n South African Medical Journal - Electronic cigarettes : the potential risks outweigh the benefits : editorial

Volume 103, Issue 11
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Should the legislation on the sale and promotion of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) be similar to that for tobacco smoking, or are they different? Is there potential medical benefit in their availability and use? I shall argue that they should be regulated, based on the overwhelming potential for their harm to society, and particularly to those that they are intended to 'help'. Firstly, the evidence for their being an effective method for smoking cessation is unconvincing. Secondly, they are a means for maintaining nicotine addiction and dependence. Thirdly, they may even encourage more habitual use of nicotine, which, in time, might encourage a switch to cigarette smoking.

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