Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
 
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 73-80

E-cigarettes: A novel therapy or a looming catastrophe


1 Department of Pulmonary/Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Roanoke, VA, USA
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Rowan University SOM, Stratford, NJ, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shahzad Hussain
Department of Pulmonary/Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, 1906 Belleview Avenue, Roanoke, VA 24014
USA
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DOI: 10.4103/atm.ATM_190_20

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Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were originally developed in 2003 as healthier alternatives to conventional tobacco cigarettes. Their popularity has since significantly increased and both users and nonusers are exposed to their aerosol and product constituents. Although some evidence suggests that e-cigarette use may facilitate smoking cessation, definitive data are lacking and e-cigarettes are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a cessation aid. While e-cigarette aerosol contains fewer toxins than conventional cigarette smoke, studies evaluating whether e-cigarettes are less harmful are inconclusive. The health impact of e-cigarettes for both users and nonusers cannot be determined with currently available data, and there are both environmental concerns and issues regarding nonuser exposure. Most of the currently available data related to the health effects of e-cigarettes do not evaluate their effects on the general population and evidence regarding the systemic health effects of e-cigarettes is limited. In addition, there has been a recent rise in vaping-related lung injuries. Therefore, the detrimental effects of e-cigarette use should be further investigated, and every effort should be made to increase public awareness of the harmful effects of e-cigarettes.


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