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Review
. Jul-Aug 2014;8(4):223-33.
doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000049.

Science and Electronic Cigarettes: Current Data, Future Needs

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Free PMC article
Review

Science and Electronic Cigarettes: Current Data, Future Needs

Alison B Breland et al. J Addict Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Electronic cigarettes (ECIGs), also referred to as electronic nicotine delivery systems or "e-cigarettes," generally consist of a power source (usually a battery) and heating element (commonly referred to as an atomizer) that vaporizes a solution (e-liquid). The user inhales the resulting vapor. Electronic cigarettes have been increasing in popularity since they were introduced into the US market in 2007. Many questions remain about these products, and limited research has been conducted. This review describes the available research on what ECIGs are, effects of use, survey data on awareness and use, and the utility of ECIGs to help smokers quit using tobacco cigarettes. This review also describes arguments for and against ECIGs and concludes with steps to move research on ECIGs forward.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Some types of electronic cigarettes.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Plasma nicotine concentrations in ECIG users. Top panel shows the mean plasma nicotine concentration before and after thirteen experience ECIG users took 10 puffs (30 second interpuff interval) from their preferred device using a cartomizer loaded with their preferred liquid (for methodological detail, see Vansickel & Eissenberg, 2012). Filled symbol indicates a significant difference in plasma nicotine after the 10 puffs [t (12) = −5.3, p < .001]. The lower three panels show the plasma nicotine data from three individuals who participated in this study and who each took 10 puffs using the same device and liquid strength (26 mg/ml). These data demonstrate that ECIGs can deliver cigarette-like doses of nicotine to their users, but that there may be considerable variability in nicotine delivery across users of the same device/liquid.

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