Can E-Cigarettes Save Lives?

Joe Nocera wrote an an opinion piece on this question:®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

Here is my letter to the New York Times: 

Re: Can E-Cigarettes Save Lives 10/17/15

Concerns about the effects of e-cigarettes on young people are holding the health of 42 million smokers hostage. Fortunately smokers who want to reduce their risk of tobacco related disease are not waiting for anyone. Reuters reported that 10 percent of adults now use electronic cigarettes1. One prominent health activist has attributed the decent decline of cigarette smoking to a new low of 15.3 % to the increased use of e-cigarettes2.

Two recent studies report that half of their smoking patients ask about e-cigarettes and one out of three physicians are recommending them for harm reduction or cessation3 4.

Why can’t public health authorities acknowledge what their clinical colleagues already know: Widespread adoption of electronic cigarettes by adult smokers would have a profound effect on public health?


Edward Anselm, MD

Medical Director, Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Icahn school of Medicine at Mount Sinai

If you want to discuss, please call me at 917-364-1154

1.            Mincer J. E-cigarette usage surges in past year: Reuters/Ipsos poll. 2015; Accessed 10-5-2015, 2015.

2.            Schroeder SA. Is Smoking Yesterday’s News? 2015; Accessed 10/5/2015, 2015.

3.            Kandra KL, Ranney LM, Lee JG, Goldstein AO. Physicians’ attitudes and use of E-cigarettes as cessation devices, North Carolina, 2013. 2014.

4.            Steinberg MB, Giovenco DP, Delnevo CD. Patient–physician communication regarding electronic cigarettes. Preventive Medicine Reports. 2015;2:96-98.