E-cigarettes with nicotine need restrictions, American Heart Association declares

E-cigarettes that contain nicotine should be regulated as tobacco products. including under state smoke-free laws, the American Heart Association says.

Nicotine can have harmful effects beyond the user of an electronic cigarette, group's president says

WHO wants strict rules on vaping

8 years ago
Duration 3:41
World Health Orgnization urges stricter regulation and calls for a ban on health claims by e-cigarette makers

E-cigarettes that contain nicotine should be regulated as tobacco products, including under state smoke-free laws, the American Heart Association says.

The group issued new policy recommendations on Monday that recommend a U.S. ban on e-cigarettes for minors, strict laws on marketing and advertising the products and a ban on flavourings.

"They should be included in smoke-free laws," Dr. Elliott Antman, president of the American Heart Association, said in a video statement. "An important reason for this is it's not clear if the vapour from electronic cigarettes is safe. We do know that nicotine can have harmful effects not only on the user of an electronic cigarette, but also those who are exposed to high concentrations of nicotine in the vapours if they are in an enclosed space."

The group reviewed current evidence in areas such as regulation, design and operation of the devices, preventing youth access, advertising to youth, public health, safety, nicotine content, health effects, secondhand exposure and counselling for cessation.

The policy statement is published in the heart journal Circulation.

Health Canada says e-cigarettes with nicotine or e-cigarettes with a health claim are not authorized for sale in Canada.
The paper’s authors say the sale of e-cigarettes is prohibited in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Singapore and Switzerland and allowed in most others, including the United States.

Aruni Bhatnagar, the paper’s lead author and chair of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Louisville, said e-cigarettes have caused a major shift in the tobacco-control landscape.

Proponents of e-cigarettes say the products offer a public health benefit if individuals who smoke conventional cigarettes either switch or greatly cut back their cigarette smoking habit.

The authors say the use of e-cigarettes could be problematic at a population level, such as if they fuel and promote nicotine addiction, particularly among children and their use re-normalizes smoking behaviour.

The group said it will continue to monitor the impact of the technology on population health, cardiovascular disease and stroke.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?