211644 An overview of electronic cigarettes

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

M. Justin Byron, MHS , Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Invented about five years ago in China, the newest form of “e-cigarette” has caught on recently in the US. This electronic nicotine delivery device is about the size of a cigarette and includes a battery, a “vaporizer,” a flavored nicotine cartridge, and a mouthpiece. When a person inhales on the mouthpiece, the vaporizer turns on and converts the liquid nicotine solution into a mist that is inhaled. The devices generally use propylene glycol to make the mist, similar to how fog is made in theatre productions.

As of early 2009, e-cigarettes have been unregulated and sold online or through mall kiosks and national retailers. There are various shapes and designs, and a wide array of nicotine dosages and flavors available (banana, apple, bubble gum, coffee, etc). While upwards of a million of these devices have been sold worldwide, there has been no peer-reviewed research on their general safety, their efficacy in cessation or harm-reduction, or the consistency of their nicotine delivery. E-cigarettes may have the potential to be a safe alternative for smokers unable to quit otherwise. However, without research and regulation, these products raise risks of nicotine poisoning and of youth use. The poster will include an overview of the products and variations, a literature review of all known safety information, and an update as to their current legal status at the time of the conference.

Learning Objectives:
Objectives 1. To understand the history of and current varieties of e-cigarettes 2. To compile information on their safety and legality 3. To set the stage for informed decision making about regulation

Keywords: Tobacco, Tobacco Industry

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Research on this topic
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.