Intended for healthcare professionals


E-cigarettes can help people quit smoking but more evidence needed on long term harms, review concludes

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 14 October 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m3982
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

An updated Cochrane review has concluded that electronic cigarettes containing nicotine could increase the number of people who successfully stop smoking compared with other approaches such as nicotine gum or patches.1 The review authors did not detect any clear evidence of serious harms from nicotine e-cigarettes but said that more evidence was needed.

In September the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products, and the Environment concluded that e-cigarettes were significantly less harmful than smoking but were not risk-free.2 In 2015 a review commissioned by Public Health England, which concluded that e-cigarettes were 95% less harmful than tobacco, led to widespread criticism …

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