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E-Cigarettes: The vapor this time?

The health risks from e-cigarettes remain largely unknown. Research is scant, and the new products' safety is far from certain.

In October 2013, TRDRP convened a panel of researchers to present scientific findings on electronic cigarettes.

From UC Newsroom: E-cigarettes: Does smokeless mean harmless?

Tobacco companies readily declare that a hip-looking 20-something puffing away on a sweet-flavored, smokeless "e-cigarette" is a health-savvy smoker who is avoiding the dangers of tobacco cigarettes while enjoying the smoking experience. Electronic cigarettes, on the market in the U.S. for about five years, provide nicotine from a heated and vaporized fluid, doing away with the harmful byproducts of burned tobacco.

Webinar program

Introduction: Electronic Cigarettes: The Vapor This Time?

Phillip Gardiner, Dr. P.H.
Tobacco Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP)
University of California Office of the President
Gardiner is the Policy and Regulatory Sciences / Neurosciences and Nicotine Dependence Program Office for the TRDRP and oversees the programs’ work around electronic cigarettes.

Gardiner will situate the emerging debate surrounding e-cigarettes in the context of the overall tobacco control movement; is it the vapor this time? Gardiner will also introduce the panelists, chair the Q&A session and provide closing remarks to end the webcast.

E-Cigarette Liquids and Vapors: Is it Harmless Water Vapor?

Monique Williams, ABD
Environmental Toxicology Department
UC Riverside
Williams is a 3rd year doctoral student, working on her dissertation centered around electronic cigarettes. Williams has published a number of articles on e-cigarettes (most recently Metals and Silicate Particles Including Nanoparticles Are Present in Electronic Cigarette Cartomizer Fluid and Aerosol). For this publication, Williams won a graduate student award from the Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section at the annual Society of Toxicology meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Williams’ talk will review what is in electronic cigarette cartridge fluid and refill fluid as well as the inhaled and exhaled aerosol. While some claim e-cigarettes emit only “harmless water vapor,” Ms. Williams’ own research and that of others suggest the situation is more complex.

Electronic Cigarettes: How Will They Impact Human Health?

Prudence Talbot, Ph.D.
UCR Stem Cell Center and Stem Cell Core Facility
UC Riverside
Talbot is a Professor of Cell Biology and is Director of the UCR Stem Cell Center and Stem Cell Core Facility. Talbot is also a leader in the e-cigarette research field having published numerous articles on the subject. Members of her lab have studied the performance characteristics, chemical composition and health effects of e-cigarettes. She worked with Williams on their recent article, Metals and Silicate Particles Including Nanoparticles Are Present in electronic Cigarette Cartomizer Fluid and Aerosol.

Talbot’s presentation will focus on the personal and public health effects of e-cigarettes. Clearly, there is no literature on the long term health effects since these products are just now coming into general use. Talbot will review the few studies that have assessed the immediate health impact of these products. Talbot will also suggest some things that users should be concerned about going forward.

E-Cigarettes: A 21st Century Cessation Device? A Review of the Literature

Natalie Walker, Ph.D.
Heart Foundation Douglas Senior Fellow in Heart Health (Prevention)
National Institute for Health Innovation, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Walker is a clinical trialist and leader of the Addiction Research program at the National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her primary areas of interest are phase III clinical trials, risk factors for heart disease (in particular smoking and alcohol), and the use of new technology in disease prevention and treatment. Walker is a co-author of the recently published trial Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial (Bullen C, et al., Lancet 2013). She will report on the findings of this trial in her presentation.

Walker will present a review of the literature on the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. She will discuss how successful these products are as a cessation aid, and how they compare to other cessation methods.

The Profile of Vapers and How E-Cigarettes Should be Regulated

Jean-François Etter, Ph.D.
Institute of Social & Preventive Medicine
University of Geneva, Switzerland
Jean-François Etter, PhD, is Professor of Public Health and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles, primarily focused on smoking prevention and cessation. His work is widely cited. He has pioneered research on e-cigarettes, and conducted some of the first surveys of ‘vapers’. He has published 2 books on e-cigarettes (‘La vérité sur la cigarette électronique’, Fayard, 2013 and “The Electronic Cigarette: An Alternative To Tobacco?,” Etter, 2012).

Discussion: E-Cigarettes: Where are We; Where Should We Go? & Question and Answer session

Discussion led by:
Stanton Glantz, Ph.D.
Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education
Glantz is Professor of Medicine and the American Legacy Foundation Distinguished Professor of Tobacco Control. Glantz conducts research on a wide range of topics ranging from the health effects of secondhand smoke (with particular emphasis on the cardiovascular system) to the efficacy of different tobacco control policies.

Glantz has been asked to comment on and reflect on the four panelists and their presentations, particularly pointing out where the field needs to go as it relates to e-cigarettes. Increasingly, Glantz has been speaking out both publicly and through his blog on the necessity to regulate e-cigarettes just like regular tobacco cigarettes.

woman with e-cigarette