Electronic cigarettes in physician practice

Posted by DrMendelsohn on 6 April, 2018

Advice for physicians on the use of electronic cigarettes in clinical practice

This peer-reviewed article was published today in the Royal Australian College of Physicians journal, Internal Medicine Journal.

The key points are:

  • Medical practitioners have a duty of care to provide the best possible management at each patient encounter. Withholding a legitimate treatment option that could prevent a life-threatening illness is a breach of that obligation.
  • There is growing evidence for the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a quitting aid and, although not completely harmless, the scientific consensus is that they are substantially less harmful than smoking  tobacco.
  • More research is needed, but there is now sufficient empirical evidence and real-world experience over more than a decade to consider their use as a legitimate tobacco harm reduction tool for smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit with conventional strategies.
  • Smokers should be advised that the highest success rates occur with daily use with nicotine e-liquid and newer e-cigarette models.
  • After quitting smoking, it is preferable to aim ultimately to cease vaping if possible, but long-term use of e-cigarettes is safer than relapsing to smoking.

Read the full article here:

Mendelsohn CP. Electronic cigarettes in physician practice. Int Med J 2018;.48;391-396

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