An article last month (“Up in vapor,” July 13) described research related to electronic cigarettes and smoking cessation. As one who conducts research related to electronic cigarettes, I feel compelled to provide additional findings.
First, the Italian researchers cited in the article also conducted an experiment with smokers by randomly assigning them into using electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine (published in PLOS ONE). They found that smokers who used electronic cigarettes with nicotine reduced and quit smoking at the same rate as those who used electronic cigarettes without nicotine. This suggests the limited ability of nicotine-delivering electronic cigarettes to aid smoking cessation.
Second, researchers have studied the effect of secondhand electronic cigarette smoking. This work, published in Inhalation Toxicology, found that nonsmokers who stayed in the same room with electronic cigarette users showed elevated nicotine concentration in the blood, comparable to that of secondhand cigarette smoke.
The Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007 protects nonsmokers, particularly those who work at bars and restaurants, from the harmful effect of secondhand smoking. Given the known effects of secondhand electronic cigarette smoking, the Legislature should consider expanding the act.
KELVIN CHOI, Minneapolis