More on e-Cigarettes

An overview of this topic in the New England Journal of Medicine caught the eye of the CLAHRC WM Director.[1] A very short summary:

  1. Evidence that e-cigarettes are better than other pharmacological products in assisting people with quitting is not compelling according to the authors.
  2. The subject is hard to pin down because there are over 400 brands each of a different chemical composition.
  3. Compared with tobacco smoke, e-cigarette vapour is almost certainly less toxic.
  4. 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


  1. Dinakar C & O’Connor GT. The Health Effects of Electronic Cigarettes. New Engl J Med. 2016; 375: 1372-81.

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