Electronic Cigarettes—A Narrative Review for Clinicians

Published:February 28, 2015DOI:


      Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were introduced into the US market in 2007 and have quickly become a popular source of nicotine for many patients. They are designed to simulate smoking by heating a nicotine-containing solution producing an aerosol that the user inhales. The short- and long-term effects of e-cigarette use are still unclear, but their use is increasing. Some acute effects of e-cigarettes on heart rate, blood pressure, and airway resistance are reported. Although there are some reports of improved cessation in a subset of users, there are also studies reporting decreased cessation in dual users of regular and e-cigarettes. Additionally, there is no current regulation of these devices, and this allows virtually anyone with a form of online payment to obtain them.


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      Linked Article

      • Nicotine Lethal Dose: Ignorance or Counterfeit?
        The American Journal of MedicineVol. 128Issue 10
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          Orellana-Barrios et al1 must be commended for the clear information they provide us on e-cigarettes to educate our patients. However, they stated “Nicotine…lethal dose ranges from 10-60 mg”1 without reference. Indeed, none exists, and searches can only retrieve circular and misleading references from dubious textbooks.2 More than 500 mg of oral nicotine is required to kill an adult.2 Moreover, ingestion cannot be massive because of incoercible vomiting.
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