A Chinese company says it has invented the perfect device to help nicotine addicts quit smoking. It's an electronic cigarette which looks and feels like a cigarette. Except it isn't one, and it's not bad for you either.

It works in a very simple, yet effective way. The 'smoker' drags on the e-cigarette just like a normal one. This draws a nicotine solution from the installed cartridge into an atomising chamber where it is vapourised. The nicotine vapour can then be inhaled and exhaled from the lungs in exactly the same way as normal cigarette smoke.

"The nicotine is delivered to the lungs within 7 to 10 seconds," said Scott Fraser, vice president of SBT Co, the Chinese company which invented the technology.

"It feels like a cigarette, looks like a cigarette, it even emits vapour. In many ways, it is like an actual smoking experience, and that's what makes us different," he told Reuters .

Smoke without damaging your lungs

The e-cigarettes sell for around £100 and can be topped up by purchasing cartridge refills.

China has one of the biggest smoking problems in the world. Some 400 million people in the country smoke tobacco, with around 40 million attempting to quit at any one time. The product is only available in limited European and Asian countries as yet. But increased production will soon see it on sale in the UK and other territories.