While there may be potential for e-cigarettes to support tobacco harm reduction and cessation, there are many unanswered questions about e-cigarettes. Public debate surrounds their promotion, sale and use; concerns over youth uptake; the potential for renormalization of smoking; their effectiveness as a cessation aid; and their health impacts. Current OTRU research on e-cigarettes focuses on these questions, exploring patterns of use, health effects and their effectiveness as a cessation aid.

New Online Course E-Cigarette Module

Now Available!

Our new module on e-cigarettes complements existing modules in the OTRU online course, Tobacco and Public Health: From Theory to Practice. The module outlines what is currently known about vaping and vaping devices, with details describing product characteristics, regulation, health effects and secondhand exposure. Given the recent expansion of vaping products, this information is critical for public health professionals, policymakers and cessation practitioners.

Current Research on E-Cigarettes

Analysis of Secondhand E-Cigarette Aerosol Compounds in an Natural Indoor Setting

Areas of Focus: Electronic Cigarettes, Exposure

OTRU, in partnership with The Lung Association-Ontario, recently measured levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and chemical compounds in the indoor air during an e-cigarette event. The results of this study have important implications for policy development.

RECIG: Research on E-Cigarettes

Focus Area: E-Cigarettes

The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU) in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have undertaken a multi-component research study to investigate patterns of e-cigarette use, their effectiveness as a cessation aid and health effects. The RECIG study includes:

  • Comprehensive, realist-informed knowledge synthesis
  • Analysis of data from existing population surveys
  • Longitudinal survey of e-cigarette and tobacco cigarette use among adults
  • Surveys and in-depth interviews of youth and young adults
  • Social media analysis
  • Randomized clinical trial comparing smoking cessation effectiveness of e-cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapy products
  • Biomarker study of e-cigarette users to measure concentrations of nicotine and other chemicals products
  • International, multidisciplinary Expert Panel to assess project findings and identify implications for public health policy

Findings from RECIG will inform the current evidence base, and future provincial policy and legislation.

E-Cigarettes: To Vape or Not To Vape?

Should non-smokers vape? Is vaping less harmful than smoking? Can smokers quit by using e-cigarettes?

Review mentioned in the video: Malas M, van der Tempel J, Schwartz R, Minichiello A, Lightfoot C, Noormohamed A, et al. (2016). Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: A systematic review. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 18(10), 1926-1936. You can also watch the archived webinar presentation associated with this research: Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation: What’s the Evidence?

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