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Population Health
Video (4:24)18 September, 2016
Population Health

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.

Acknowledgments

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.

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The SAHMRI community acknowledges and pays respect to the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region. We also acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and the relationship of the Kaurna people to their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna peoples' ancestors and the living Kaurna people today.