The role of e-cigarettes, or nicotine vaping products, in tobacco control has been controversial from the outset.

Early divisions among public health experts led to polarized coverage in the media, confused messages to the public, and inconsistent policymaking between jurisdictions. For many authorities in the United States, the potential health harms of e-cigarettes and youth-vaping concerns were overriding considerations.

For others (most notably in the United Kingdom), those risks have been balanced more explicitly against the potential benefits for smokers of easy access to nicotine vaping products.

As more and better evidence becomes available and continues to accrue, some consensus should be possible on the individual elements of this complex policy question. It remains, however, a significant challenge to integrate that evidence into a holistic view of the major risks and benefits associated with nicotine vaping products.

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Martin Dockrell PGDip, BA, and John N. Newton MSc – American Journal of Public Health – 2021-08-26.

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