Counseling patients on the use of electronic cigarettes

Mayo Clin Proc. 2015 Jan;90(1):128-34. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2014.11.004.


Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have substantially increased in popularity. Clear evidence about the safety of e-cigarettes is lacking, and laboratory experiments and case reports suggest these products may be associated with potential adverse health consequences. The effectiveness of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation is modest and appears to be comparable to the nicotine patch combined with minimal behavioral support. Although a role for e-cigarettes in the treatment of tobacco dependence may emerge in the future, the potential risk of e-cigarettes outweighs their known benefit as a recommended tobacco treatment strategy by clinicians. Patients should be counseled on the known efficacy and potential risks of e-cigarettes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comparative Effectiveness Research
  • Directive Counseling / methods*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems* / adverse effects
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems* / methods
  • Equipment Safety
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Smoking
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Devices
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome