, the discussion over electronic cigarettes has become increasingly polarized between supporters and haters. News outlets like the LA Times have characterized the discussion as a overly simple binary: Either you think e-cigarettes will save the lives of 400,000 Americans who die of smoking-related illness each year by replacing the more dangerous real cigarettes, or: You think e-cigarettes will create a whole new class of nicotine addicts that would never have touched the stuff otherwise.

In reality, the debate over e-cigarettes is much more complicated. So we at Explainer Music slow-jammed e-cigarettes for you, boiling it all down in a two-minute R&B video. Also for even more context, check out our article on bringing the e-cigarette discussion back to the realm of rationality.

[Video by Sharon Shattuck; Music by Andrew Bean and David Holmes; Lyrics by David Holmes]


Everybody's looking at me

Cause I smoke my cigarettes electronically

Some people love 'em and some of them hate

But before we jump to judgement let's get our facts straight


How bout that e e e e e-cigarette

I got that e e e e e-cigarette


The device contains liquid nicotine

That turns to vapor when it's heated by a battery

Breathe in and the nicotine goes in your lungs

Breathe out all that vapor and that's how it's done


But nicotine's not they all put in

The vapor's made of propylene glycol and glycerin

The FDA says those chemicals are safe to eat

But we don't know what happens if you inhale them for years


How bout that e e e e e-cigarette

I got that e e e e e-cigarette


What about secondhand smoke, there hasn't been enough time to know

The longterm effects e-cigarettes bestow


But there's no tar carbon monoxide or carcinogens

That each year cause the death of 400 thousand


But should e-cigarettes be permitted

Nicotine's still highly addictive

Increasing blood pressure and heart rate


Some e-cigarette studies found formaldehyde

But only when they brought crazy heat to the device 

Some say they'll add chemicals to make them more addictive

That's why we need regulation not prohibition