The impact of e-cigarette exposure on different organ systems: A review of recent evidence and future perspectives

J Hazard Mater. 2023 Sep 5:457:131828. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2023.131828. Epub 2023 Jun 12.


The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) is rapidly increasing worldwide and is promoted as a smoking cessation tool. The impact of traditional cigs on human health has been well-defined in both animal and human studies. In contrast, little is known about the adverse effects of e-cigs exposure on human health. This review summarizes the impact of e-cigs exposure on different organ systems based on the rapidly expanding recent evidence from experimental and human studies. A number of growing studies have shown the adverse effects of e-cigs exposure on various organ systems. The summarized data in this review indicate that while e-cigs use causes less adverse effects on different organs compared to traditional cigs, its long-term exposure may lead to serious health effects. Data on short-term organ effects are limited and there is no sufficient evidence on long-term organ effects. Moreover, the adverse effects of secondhand and third hand e-cigs vapour exposure have not been thoroughly investigated in previous studies. Although some studies demonstrated e-cigs used as a smoking cessation tool, there is a lack of strong evidence to support it. While some researchers suggested e-cigs as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking, their long-term exposure health effects remain largely unknown. Therefore, more epidemiological and prospective studies including mechanistic studies are needed to address the potential adverse health effects of e-cigs to draw a firm conclusion about their safe use. A wide variation in e-cigs products and the lack of standardized testing methods are the major barriers to evaluating the existing data. Specific regulatory guidelines for both e-cigs components and the manufacturing process may be effective to protect consumer health.

Keywords: Electronic cigarettes; Exposure; Health effects; Organ system.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking Cessation*