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Do electronic cigarettes help with smoking cessation?

Abstract

Smoking causes around 100,000 deaths each year in the UK, and is the leading cause of preventable disease and early mortality.1,2 Smoking cessation remains difficult and existing licensed treatments have limited success.3 Nicotine addiction is thought to be one of the primary reasons that smokers find it so hard to give up, and earlier this year DTB reviewed the effects of nicotine on health.4 Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are nicotine delivery devices that aim to mimic the process of smoking but avoid exposing the user to some of the harmful components of traditional cigarettes. However, the increase in the use of e-cigarettes and their potential use as an aid to smoking cessation has been subject to much debate. In this article we consider the regulatory and safety issues associated with the use of e-cigarettes, and their efficacy in smoking cessation and reduction.

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