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Table 2 Positive and negative aspects of e-cigarettes

From: A fresh look at tobacco harm reduction: the case for the electronic cigarette



Beneficial effects on health (improved exercise tolerance, and less cough)

Small percent of the population is sensitive to propylene glycol (dry mouth and throat)

No tobacco smoke odor or bad breath

Some flavors (e.g. piña colada) have a lingering smell

Much less toxic than conventional cigarettes

Trace amounts of contaminants and metals present in some products

Mimics the “throat hit” sensation of inhaling smoke

“Throat hit” sensation dependent on hardware used and liquid composition

Replicates gestures or actions associated with smoking behavior

Equipment is heavier than traditional cigarette and puffing technique requires some training

Facilitates smoking abstinence

Not all users manage to quit smoking or reduce consumption of conventional cigarettes

Relieves withdrawal symptoms and craving for conventional cigarettes

Relief of withdrawal symptoms varies, affected by quality of equipment and nicotine strength of liquid

No risk to bystanders.

Due to few studies on potential risk to bystanders, some communities are outlawing indoor use

No ash, dirt, or burned clothes

Environmental concern about safe disposal of cartridges and batteries

Accessible prices (in the long run cheaper than conventional cigarettes)

The intricacies of their use and maintenance may hinder widespread adoption

Much improved self-regulatory framework by e-cigarettes industry

Impending medicinal regulation in many countries