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Review
, 67 (6), 449-471

Key Issues Surrounding the Health Impacts of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Other Sources of Nicotine

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Review

Key Issues Surrounding the Health Impacts of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Other Sources of Nicotine

Jeffrey Drope et al. CA Cancer J Clin.

Abstract

Answer questions and earn CME/CNE Over the last decade, the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including the electronic cigarette or e-cigarette, has grown rapidly. More youth now use ENDS than any tobacco product. This extensive research review shows that there are scientifically sound, sometimes competing arguments about ENDS that are not immediately and/or completely resolvable. However, the preponderance of the scientific evidence to date suggests that current-generation ENDS products are demonstrably less harmful than combustible tobacco products such as conventional cigarettes in several key ways, including by generating far lower levels of carcinogens and other toxic compounds than combustible products or those that contain tobacco. To place ENDS in context, the authors begin by reviewing the trends in use of major nicotine-containing products. Because nicotine is the common core-and highly addictive-constituent across all tobacco products, its toxicology is examined. With its long history as the only nicotine product widely accepted as being relatively safe, nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) is also examined. A section is also included that examines snus, the most debated potential harm-reduction product before ENDS. Between discussions of NRT and snus, ENDS are extensively examined: what they are, knowledge about their level of "harm," their relationship to smoking cessation, the so-called gateway effect, and dual use/poly-use. CA Cancer J Clin 2017;67:449-471. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Keywords: delivery systems; e-cigarette; electronic nicotine; harm reduction; tobacco control.

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