Electronic cigarettes: health impact, nicotine replacement therapy, regulations
1 Department and Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Isotope Therapy, Wroclaw Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
2 4 Military Hospital, Wrocław, Poland
3 Faculty of Medicine, Wroclaw Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
Correspondence: Professor Zygmunt Zdrojewicz, MD, PhD, Department and Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Isotope Therapy, Wroclaw Medical University, Pasteura 4, 50-367 Wrocław, Poland, e-mail: zygmunt.zdrojewicz@umed.wroc.pl
Pediatr Med Rodz 2017, 13 (1), p. 63–71
DOI: 10.15557/PiMR.2017.0006

While the adverse effects of conventional cigarettes on human health have been thoroughly examined, in the last 15 years we have witnessed the birth of electronic cigarettes. There are many types of these devices available on the market. Studies are still underway to determine their negative impact on the human body. Electronic cigarettes comprise of power supply and a vaporising system. The user inhales the aerosol produced by heating up the liquid containing nicotine. In contrast with conventional cigarettes, the tobacco is not combusted, thus the compositions of the aerosol and cigarette smoke are considerably different. Out of 93 chemical substances present in the e-cigarette smoke, the aerosol contains only acetaldehyde, acetone, acrolein, formaldehyde and nicotine. More toxic substances, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals, are not present. The amount of evidence suggesting electronic cigarettes’ harmful effects on the human body is constantly increasing. Some reports imply that the electronic cigarettes negatively influence pregnancy, human psyche, respiratory and cardiovascular systems. They might also be involved in oncogenesis. With electronic cigarettes constantly gaining popularity, the question about the adverse effects of passive smoking becomes increasingly more relevant. Although various methods of helping people cease smoking or delivering nicotine to their bodies without burning toxic substances are being explored, electronic cigarettes are not recommended in nicotine substitution therapy. Legal regulations regarding electronic cigarettes are still being worked on. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effects electronic cigarettes have on the human’s health.

Keywords: electronic cigarettes, liquid, nicotine, second hand smoking, smoking cessation