Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Circulation. 2014 May 13;129(19):1945-52. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.006416.

Electronic cigarettes in North America: history, use, and implications for smoking cessation.

Author information

1
Center for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada (C.F., T.B., S.B.W., K.B.F., M.J.E.); Division of Clinical Epidemiology (K.B.F.), Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada (K.B.F., M.J.E.); and Division of Cardiology, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada (M.J.E.).

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Designed to mimic the look and feel of tobacco cigarettes, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may facilitate smoking cessation. However, the efficacy and safety of e-cigarette use for this purpose remain poorly understood. Our objectives were to review the available data on the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation and to consider issues relevant to the context in which they are used, including product awareness and regulatory and ethical concerns.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We systematically searched PubMed for randomized controlled trials and uncontrolled, experimental studies involving e-cigarettes. Included studies were limited to English or French language reports. Quality assessment was performed according to the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. We identified 169 publications, of which 7 studies were included. Studies have concluded that e-cigarettes can help reduce the number of cigarettes smoked and may be as effective for smoking cessation as the nicotine patch. Although there is a lack of data concerning the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation therapy, available evidence showed no significant difference in adverse event rates between e-cigarettes and the nicotine patch. E-cigarettes are widely used among smokers attempting to quit. However, significant international variation remains in the regulatory mechanisms governing the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes. Ethical concerns surround the use of e-cigarettes among minors and their potential to undermine efforts to reduce cigarette smoking.

CONCLUSION:

Given the limited available evidence on the risks and benefits of e-cigarette use, large, randomized, controlled trials are urgently needed to definitively establish their potential for smoking cessation.

KEYWORDS:

review; smoking cessation; tobacco use cessation products

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center