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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 63(2); 2020 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2020;63(2):82-86.
Published online February 17, 2020.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2020.63.2.82   
Tobacco control policy on the electronic cigarette
Yu Jin Paek
Department of Family Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea. paek@hallym.or.kr
E-cigarettes, or electronic nicotine delivery systems, are popular among smokers who are looking for a less harmful alternative to conventional tobacco, and the use of e-cigarettes is affected by existing tobacco control policies. E-cigarettes, which are electronic devices designed to allow the user to inhale nicotine as a vapor, are controversial in terms of their harm reduction claims as it can undermine existing tobacco control policies and has the potential to re-normalize smoking behavior. Currently, many of the chemicals used in e-cigarettes have not been comprehensively disclosed, and there is no adequate data on their emissions. Furthermore, the benefits of e-cigarettes have not been adequately shown. To date, a small number of studies have evaluated e-cigarettes as a harm reduction and cessation aid and have found conflicting findings. Meanwhile, e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury has been identified, and an increased use of e-cigarettes in the youth has also been reported recently in the United States. These raise a great social concern around how to regulate e-cigarettes for the protection of public health. A range of current and proposed legislative and regulatory options exists. Some countries have banned e-cigarettes entirely, while others are ready to regulate e-cigarettes as a type of medicine. A lack of consensus on whether e-cigarettes facilitate or threaten existing tobacco control strategies is driving a discussion on how to regulate e-cigarettes in terms of the protection of public health.
Key Words: Tobacco, Electronic nicotine delivery systems, Policy


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