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Electronic cigarettes: beneficial for smoking cessation but harmful to public health?
  1. Gina Kruse1,
  2. Jon Samet2,
  3. Joaquin Barnoya2,3
  1. 1 Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  2. 2 Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  3. 3 Integra Cancer Institute, Guatemala City, Guatemala
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gina Kruse, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado, USA; gina.kruse{at}

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Since electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) first appeared in the tobacco product marketplace over a decade ago, they have been evaluated as another tool for promoting successful smoking cessation. The randomised controlled trial by Pope et al reported in this issue of the Emergency Medicine Journal, adds to a growing literature on the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation intervention, providing evidence in a novel, pragmatic setting—emergency departments (EDs).1 A 2024 Cochrane review reported high-certainty evidence for their effectiveness, primarily from randomised controlled trials, showing that nicotine e-cigarettes are more effective in helping smokers to quit than nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), a cessation modality approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.2 Although the evidence is increasingly compelling, its generalisability to other healthcare settings is uncertain.

This study is a step toward addressing that uncertainty about how e-cigarettes could be used to promote smoking cessation among patients visiting EDs.1 In this comparative effectiveness study, the high rate …

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  • Handling editor Jason E Smith

  • Contributors GK, JS and JB contributed to conceptualisation, writing the initial draft and editing the draft.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests GK has a family financial interest in Dimagi, Inc. She has received a grant from the National Comprehensive Cancer Institute with support from Astra Zeneca. All others report no competing interests.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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