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Electronic Cigarettes: A Review of Safety and Clinical Issues

Weaver, Michael MD, FASAM; Breland, Alison PhD; Spindle, Tory BS; Eissenberg, Thomas PhD

doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000043
Clinical Case Conference

This clinical case conference discusses 3 cases of patients using electronic cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes, also referred to as electronic nicotine delivery systems or “e-cigarettes,” generally consist of a power source (usually a battery) and a heating element (commonly referred to as an atomizer) that vaporize a solution (e-liquid). The user inhales the resulting vapor. E-liquids contain humectants such as propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, flavorings, and usually, but not always, nicotine. Each patient's information is an amalgamation of actual patients and is presented and then followed by a discussion of clinical issues.

From the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (MW), University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston; and Center for the Study of Tobacco Products (AB, TS, TE), Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Michael Weaver, MD, FASAM, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 1941 E Rd, Ste 1222, Houston, TX 77054 (

Supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P50DA036105 and the Center for Tobacco Products of the US Food and Drug Administration. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the Food and Drug Administration.

No conflicts to declare.

Received December 20, 2013

Accepted March 12, 2014

© 2014 American Society of Addiction Medicine