Dr. Tom Colletti, DHSc, PA-C
Purpose: The purpose of this manuscript is to review the effectiveness and safety of using electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), to include e-cigarettes and vaping, as a step-down tool to aid in smoking cessation.
Method: PubMed, Google Scholar, and Google literature searches were conducted with search terms to include vape, vaping, e-cigarette, electronic nicotine delivery system, smoking cessation, smoking cessation pharmacotherapy, recommendations to quit smoking. Twelve pertinent articles were retrieved, and they serve as the basis for this clinical review.
Results: The use of electronic nicotine delivery systems has shown some success in helping patients with smoking cessation, but this non-traditional method has not been recommended due to possible severe and life-threatening side effects. Vaping and e-cigarettes may contain toxic chemicals and unknown substances that have potentially contributed to multiple deaths within the United States as well as severe lung injuries. Studies have also demonstrated that a majority of patients who attempt to use ENDS for smoking cessation are generally not successful in becoming nicotine-free.
Conclusion: Traditional methods for helping patients to quit smoking are evidence-based and have been proven effective, non-toxic, and relatively safe. Although electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes and vaping can aid individuals in their smoking cessation goals, chemicals and toxins found in these devices may not be safe and may even lead to permanent lung injury and death. The use of ENDS for smoking cessation continues to be discouraged and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend an alternate method to quit smoking, to include evidence-based approaches as well as FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved smoking cessation medication.
Hartzell JR. VAPING AND SMOKING CESSATION. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2020; 2(2).
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