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E-cigarette, Changing Paradigm: ‘Trojan Horse’ or ‘Harm Reduction’
J Korean Soc Res Nicotine Tob 2018; 9(2): 61-70
Published online December 15, 2018
© 2018 The Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Yoo-Seock Cheong*

Department of Family Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea
Correspondence to: 정유석
단국대학교 의과대학 가정의학교실 천안시 동남구 단대로 119 (우) 31116
Tel: 041-550-6952 Fax: 041-550-6955 E-mail:
Received November 1, 2018; Revised December 11, 2018; Accepted December 12, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
There is ongoing debate within the public health community as to whether e-cigarettes have a potential role in smoking cessation; whether use of e-cigarettes can reduce harm for individual users; whether widespread use of the devices has the potential to reduce or increase population-level harm; and how best to regulate e-cigarettes to minimize both individual and population-level harm. but Although the long-term effects of e-cigarette use are not known, producing nicotine aerosol from a solution rather than by burning tobacco gives rise to fewer harmful substances than cigarette smoke does to smokers and non-smokers. Because of the likely lesser health risks associated with vaping, some experts advocate wider availability and softer regulation, and see e-cigarettes as holding great potential to help smokers quit or switch to a harm-reducing way to consume nicotine. Others argue that it is not sound public health policy to allow e-cigarettes onto the market until such time as robust evidence is available supporting the safety of e-cigarettes and their efficacy in reducing harm. They cite the addictiveness of nicotine, and the potential for harm from ongoing use of e-cigarettes compared with complete cessation of all nicotine and tobacco products. Other serious issues include the possibilities that e-cigarette use might promote nicotine use among non-smokers, especially children; serve to renormalise smoking; or serve as a gateway to the use of combustible cigarettes or illicit drugs. On the bases of the scientific evidence on e-cigarette, this article explore benefits and harms to public health to guide practice, policy, and regulation through reviewing two major reports and special debate articles. A reframing of societal nicotine use through the lens of ‘harm reduction’ is an extraordinary opportunity to enhance the impact of tobacco control efforts in Korea.
Keywords : E-cigarette; Harm reduction