What do we really know about e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are a new product that have gained popularity in recent years. And consumers want to know if these are a good tool for stopping smoking.
Do e-cigarettes help people stop smoking?
Research teams around the world are still compiling evidence on e-cigarettes, and whether or not they play a role in helping people quit smoking. The current consensus is that there isn't enough evidence to support this as a method for reducing smoking rates. There are other tools available that have been shown to help smokers quit, such as counselling and nicotine replacement therapy.
Some people do report using e-cigarettes to quit smoking altogether, but due to the similarity to smoking, relapse to normal cigarettes is common, and smokers often continue using both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes. There are also reports of smokers using e-cigarettes as a way to avoid smoking bans rather than as a tool for quitting smoking.
E-cigarettes; are they safe?
E-cigarette vapor is not regulated in Australia and is manufactured overseas. Evidence suggests that e-cigarettes often contain toxic ingredients in addition to nicotine. Some e-cigarettes have been shown to contain arsenic and lead.
Research is ongoing, around the world, in a bid to establish definitively if e-cigarettes have an effective role to play in encouraging smokers to quit for good.
Ms Bowden's research is funded by the Government of South Australia.
SAHMRI's Population Health Group is a part of our Cancer and Heart Health themes.