E-Cigarettes: Know the Facts
E-cigarettes should not be used to replace smoking
Quitting combustible cigarettes is the best thing one can do for improved health.
There are U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications (e.g., nicotine replacement or varenicline/Chantix), that when used in combination with individual or group counseling, are shown to be the most successful ways to help smokers quit.
What is an e-cigarette?
E-cigarettes (also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or ENDS) are
battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine through a flavored vapor.
They are made so users can feel like they are inhaling tobacco smoke, without burning
tobacco which occurs with a cigarette.
- E-cigarettes are not approved by the FDA as an effective method to help smokers quit. There is no regulation or quality control.1
- The evidence is insufficient at this time on utilizing e-cigarettes for quitting 2
What do we know about the e-cigarette?
The amount of nicotine in an e-cigarette varies. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
testing has shown that nicotine amounts do not always match the labeling.
- It remains unknown if e-cigarettes are safe.
- Levels of carcinogens and toxicants are lower than in combustible cigarettes.3
Further research is needed to determine health related consequences.
What does this information mean?
It is important to talk with a health care provider when considering alternatives to smoking.
- Current evidence is insufficient to recommend use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (e.g., e-cigarettes) for tobacco cessation in adults.4
Medications approved by the FDA (e.g., nicotine replacement or varenicline/Chantix), in combination with individual or group counseling, are shown to be
the most successful ways to help smokers quit.
1 US Food and Drug Administration. What are e-cigarettes?
2McRobbie H., Bullen C., Hartmann-Boyce J., Hajek P. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and reduction. The Cochran Collaboration
2014: John Wiley & sons, Ltd.
3Goniewicz, M. L., et al. "Levels of selected carcinogens and toxicants in vapor from electronic cigarettes." Tobacco Control 23(2): 133-139.
4U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Counseling and interventions to prevent tobacco use and tobacco-caused disease in adults and pregnant women:
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(8):551-5.