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Research & Evidence: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems

Employers should include e-cigarettes in their tobacco-free policies and should ban e-cigarette use in their smoke-free work areas.
Guidance to Employers on Integrating E-Cigarettes/Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Into Tobacco Worksite Policy
Laurie P. Whitsel, PhD, Neal Benowitz, MD, Aruni Bhatnagar, PhD, FAHA, Chris Bullen, MBChB, PhD, Fred Goldstein, Lena Matthias-Gray, BS, Jessica Grossmeier, PhD, MPH, John Harris, MEd, Fikry Isaac, MD, MPH, Ron Loeppke, MD, MPH, Marc Manley, MD, MPH, Kare
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

2018

Marian Freedman and Michael G Burke, MD. "High-nicotine e-cigarettes lead to more smoking and vaping." Contemporary Pediatrics, February 1, 2018.

Compared with adolescents who use e-cigarettes with relatively low or no nicotine concentrations, those who use e-cigarettes with higher nicotine concentrations are more likely to progress to more frequent and intense combustible cigarette smoking and vaping.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. "Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes." Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2018.

Millions of Americans use e-cigarettes. Despite their popularity, little is known about their health effects. Some suggest that e-cigarettes likely confer lower risk compared to combustible tobacco cigarettes, because they do not expose users to toxicants produced through combustion. Proponents of e-cigarette use also tout the potential benefits of e-cigarettes as devices that could help combustible tobacco cigarette smokers to quit and thereby reduce tobacco-related health risks. Others are concerned about the exposure to potentially toxic substances contained in e-cigarette emissions, especially in individuals who have never used tobacco products such as youth and young adults. Given their relatively recent introduction, there has been little time for a scientific body of evidence to develop on the health effects of e-cigarettes.

Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes reviews and critically assesses the state of the emerging evidence about e-cigarettes and health. This report makes recommendations for the improvement of this research and highlights gaps that are a priority for future research.

2017

Drope, J., Cahn, Z., Kennedy, R., Liber, A. C., Stoklosa, M., Henson, R., Douglas, C. E. and Drope, J. "Key issues surrounding the health impacts of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and other sources of nicotine." CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, September 29, 2017.

Over the last decade, the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including the electronic cigarette or e-cigarette, has grown rapidly. More youth now use ENDS than any tobacco product. This extensive research review shows that there are scientifically sound, sometimes competing arguments about ENDS that are not immediately and/or completely resolvable. However, the preponderance of the scientific evidence to date suggests that current-generation ENDS products are demonstrably less harmful than combustible tobacco products such as conventional cigarettes in several key ways, including by generating far lower levels of carcinogens and other toxic compounds than combustible products or those that contain tobacco. To place ENDS in context, the authors begin by reviewing the trends in use of major nicotine-containing products. Because nicotine is the common core—and highly addictive—constituent across all tobacco products, its toxicology is examined. With its long history as the only nicotine product widely accepted as being relatively safe, nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) is also examined. A section is also included that examines snus, the most debated potential harm-reduction product before ENDS. Between discussions of NRT and snus, ENDS are extensively examined: what they are, knowledge about their level of “harm,” their relationship to smoking cessation, the so-called gateway effect, and dual use/poly-use. 

Hines, Jonas Z. MD ; Steven C. Fiala, MPH ; Katrina Hedberg, MD. "Electronic Cigarettes as an Introductory Tobacco Product Among Eighth and 11th Grade Tobacco Users — Oregon, 2015." CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), June 16, 2017.

During 2011–2015, increased electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) and hookah use offset declines in cigarette and other tobacco product use among youths (persons aged <18 years)

2016

"E-cigarette use among youth and young adults : a report of the Surgeon General.." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 8, 2016.

This report confirms that the use of electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) is growing rapidly among American youth and young adults. While these products are novel, we know they contain harmful ingredients that are dangerous to youth. Important strides have been made over the past several decades in reducing conventional cigarette smoking among youth and young adults. We must make sure this progress is not compromised by the initiation and use of new tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes. 

2015

Thornburg, Jonathan; Quentin Malloy, Seung-Hyun Cho, William Studabaker, and Youn Ok Lee. "Exhaled Electronic Cigarette Emissions: What’s Your Secondhand Exposure? ." RTI Press, Research Briefs, March 2015.

As e-cigarette use rapidly proliferates in the United States, research is needed to determine potential health risks posed by emissions from e-cigarettes. Currently, little scientific evidence on the toxicant exposures posed by e-cigarette use is available, particularly for a non-user’s secondhand exposures in public places.

Laurie P. Whitsel, PhD, Neal Benowitz, MD, Aruni Bhatnagar, PhD, FAHA, Chris Bullen, MBChB, PhD, Fred Goldstein, Lena Matthias-Gray, BS, Jessica Grossmeier, PhD, MPH, John Harris, MEd, Fikry Isaac, MD, MPH, Ron Loeppke, MD, MPH, Marc Manley, MD, MPH, Kare. "Guidance to Employers on Integrating E-Cigarettes/Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Into Tobacco Worksite Policy." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, March 2015.

In recent years, new products have entered the marketplace that complicate decisions about tobacco control policies and prevention in the workplace. These products, called electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or electronic nicotine delivery systems, most often deliver nicotine as an aerosol for inhalation, without combustion of tobacco. This new mode of nicotine delivery raises several questions about the safety of the product for the user, the effects of secondhand exposure, how the public use of these products should be handled within tobacco-free and smoke-free air policies, and how their use affects tobacco cessation programs, wellness incentives, and other initiatives to prevent and control tobacco use. In this article, we provide a background on e-cigarettes and then outline key policy recommendations for employers on how the use of these new devices should be managed within worksite tobacco prevention programs and control policies

2014

In a new study of cancer patients who smoke, those using e-cigarettes (in addition to traditional cigarettes) were more nicotine dependent and equally or less likely to have quit smoking traditional cigarettes than non-users. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings raise doubts about the potential benefits of e-cigarettes for helping cancer patients give up smoking.