Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe? – The Risks Of “Safely” Getting That Nicotine Fix

March 29, 2009 |

Those who market and sell happiness, especially happiness in chemical form, often have what seems to be a pretty easy job with contented customers and remarkable sales. This would seem to be the case for the electronic cigarette makers whose product originated in China in 2004 to hit the world market by storm. However, it now looks like the electronic cigarette industry may have hit a bit of a rough patch, pun intended.

What Are Electronic Cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes, for those unfamiliar, are a battery powered electronics products that vaporizes a predominantly nicotine and propylene glycol mixture in order to give users a nicotine dose. Some electronic cigarettes also incorporate smell and flavor to provide an experience that simulates smoking a real cigarette including, in some cases, a cloud that looks like smoke. Many of these products claim to aid smokers in quitting their habit.

Do Electronic Cigarettes Work To Help Stop Smoking?

In September 2008, the World Health Organization proclaimed that electronic cigarettes did not help smokers quit and could in fact be toxic. The finding that the products do not aid in quitting is not surprising considering that no studies were made on the product effectiveness in aiding smoking reduction prior to their being sold. The statement that the products could be toxic is also not surprising considering the custom additives that are used to simulate the authenticity of the smoking experience. Without evidence, some marketers were even placing a fake endorsement from the WHO in their ads.

Some six months later, the Canadian government has finally halted the sale of the electronic cigarettes within the country, pending a safety review. In the US, one senator has also written to the FDA requesting a ban until the products can be investigated. While governments are notoriously slow at proactively assessing products for safety and usually come in after the fact to reign in the sale of products that require regulation or should not be sold at all, at least the products will now be assessed.

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Category: General Health, Health Risks

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