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E-cigarettes are beneficial in short term but longer forecast is uncertain, landmark US report finds

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k355 (Published 24 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k355
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

A US report that examined over 800 published studies has concluded that electronic cigarettes can help older smokers avoid the worst health consequences of cigarette smoking but can also lead younger non-smokers to try the deadly habit.

Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes,1 a consensus study published by the National Academies of Sciences, describes a scenario in which the overall health impact of e-cigarettes could initially be broadly positive, as millions of smokers shift from tobacco cigarettes to vaping. But these gains could fade over time as more of the new users are adolescent never-smokers rather than older adults seeking an alternative to tobacco.

On the key question of how harmful e-cigarettes are the evidence is still lacking, the report says. It assigns one of six evidence levels to each finding: conclusive, substantial, moderate, limited, insufficient, or no …

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