How harmless are E-cigarettes? Effects in the pulmonary system.

Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, 2020, 26, (1), pp. 97-102
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
PURPOSE OF REVIEW:Electronic cigarettes have quickly risen to be the leading alternative nicotine source to tobacco. E-cigarette use is hard to research and regulate because of the novelty and rapid evolution of the devices and E-liquids. Epidemiological data on long-term usage is currently lacking, but in smaller cohort studies we are starting to understand the usage patterns and demographics of users, which differ depending on where the study takes place and the regulatory environment. The present review describes the current knowledge of the effects of E-cigarettes on the pulmonary system and knowledge of their usage patterns worldwide. RECENT FINDINGS:E-cigarette use is continuing to rise in young adults in United States and Canada, but not in United Kingdom. These suggest that regulation is influencing uptake in young adults. If E-cigarettes are to be considered as a harm minimisation smoking cessation product, use in young never smokers must be factored into the risk assessment. A recent surge in cases of lung injury associated with vaping in America has resulted in the definition of vaping associated pulmonary injury, although the exact cause remains unknown. SUMMARY:It is our opinion that E-cigarettes can no longer be defined as harmless. Further studies are needed to determine the risks for all populations as it is evident that a large proportion of E-cigarette users are never-smokers, meaning they cannot only be considered from a harm reduction perspective.
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