E-cigarettes, better known as Electronic nicotine delivery devices (ENDD), are the new trend in smoking cessation. I have many patients and close friends that are using these devices to finally quit smoking. They work by vaporizing nicotine along with other flavoring, as an alternative for smoking regular cigarettes. Some E-cigarettes are even nicotine-free and have become the new method for smoking cessation. But most people dont know that that they are unregulated by the FDA and contain other harmful chemicals and carcinogens such as propylene glycol. The safety of E-cigarettes have not been determined, while many perceive them to be less harmful than the traditional cigarette because vapor, instead of smoke, is inhaled. There are still no scientifically determined instructions on the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid due to all the different concentrations. Hence e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation method remains and should remain controversial, as there are few studies that have compared its efficacy versus other smoking cessation tools such as nicotine patches.
There was a great paper recently discussing this topic. Overall their take on the research was that there was not enough data exists to support the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid. Although there are some initial studies that show it may be as effective as the nicotine patch, its safety has yet to be fully examined. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) is strongly advising against the use of electronic nicotine delivery devices.
Here is the reference:
Use of E-Cigarettes as a Smoking Cessation Aid: Puff or Pass?
Pharm.D., MBA candidate
Dawn Havrda, Pharm.D., BCPS, FCCP
Dunn School of Pharmacy, Shenandoah University