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Expert Rev Respir Med. 2019 Aug 2:1-17. doi: 10.1080/17476348.2019.1649146. [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of e-cigarette aerosol emissions on respiratory health: a narrative review.

Author information

1
a Centro per la Prevenzione e Cura del Tabagismo (CPCT), Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria "Policlinico-V. Emanuele", Università of Catania , Catania , Italy.
2
b Center of Excellence for the acceleration of HArm Reduction (CoEHAR), University of Catania , Catania , Italy.
3
c Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research , Victoria , Canada.
4
d David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) , Los Angeles , CA , USA.
5
e Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale (MEDCLIN), University of Catania , Catania , Italy.
6
f Dipartimento di Scienze biomediche e biotecnologiche (BIOMETEC), University of Catania , Catania , Italy.

Abstract

Introduction: Due to the uptake in the use of e-cigarettes (ECs), evidence on their health effects is needed to inform health care and policy. Some regulators and health professionals have raised concerns that the respirable aerosols generated by ECs contain several constituents of potential toxicological and biological relevance to respiratory health. Areas covered: We critically assess published research on the respiratory system investigating the effects of ECs in preclinical models, clinical studies of people who switched to ECs from tobacco cigarettes, and population surveys. We assess the studies for the quality of their methodology and accuracy of their interpretation. To adequately assess the impact of EC use on human health, addressing common mistakes and developing robust and realistic methodological recommendations is an urgent priority. The findings of this review indicate that ECs under normal conditions of use demonstrate far fewer respiratory risks than combustible tobacco cigarettes. EC users and smokers considering ECs have the right to be informed about the relative risks of EC use, and to be made aware that findings of studies published by the media are not always reliable. Expert opinion: Growing evidence supports the relative safety of EC emission aerosols for the respiratory tract compared to tobacco smoke.

KEYWORDS:

E-cigarette; nicotine; respiratory health

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