Few topics in public health and medicine are as contentious as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), novel handheld battery-operated nicotine-delivery devices that resemble conventional tobacco cigarettes and simulate the experience of smoking a cigarette.1-3 Unlike cigarettes that burn tobacco to generate smoke, e-cigarettes heat a liquid consisting of nicotine, propylene glycol or glycerin, flavorings, and other chemicals to create a vapor that is inhaled. Both conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes deliver nicotine, the addictive agent in tobacco, but e-cigarettes do not expose the user to the many other tobacco smoke constituents responsible for causing tobacco-related diseases. e-Cigarettes therefore offer the tantalizing prospect that they could reduce the harms of conventional tobacco use, the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States and worldwide.4
Rigotti NA. e-Cigarette Use and Subsequent Tobacco Use by Adolescents: New Evidence About a Potential Risk of e-Cigarettes. JAMA. 2015;314(7):673–674. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.8382
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