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.

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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