The debate over whether or not e-cigarettes can be used as an effective smoking cessation device has been raging for years -- but according to Guns N' Roses' D.J. Ashba, there ain't nothing like the real thing.

In fact, Ashba blames his dabbling with electronic cigarettes -- which use a vapor delivery mechanism to simulate the smoking experience -- with nearly ending his life. The story came out on Instagram (via Blabbermouth), where a photo Ashba posted of himself holding a cigarette prompted a fan to ask, "I thought you quit the cigs, man?"

Responding that he gave up real cigarettes for nine months, but swapped them out for e-cigarettes that he "bought in a mall in Poland," Ashba said he ended up learning the hard way that they "contained high doses of nicotine and antifreeze, which kills people."

Continued Ashba, "Nobody knows this, but I was rushed to the hospital put on heart monitors and I had eight of the best doctors trying to save my life. Poison control confirmed that the nicotine intake that was going into my body from the fake cigarettes was equivalent to smoking 33 packs of cigarettes a day."

Ashba claims that his ordeal concluded with his doctors advising him to return to real cigarettes "because my body would go into shock if I just stop smoking," ergo his recent photo with one of the old-fashioned cancer sticks.

It's kind of an odd story, to say the least, and the majority of the comments on the Blabbermouth story express doubt or disbelief -- not only that Ashba found antifreeze-doped e-cigarettes in a Polish mall, but that a doctor would ever recommend smoking.

But hey, anything is possible when you're in Guns N' Roses, right?