Researchers Call for Restrictions on E-Cigarette Claims

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A fair amount of conversation about e-cigarettes has involved their use in purportedly helping people to quit smoking. Researchers on Monday said the evidence for that has been “unconvincing,” and they suggest that regulations should forbid such claims until there’s supporting research.


A vaping store, which sells e-cigarettes, in Los Angeles. (Credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times)

In a letter Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Internal Medicine, researchers from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education and the Department of Medicine at UC San Francisco noted that e-cigarettes are “aggressively promoted as smoking cessation aids.”

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery operated; they heat substances that usually include nicotine to deliver a vapor for inhalation that often also contains flavors (fruit, bubble gum and others). Unlike conventional cigarettes, there’s no tar or carbon monoxide. It’s estimated to be a $2-billion business.

Detractors say they are a means to make smoking socially acceptable again, and that they target young people.

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