Back to Journals » Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation » Volume 7

E-cigarettes for the management of nicotine addiction

Authors Knight-West O, Bullen C

Received 12 August 2015

Accepted for publication 20 April 2016

Published 18 August 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 111—118


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Li-Tzy Wu

Oliver Knight-West, Christopher Bullen

The National Institute for Health Innovation, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

In this review, we discuss current evidence on electronic cigarettes (ECs), a rapidly evolving class of nicotine delivery system, and their role in managing nicotine addiction, specifically in helping smokers to quit smoking and/or reduce the amount of tobacco they smoke. The current evidence base is limited to three randomized trials (only one compares ECs with nicotine replacement therapy) and a growing number of EC user surveys (n=6), case reports (n=4), and cohort studies (n=8). Collectively, these studies suggest modest cessation efficacy and a few adverse effects, at least with the short-term use. On this basis, we provide advice for health care providers on providing balanced information for patients who enquire about ECs. More research, specifically well-conducted large efficacy trials comparing ECs with standard smoking cessation management (eg, nicotine replacement therapy plus behavioral support) and long-term prospective studies for adverse events, are urgently needed to fill critical knowledge gaps on these products.

Keywords: tobacco, smoking, nicotine, electronic cigarettes, cessation, addiction

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]