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Int J Drug Policy. 2015 Jun;26(6):554-9. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.03.001. Epub 2015 Mar 14.

What to consider when regulating electronic cigarettes: Pros, cons and unintended consequences.

Author information

1
Centro per la Prevenzione e Cura del Tabagismo, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria "Policlinico-V. Emanuele", Via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy; Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Università di Catania, Via Palermo 636, 95121 Catania, Italy. Electronic address: p.caponetto@unict.it.
2
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Università di Catania, Via Palermo 636, 95121 Catania, Italy.
3
Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, 75 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa ON K1 N 6N5, Canada.
4
Centro per la Prevenzione e Cura del Tabagismo, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria "Policlinico-V. Emanuele", Via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy; Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Università di Catania, Via Palermo 636, 95121 Catania, Italy.

Abstract

Many public health experts, medical research societies, large health organizations and policy makers have expressed concerns about the increased popularity of electronic cigarettes and have pushed for more restrictive measures ranging from complete bans to tight regulations of these products either as medicines or as tobacco products. But these concerns have never been adequately qualified nor quantified. Without judicious assessment and thorough evaluation, regulations may have unintended consequences that can do more damage than good in public health terms. In this article, we will appraise the existing prominent regulatory frameworks for e-cigarettes, namely, general consumer product, medicinal product and tobacco product regulation, to highlight their pros and cons. Moreover, we provide concrete examples of the unintended consequences which may arise from inappropriate regulatory action.

KEYWORDS:

Electronic cigarettes; Public health; Regulation

PMID:
25857204
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.03.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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