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E-Cigarettes Safer Alternative to Regular Cigarettes — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 31, 2014

E-Cigarettes Safer Alternative to Regular Cigarettes

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM

Electronic cigarettes ("e-cigarettes") are safer than conventional cigarettes and might even help smokers quit, according to a review article in Addiction.

Among the findings, from an analysis of 81 studies:

  • While use of e-cigarettes is on the rise, experimentation is more common among people who already smoke conventional cigarettes.

  • E-liquids and aerosols have toxicant levels much lower than those observed with tobacco smoke, and their carcinogen content is "negligible."

  • When used as intended, e-cigarettes carry a minimal risk for nicotine poisoning.

  • Humectants in e-cigarettes seem safe for inhalation, although effects in people with respiratory diseases are unknown.

  • E-cigarettes can reduce smoking urges and might help motivated smokers to quit.

The authors conclude that clinicians "should support smokers unable to or unwilling to stop tobacco use who wish to switch to [e-cigarettes] to reduce harm from smoking," while stressing the importance of quitting cigarettes and nicotine altogether.

Reader Comments (3)

Kusi Fordjour Physician, Internal Medicine, office [solo practice]

Nay I the sponsors for this article?. What are the references for the study?

Paul Vinet Medical Student, Unspecified

It is a review of 81 separate studies. If you are referring to the review's authors, then here's what I found on the provider link in the article:

" Declaration of interests
P.H., N.B. and T.E. have no links with any e-cigarette manufacturer.

J.F.E. was reimbursed by a manufacturer of e-liquids for travelling to London and to China.

H.M. was an investigator in a public-good funded ASCEND e-cigarette trial for which PGM International provided products at no cost, and has undertaken research on Ruyan e-cigarettes, for which the University of Auckland was funded by Health New Zealand, independently of Ruyan."

Rise Putzke Other Healthcare Professional, Cardiology, Retired

Both my husband and myself were finally able to quit smoking using e-cigs - after fifty years of smoking and countless prolonged efforts to quit. I have manic depressive problems and found it impossible to quit without severe, unrelenting depression. ECigs are literally life saving for us.

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