Electronic cigarettes: A briefing for stop smoking services

Electronic cigarettes: A briefing for stop smoking services

Authors: Andy McEwen and Hayden McRobbie
Reviewers: Jamie Brown, Lynne Dawkins, Peter Hajek, Wayne Hall, Elspeth Henderson, Sarah Jakes, Lorien Jollye, Joanne Locker, Louise Ross, Robert West

Produced in partnership with Public Health England

National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT), Version 2. Date of last modification: January 2016, ISBN 978-0-9565243-4-8

Source: Click Here

The following excerpts are taken from that document:


  • Introduction 04
  • Background 05
  • E-cigarettes and stop smoking services 07
  • Recommendations for practice 13
  • Regulation 15
  • Summary of evidence on e-cigarettes 17
  • Prevalence and epidemiology 19
  • Why are people using e-cigarettes? 22
  • Why do so few people who try e-cigarettes go on to use them regularly? 23
  • What products are people using? 23
  • E-cigarette liquid and vapour 24
  • Quality control 26
  • Nicotine delivery 27
  • Do e-cigarettes alleviate withdrawal symptoms? 29
  • Do e-cigarettes help people reduce or quit smoking? 29
  • Are there any adverse health effects of e-cigarettes? 33
  • Are e-cigarettes re-normalising smoking? 37
  • Conclusion 38
  • References 39


“This briefing has been written to assist stop smoking services support people who want to use electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to help them quit smoking. Such an approach brings together the most effective method of quitting (stop smoking services) with the most popular (e-cigarettes).

In August 2015 Public Health England published a comprehensive review of the latest evidence on e-cigarettes1 and an accompanying document highlighting the implications of this evidence for policy and practice.2 This briefing draws upon these documents to summarise what is currently known about nicotine delivery and the safety of e-cigarettes, and covers some of the issues that have been raised about the use of these devices.

We begin by acknowledging that e-cigarettes are considerably safer than smoking cigarettes, are popular with smokers and that they have a role to play in reducing smoking rates.

This briefing does not focus on the use of e-cigarettes in the general population for managing temporary abstinence, nor as part of an attempt to reduce the amount of cigarettes being smoked.

While the evidence base on e-cigarettes is growing, there are a limited number of good quality and reliable studies, especially on the subject of cessation which is the main driver for public health interventions.

In addition, this briefing is limited by the fact that the e-cigarette market is continuing to develop and that there is no single e-cigarette model. Many different forms exist, each with their own technology, delivery and nicotine concentrations; people also differ in how they use these devices.

This briefing makes recommendations for stop smoking practitioners and services, provides common questions and suggested answers about e-cigarettes, and summarises the evidence upon which these recommendations are drawn.

The full document is presented below and can be downloaded by clicking the Download PDF button on the toolbar.

Electronic cigarettes. A briefing for stop smoking services

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