An overview of this topic in the New England Journal of Medicine caught the eye of the CLAHRC WM Director. A very short summary:
- Evidence that e-cigarettes are better than other pharmacological products in assisting people with quitting is not compelling according to the authors.
- The subject is hard to pin down because there are over 400 brands each of a different chemical composition.
- Compared with tobacco smoke, e-cigarette vapour is almost certainly less toxic.
- E-cigarette vapour contains many known toxins, such as formaldehyde and acetone. So it is more toxic than air.
Should they be banned? Certainly not. Should a product warning that the health effects are unknown and there is a material risk be mandated? Certainly.
— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director
- Dinakar C & O’Connor GT. The Health Effects of Electronic Cigarettes. New Engl J Med. 2016; 375: 1372-81.