Lucy England and colleagues at the CDC Office on Smoking and Health recently published an important paper, “Nicotine and the Developing Human: A Neglected Element in the Electronic Cigarette Debate,” in American Journal of Preventive Medicine. This paper makes the important point that, contrary to glib assertions e-cigarette enthusiasts make that “it is the tar not the nicotine in cigarettes that kills people” they add to case that nicotine, while not the only dangerous thing in cigarettes, is nonetheless dangerous.
The elimination of cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products in the U.S. would prevent tens of millions of tobacco-related deaths. It has been suggested that the introduction of less harmful nicotine delivery devices, such as electronic cigarettes or other electronic nicotine delivery systems, will accelerate progress toward ending combustible cigarette use. However, careful consideration of the potential adverse…
This new work is in addition to the extensive discussion of the adverse health effects of nicotine in Chapter 5 of the 2014 Surgeon General’s report.