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Nurse Barbara Kilgalen, a participant in the Virginia Commonwealth University study, demonstrates e-cigarette use. The study indicates that electronic cigarettes epically fail at delivering nicotine to the body.  (Source: Paul Courson/CNN)
Despite popularity, the questions about e-cigarettes may not be all they are cracked up to be

Last year we wrote on the health risks associated with electronic cigarettes, commonly known as "e-cigarettes".  The devices have been billed as "healthy living" products and as a tool to help smokers quit their addiction.  Advocates say that since electronic cigarettes simply give smokers a vapor with nicotine and no burned chemicals, that they are relatively safe.

Those claims may be inaccurate, though.  Last March, the Food and Drug Administration banned imports of the devices, which are largely manufactured in China.  The FDA wants to investigate health concerns.  Namely, the FDA found that chemical formulas for the smoky vapor often contained dangerous components; at least one manufacturer used diethylene glycol as a key ingredient, a chemical commonly used in antifreeze and toxic to humans.

Now a new study adds to the doubts about e-cigarettes, indicating that they are about as successful at delivering nicotine as puffing on an unlit cigarette.  Dr. Thomas Eissenberg at the Virginia Commonwealth University led the study.  The study involved 16 participants and extensively monitored nicotine levels in the body and heart rates when using both traditional and electronic cigarettes.

The study, the first study of e-cigarettes to be conducted by U.S. doctors, found that almost no nicotine was actually delivered by the devices and instead users were actually inhaling a nicotine-devoid toxic vapor of compounds like diethylene glycol or nitrosamines, a family of cancer-causing nitrogen compounds.

Describes Dr. Eissenberg, "They are as effective at nicotine delivery as puffing on an unlit cigarette.  These e-cigs do not deliver nicotine.  Ten puffs from either of these electronic cigarettes with a 16 mg nicotine cartridge delivered little to no nicotine."

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and will soon be published in the journal Tobacco Control, a product of the British Medical Journal Group.

Nicotine has some beneficial health effects, particularly for the mentally ill, so it is disappointing that e-cigarettes appear unable to deliver the compound.

Despite the mounting criticisms, many e-cigarette users stand by the product.  Jimi Jackson, a former tobacco smoker in Richmond, Virginia, who sells electronic cigarettes, comments, "I smoked 37 years, and when I found them, I was, like, 'Thank, you Jesus.'"

The FDA is currently being sued by a company called "Smoking Everywhere" that imports e-cigarettes from China.  The company wants the FDA to lift the ban on e-cigarette imports.  The company's court filings reveal just how popular the devices are -- the company sold 600,000 e-cigarettes in a year via the company's network of 120 distributors in the United States. 

Why should the FDA lift its ban?  According to Washington lawyer Kip Schwartz, representing "Smoking Everywhere", "We are on the verge of going out of business, which is why we are suing the FDA in U.S. District Court."




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RE: More scare tactics?
By slybootz on 2/11/2010 12:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
when it comes to the chemicals in e-cigarettes, there HAVE been studies on them, so please do not claim that there haven't. The ingredients in [most] e-liquids are: PG/VG(or both), nicotine, and flavoring(typically alcohol based). E-liquids contain a very minimal number of ingredients, as opposed to the 4000+ chemicals(and 43 carcinogenic ones in cigarettes that we KNOW about). If you do research, you will discover that the ingredients in e-liquids HAVE been studied, and have been deemed safe[at least safer than the chemicals in combusted tobacco products].


RE: More scare tactics?
By omnicronx on 2/11/2010 1:30:42 PM , Rating: 2
READ PLEASE! No long term studies, and NO clinical trials! This is a 5 year old product, are you actually trying to imply that long term / clinical studies of any value have been preformed? Look at what the WHO has to say:
quote:
The World Health Organization proclaimed in September 2008 that it does not consider the electronic cigarette to be a legitimate smoking cessation aid, and demanded that marketers immediately remove from their materials any suggestions that the WHO considers electronic cigarettes safe and effective.[11] The WHO states that to its knowledge, "no rigorous, peer-reviewed studies have been conducted showing that the electronic cigarette is a safe and effective nicotine replacement therapy. WHO does not discount the possibility that the electronic cigarette could be useful as a smoking cessation aid." WHO Tobacco Free Initiative director ad interim Douglas Bettcher states, "If the marketers of the electronic cigarette want to help smokers quit, then they need to conduct clinical studies and toxicity analyses and operate within the proper regulatory framework . Until they do that, WHO cannot consider the electronic cigarette to be an appropriate nicotine replacement therapy, and it certainly cannot accept false suggestions that it has approved and endorsed the product. "


RE: More scare tactics?
By SPOOFE on 2/11/2010 10:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No long term studies, and NO clinical trials!

No need. The chemicals in E-cig fluid are fairly well understood. You might as well say you don't know how a Civic works after someone tells you about the function of an Accord.


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