The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation

Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, are battery-operated nicotine-delivery devices that resemble tobacco cigarettes. They deliver vapor containing a mixture of nicotine and either propylene glycol or glycerol. E-cigarettes are widely available in retail stores and on the internet in labeled strengths ranging from zero to high levels of nicotine and in flavors such as tobacco, mint, coffee, cherry, bubblegum, and chocolate. They are advertised as a healthier alternative to smoking a tobacco cigarette and, although not FDA-approved, as a smoking cessation tool.1,2

THE DEVICES — E-cigarettes typically consist of a mouthpiece and two interlocking plastic tubes. The distal tube is a rechargeable battery; some models have an LED light at the tip that glows when the device is in use, giving it the appearance of a lit cigarette. The proximal tube is a cartridge that contains a ... more      

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