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Report on the benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes

The HCSP updates its statement of 22 February 2016 on the benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes, or ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems). A synthesis of the literature enables it to formulate 13 recommendations for the management of smokers, public policies, information for the population and research.

In particular, the HCSP stresses that evidence-based knowledge is insufficient to propose ENDS as smoking cessation aids in the management of smokers by health professionals.

Thus, health professionals who accompany a smoker in a smoking cessation process must use treatments, whether or not they are medicinal, that have proven their effectiveness.

As far as young people are concerned, the relationship between the initiation of ENDS and smoking initiation has been documented by cohort studies. The objective of delaying the initiation and use of ENDS in adolescents who do not use tobacco is therefore based on the precautionary principle.

The HCSP recommends that the ban on sales to minors be maintained and that measures be taken to ensure that it is effectively enforced and monitored.

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