The review of current evidence about e-cigarettes, published today by the scientific journal Addiction, concludes that although there are gaps in the knowledge that require further research, the current evidence about e-cigarettes does not justify regulating them more strictly than, or even as strictly as, conventional cigarettes. Regulatory decisions will provide the greatest public health benefit when they are proportional, based on evidence, and incorporate a rational appraisal of likely risks and benefits.
The scientific review was conducted by an international team of leading tobacco researchers led by Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University of London. Hajek says, “the evidence we currently have is clear: e-cigarettes should be allowed to compete against conventional cigarettes in the marketplace. Health care professionals may advise smokers who are unwilling to cease nicotine use to switch to e-cigarettes. Smokers who have not managed to stop with current treatments may also benefit from switching to e-cigarettes.”