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Electronic cigarettes: towards evidence-based regulation

Series Editors: Dr Maciej L. Goniewicz and Tobacco Induced Diseases Editors-in-Chief Dr Constantine Vardavas and Dr James Elliott Scott.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are nicotine containing products that are sold for use as an alternative to cigarettes and may potentially reduce harm and the risk of tobacco-related diseases, particularly for those who are unable or unwilling to quit.

Regulating e-cigarettes creates unique challenges. The evaluation of the effect of e-cigarettes on public health require a wide range of evidence, including studies on the composition of a product, studies of human exposure, health effects, the likelihood of addiction and abuse, the perception and understanding of the product by the public, and the effect of marketing of the product. Furthermore, the effects of e-cigarettes not only on users of the product, but also on nonusers and on the population as a whole, need to be evaluated.

Regulation of e-cigarettes is a necessary precondition for assuring that the health of the public is protected. In many countries, national regulatory agencies have authority to regulate sale, distribution, labeling, and advertisement of nicotine containing products, and to set product standards. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a broad authority to regulate the manufacturing and marketing of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. In the European Union, nicotine containing products currently do not fall under the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), but in the on-going revision of the Directive different options regarding regulation of e-cigarettes are being evaluated.

For this thematic series in Tobacco Induced Diseases, we collect manuscripts which present the latest findings from several areas of interest including population use and risk perception of e-cigarettes, advertising, promotion, and marketing strategies, the abuse and addiction potential of the product, efficacy in smoking cessation, and an overview of what is known about the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes.

Collection published in Tobacco Induced Diseases: 21 August 2014
Last updated: 27 June 2015

  1. A shisha-pen is an electronic cigarette variant that is advertised to mimic the taste of a water pipe, or shisha. The aim of this study was to assess the potential harmful health effects caused by inhaling the...

    Authors: Anne S Kienhuis, Lya G Soeteman-Hernandez, Peter MJ Bos, Hans WJM Cremers, Walther N Klerx and Reinskje Talhout
    Citation: Tobacco Induced Diseases 2015 13:15

    The Letter to the Editor to this article has been published in Tobacco Induced Diseases 2016 14:21

    The Letter to the Editor to this article has been published in Tobacco Induced Diseases 2016 14:22

  2. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have risen in popularity in the U.S. While recent studies have described the prevalence and demographics of e-cigarette users, few studies have evaluated the impact of adve...

    Authors: Danielle M. Smith, Maansi Bansal-Travers, Richard J. O’Connor, Maciej L. Goniewicz and Andrew Hyland
    Citation: Tobacco Induced Diseases 2015 13:14
  3. People with mental illness have higher rates of smoking than the general population and are at greater risk of smoking-related death and disability. In smokers from the general population, electronic cigarette...

    Authors: Brigid O’Brien, Oliver Knight-West, Natalie Walker, Varsha Parag and Christopher Bullen
    Citation: Tobacco Induced Diseases 2015 13:5
  4. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-powered devices that vaporize a liquid solution to deliver a dose of inhaled nicotine to the user. There is ongoing debate regarding their regulation.

    Authors: Muhammad Aziz Rahman, Nicholas Hann, Andrew Wilson and Linda Worrall-Carter
    Citation: Tobacco Induced Diseases 2014 12:21
  5. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are advertised to tobacco users as a tool to decrease cigarette consumption and to reduce toxic exposure associated with conventional tobacco smoking. Little is known about...

    Authors: Jürgen Hahn, Yulia B Monakhova, Julia Hengen, Matthias Kohl-Himmelseher, Jörg Schüssler, Harald Hahn, Thomas Kuballa and Dirk W Lachenmeier
    Citation: Tobacco Induced Diseases 2014 12:23
  6. E-cigarettes are sold at many different types of retail establishments. A new type of shop has emerged, the vape shop, which specializes in sales of varied types of e-cigarettes. Vape shops allow users to samp...

    Authors: Steve Sussman, Robert Garcia, Tess Boley Cruz, Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Mary Ann Pentz and Jennifer B Unger
    Citation: Tobacco Induced Diseases 2014 12:22
  7. There has been minimal policy development in Canada to regulate when and where e-cigarettes can be used, and no policies to-date to set a minimum legal sale age to purchase e-cigarettes. Public Health professi...

    Authors: Ryan David Kennedy, Susan Himel, Irene Lambraki and Stephanie Filsinger
    Citation: Tobacco Induced Diseases 2014 12:18
  8. Use of e-cigarettes (inhalable vapour producing battery powered devices that aim to simulate tobacco cigarettes), is rising in a number of countries, but as yet none of these products are regulated as medicina...

    Authors: Rosemary Hiscock, Maciej Lukasz Goniewicz, Andy McEwen, Susan Murray, Deborah Arnott, Martin Dockrell and Linda Bauld
    Citation: Tobacco Induced Diseases 2014 12:13