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Editor's Note
May 2014

If Only Electronic Cigarettes Were Effective Smoking Cessation Devices

JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(5):813-814. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.167

Harm reduction is one of the pillars of modern public health. For example, when people criticized methadone treatment as only substituting one drug for another (heroin), public health advocates pointed to research showing that methadone use led to users decreasing or ceasing their heroin use and living more functional lives. Thus, as a harm reduction proponent, I would be willing to put aside the fact that any product with the name “cigarette” (e- or otherwise) causes me reflex tachycardia and support electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems) if there were good data indicating that they helped smokers to stop.

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