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Electronic Cigarettes Still Pose Serious Health Risks

Electronic Cigarettes Still Pose Serious Health Risks

Touted as a safe substitute to highly addictive tobacco products, research has shown that electronic cigarettes are unsafe, and might soon be removed from the market.

Last week, the University of California, Riverside announced that e-cigarettes are potentially harmful to users’ health, and urged regulators to consider removing e-cigarettes from the market until their safety is adequately evaluated.

Instead of burning tobacco like normal cigarettes, e-cigarettes vaporize the nicotine, along with other compounds present in the cartridge, in the form of aerosol created by heating. While this eliminates the thousands of chemicals and toxicants created by tobacco combustion, there are still chemicals present in the aerosolized vapors emanating from e-cigarettes.

Concerned that e-cigarettes, also called “electronic nicotine delivery systems,” might not be as safe as they appear, UCR researchers evaluated five of the most popular brands on the market.

What They Found:

1. Batteries, atomizers, cartridges, cartridge wrappers, packs and instruction manuals lack important information regarding e-cigarette content, use and essential warnings.

2. E-cigarette cartridges leak, which could expose nicotine, an addictive and dangerous chemical, to children, adults, pets and the environment.

3. There are no methods for proper disposal of e-cigarettes products and accessories, which could result in nicotine contamination from discarded cartridges entering water sources and soil, and adversely impacting the environment.

“Some people believe that e-cigarettes are a safe substitute for conventional cigarettes,” said Prue Talbot, the director of UC Riverside’s Stem Cell Center, whose lab led the research.

“However, there are virtually no scientific studies on e-cigarettes and their safety. Our study – one of the first studies to evaluate e-cigarettes – shows that this product has many flaws, which could cause serious public health problems in the future if the flaws go uncorrected.”

The results from the study have now been published online at Tobacco Control.

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Image Credit: electronic-cigarette.onefoot.biz

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211 comments

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3:43PM PST on Jan 3, 2012

There are so many chemicals in our air, water and food that you're kidding yourself if you think that avoiding cigarette smoke makes any measurable difference in your health. It's all in your mind.

9:15AM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

We are just fooling ourselves with this e-cigarettes.

10:36PM PDT on Jun 18, 2011

Electronic cigarettes, or

5:49PM PST on Jan 12, 2011

Breaking news: Tobacco cigarettes are bad for your health! Electronic vapor cigarettes do not contain tobacco nor tar. To me it is obvious which option is better for you.
Let's try to be positive here and most of all let people choose!

7:32AM PST on Jan 12, 2011

As for the health risks though - if you ARE a smoker - isn't it still better than the real thing, or no?

5:37AM PST on Jan 2, 2011

Patricia M should loosen up a bit - article content surely far more important than vocab - and what's wrong with starting an article with touted anyway? One definition of touted is to promote or praise energetically; publicize: which seems to fit the context of the article.
E-cigarettes seem to me to be rather pathetic and the equivalent of a baby's dummy - not something that mature adults should want to be seen with in public!! I guess the same can be said for the real thing - but at least there are less and less public places where non-smokers have to be subjected to the sight and smell of smokers.

9:31PM PST on Dec 21, 2010

I was really not knowing about e-cigarettes.

4:45AM PST on Dec 18, 2010

PS - Any organisation that would begin an information article with "Touted" is not one I wish to be associated with.

2:16AM PST on Dec 16, 2010

I am very relieved that someone has started a study on this. When it first came out, all I could find on the internet about health risks associated with second-hand inhalation of the vapour was, "There is no health risk from second-hand smoke - because there's no smoke! It's vapour!" Did that actually make anybody feel better?

They were talking about using these things in hospitals, movie theatres and airplanes! It's still addictive, man!

Ah, and brigitte hurford, if smokers currently cannot be bothered to dispose of their butts properly, what makes you think they might figure out how to dispose of electronic nicotine delivery systems?

Nothing can be justified by the ENDS in this case.

4:33PM PST on Dec 14, 2010

A contact e-fix, as it were.

Regards...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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