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November 2013 Issue of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Publication, DrugFacts, Looks Into E-Cigs

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The November 2013 issue of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Publication, DrugFacts, included an article on the public health implications of using electronic smoking devices. Based on their research, NIDA concluded:

Some people believe e-cigarette prod- ucts may help smokers lower nicotine cravings while they are trying to discon- tinue their tobacco use. However, at this point it is unclear whether e-cigarettes may be effective as smoking-cessation aids. There is also the possibility that they could perpetuate the nicotine addic- tion and thus interfere with quitting.

Because e-cigarettes are not currently marketed either as tobacco products or as devices having a therapeutic purpose, they are not regulated by the FDA. In addition, there is currently no regulation of the liquids that are used in e-cigarettes. So, there are no accepted measures to confirm their purity or safety.

These products have not been thorough- ly evaluated in scientific studies. This may change in the near future, but for now, very little data exists on the safety of e-cigarettes, and consumers have no way of knowing whether their purported therapeutic benefits or advantages over conventional cigarettes are real.