Sunday, December 5, 2010

E-cigarettes are not safe, and here's why

E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, have been largely unregulated, and there have been many doctors questioning its safety.

MedPage Today recently reported on the FDA’s analysis of such products, and now we have some guidance as to how dangerous they can be.

E-cigarettes are battery operated, and contain nicotine and other flavors that the user can inhale. Advertisements claim they are safer since they don’t burn tobacco.

But according to the FDA, they “contain carcinogens such as diethylene glycol — used in antifreeze — and nitrosamines.”

To his credit, internist Matthew Mintz has been sounding the alarm for awhile. Not only does he point out they are largely unregulated, there are real questions as to whether they help with smoking cessation at all. He writes that, “e-cigarettes were designed to be tobacco cigarette replacement products, not smoking cessation aides. It is also possible that smokers will use e-cigarettes in place of SOME of their tobacco cigarettes. Although this does decrease exposure to known dangerous products, e-cigarettes might therefore actually prolong tobacco cigarette smoking.”

It’s encouraging to see the FDA start critically analyzing the claims of these types of alternative products, often advertised on late-night television. Hopefully there will be more to come.

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Josh said...

Their are a lot of health concerns with electronic cigarettes, but no more so than *actual* cigarettes. I'm all for people making informed decisions, and more disclosure is definitely needed, but within reason.

I'm from Jersey too btw!


Anonymous said...

The FDA report on ecigs was flawed. The report failed to follow basic scientific protocols and came to presumptive conclusion.You should read the Technical Review and analysis of the FDA report bu Janci Chunn Lindsay,PhD of Exponent Health Sciences,Toxicology and Mechanistic Biology Division. One of many of the scientific flaws was The chemical content of similar nicotine-containing FDA-approved products was not completely described with respect to the presence of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAS) and other tobacco-associated impurities that have also been found in nicotine replacement therapy(NRT) devices at similar,if not higher levels. This FDA "study" seems to have been quickly thrown together with no concern to releasing a true and unbiased scientific assessment.Frankly,it was totally inaccurate and the FDA should apologize and retract that press release. That type of distortion only casts doubts on other FDA "studies". To reach a conclusion and then attempt to massage the facts to prove that conclusion gives "scientific" studies a black eye. Please pursue your research with an open mind.