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Bringing attention to e-cigarette pH as an important element for research and regulation
  1. Irina Stepanov1,
  2. Naomi Fujioka2
  1. 1Division of Environmental Health Sciences, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Irina Stepanov, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building, 2231 6th Street SE—Room 2-140, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA; stepa011{at}

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There is a lack of consensus among health experts and the tobacco control community regarding the potential population impact of the rapidly spreading use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes.1–3 Dual use of e-cigarettes with regular cigarettes and initiation in non-tobacco users are among common concerns. Some experts, however, believe that complete switching to e-cigarettes could potentially lead to significant reductions in smoking-induced morbidity and mortality among current smokers who experience difficulty giving up smoking. Indeed, the e-cigarette aerosol, which primarily consists of nicotine, humectants and flavouring agents, contains significantly lower levels of many toxic and carcinogenic chemicals that are abundant in the smoke of regular cigarettes.4

The common toxicity concerns regarding e-cigarette use include nicotine toxicity, the potential long-term effect of propylene glycol (humectant) inhalation, and the lack of quality control oversight over the production of some e-cigarettes and refill fluids.1 ,2 ,5 The latter can result in …

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  • Contributors IS developed the study concept and design, analysed data, drafted and revised the manuscript, and approved the final version for publication. NF contributed to interpretation of data and preparation of the manuscript, and approved the final version for publication.

  • Funding This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health grant number CA-179246-01 and by startup funds from the Masonic Cancer Center.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.