Electronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes) are devices that can vaporize a nicotine solution combined with liquid flavors instead of burning tobacco leaves. Since their emergence in 2004, E-cigarettes have become widely available, and their use has increased exponentially worldwide. E-cigarettes are aggressively advertised as a smoking cessation aid; as healthier, cheaper, and more socially acceptable than conventional cigarettes. In recent years, these claims have been evaluated in numerous studies. This review explores the development of the current E-cigarette and its market, prevalence of awareness, and use. The review also explores the beneficial and adverse effects of E-cigarettes in various aspects in accordance with recent research. The discussed aspects include smoking cessation or reduction and the health risks, social impact, and environmental consequences of E-cigarettes.
Keywords: cigarette smoking; electronic cigarette; nicotine; smoking cessation.
© 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.