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Evidence to Practice
July 2018

Public Health Consequences of e-Cigarette Use

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco
  • 3Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 4National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center for Exposures, Diseases, Genomics and Environment, University of Washington, Seattle
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(7):984-986. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.1600

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on the Review of the Health Effects of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems released a consensus report, Public Health Consequences of e-Cigarettes,1 in January. The report is a comprehensive review of the health effects of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use.

e-Cigarettes are a diverse set of battery-powered devices that deliver a nicotine-containing aerosol to the user by heating a solution (called e-liquid) of humectants (propylene glycol and/or glycerin), nicotine, and flavorants.2 e-Cigarettes entered the US market in 2006, and since then, their popularity and use have increased tremendously. Millions of adults and youth use e-cigarettes.3 Despite their popularity, little is known about the health effects of e-cigarette use. In May 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a rule that extends its regulatory authority to all products that meet the statutory definition of tobacco product, including e-cigarettes.4 To gain insight into the risks and benefits of e-cigarette use, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, by congressional mandate, requested and funded the NASEM to convene a committee of experts to conduct a review of the emerging evidence about the public health consequences of e-cigarette use, and make research recommendations.

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