I consider myself one of the lucky ones; though I dabbled in cigarette smoking in my youth (I smoked at parties in college, when I lived abroad in Spain, and outside bars in my 20s), I never got addicted. I've never even been able to smoke an entire cigarette comfortably. I don't know why it never stuck: half my family members were multi-decade, multi-pack-a-day smokers. But it always did seem a bit dirty, and the smell it left behind really offended me — I have a sensitive nose.

Throughout the time I smoked — at most a couple cigarettes a week — I was a crazy maniac about never, ever throwing butts on the ground, which is plain old littering (I'm not sure why smokers that otherwise wouldn't litter think that butts are OK to toss around). It's part of the pantheon of gross things that come along with most smokers, and aside from the air pollution and stinkiness is the most offensive part of smoking to me. So I am really excited and happy about e-cigarettes gaining popularity.

As reported in the New York Times, "E-CIGARETTES, which use a nicotine solution instead of tobacco and emit a smokelike water vapor, are already popular in Asia and Europe but are only now catching on in the land of the Marlboro Man. One major draw is that they allow smokers to indulge in places where their habit had been circumscribed or outlawed."

Do they still have negative health effects? Yes, though the extent of them is still up for debate and testing. But the positive effect on air pollution for us non-smokers, and smelliness is profoundly positive.

If e-cigarettes mean an end to disgusting cigarette butts all over the sidewalk (which don't biodegrade, and end up in our water supply when they wash into rivers and the ocean), and an end to butts in the sand at the beach (ugh!), then I welcome their wasteless vapor, heartily.

Dare I say: e-cigarettes are eco-friendly?

What do you think? Are e-cigarettes a good idea? Why or why not?

Related on MNN:

Smoking in the car exceeds toxin limits

Michelle Obama on why Barack quit smoking

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Hate cigarette-butt litter? That's why I love e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes don't pollute air, streets, beaches or waterways, and that's why I think they're great.