Re: e-Cigs are not for quitting
"surprised you can't get an e-cig shaped like a pipe"
You can actually, quite a number in fact, in many different styles of pipe. Something the smoker with a more traditional taste in nicotine delivery devices. Some of them look pretty good in my opinion, too.
As for the "is it a quit aid?" question, it's tricky. Some would say that yes, ecigs do help people to stop smoking tobacco and therefore are a quit aid, and it's not unreasonable to state that ecigs do in fact help many people to stop using traditional tobacco. However, there's a game of semantics being played within the political discussion.
If a product is advertised as a quitting aid then it is a medical product, it is accepted to be a product designed, marketed and sold for the express purpose of helping those who are medically considered to be addicted to nicotine and therefore tobacco. This would include nicotine gum, patches, sprays, inhalators, pills, etc.
If a product is designed to perform this task, it becomes a medical product, a drug which attempts to remedy what is perceived to be an illness (which in my opinion is untrue, smoking is not an illness, it's a personal choice, albeit arguably ill-advised). If a product is deemed to be medical, it requires medical authorisation, it must be subjected to many expensive tests and clinical trials. Each product or variation of a product must undergo this testing, at huge expense each time.
In ecig terms, this would stifle innovation and cripple the ecig market. 99.9% of ecig products aren't medicinal in nature, they don't intend to be and don't claim to be. If they were, each flavour, strength and device combination would require extremely expensive medical authorisation.
This means that 18mg tobacco, 24mg tobacco, 30mg tobacco, 18mg menthol, 24mg menthol and 30mg menthol would require SIX different approvals. This is not viable for the ecig market at this time. The only companies which could afford to do this are big pharmaceutical companies and big tobacco companies. The smaller manufacturers and vendors which comprise a large section of the current market, would be wiped off the face of the planet with zero hope of competing.
It's problematic because the choice of flavours, strengths and methods of atomising the liquid are what make ecigs so successful. If I only had the option of an ecig shaped like a cigarette marketed by Nicorette or an ecig shaped like a cigarette marketed by [some other nicotine replacement therapy company], I'd be a lot less enthralled with the concept. I would have little to no flavours or strengths to choose from, which is likely to mean that I don't enjoy the few very specific flavours they provide, and the nicotine contents they choose to sell may not be to my taste either.
Each delivery device may also require authorisation too, this would result in only "first generation" (cigarette-shaped) devices being available. In practical terms, this means poor battery life, poor liquid capacity and poor vapour production. Each cartridge would be subject to further restrictions, requiring dosage control, and almost certainly would prevent consumer refilling, thereby further raising the cost to the user.
So that long winded waffling ultimately means this - ecigs are not, and cannot be, medical products. If they were, they would essentially become near useless, overpriced, crippled, unpleasant and more difficult to purchase. This CANNOT happen if ecigs are to be successful in reducing the number of people who use traditional tobacco.