"FDA and Public Health Experts Warn About Electronic Cigarettes
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced that a laboratory analysis of electronic cigarette samples has found that they contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze.
Electronic cigarettes, also called “e-cigarettes,” are battery-operated devices that generally contain cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. The electronic cigarette turns nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user.
These products are marketed and sold to young people and are readily available online and in shopping malls. In addition, these products do not contain any health warnings comparable to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products or conventional cigarettes. They are also available in different flavors, such as chocolate and mint, which may appeal to young people.
Public health experts expressed concern that electronic cigarettes could increase nicotine addiction and tobacco use in young people. Jonathan Winickoff, M.D., chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium and Jonathan Samet, M.D., director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Southern California, joined Joshua Sharfstein, M.D., principal deputy commissioner of the FDA, and Matthew McKenna, M.D., director of the Office of Smoking and Health for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to discuss the potential risks associated with the use of electronic cigarettes.
“The FDA is concerned about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the public,” said Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs.
Because these products have not been submitted to the FDA for evaluation or approval, at this time the agency has no way of knowing, except for the limited testing it has performed, the levels of nicotine or the amounts or kinds of other chemicals that the various brands of these products deliver to the user.
The FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis analyzed the ingredients in a small sample of cartridges from two leading brands of electronic cigarettes. In one sample, the FDA’s analyses detected diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze that is toxic to humans, and in several other samples, the FDA analyses detected carcinogens, including nitrosamines. These tests indicate that these products contained detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could potentially be exposed.
The FDA has been examining and detaining shipments of e-cigarettes at the border and the products it has examined thus far meet the definition of a combination drug-device product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA has been challenged regarding its jurisdiction over certain e-cigarettes in a case currently pending in federal district court. The agency is also planning additional activities to address its concerns about these products.
Health care professionals and consumers may report serious adverse events (side effects) or product quality problems with the use of e-cigarettes to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail, fax or phone.
* Online: MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program
* Regular Mail: use postage-paid FDA form 3500 available at: Download Forms and mail to MedWatch, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787
* Fax: (800) FDA-0178
* Phone: (800) FDA-1088"
1.Only two companies were tested
I would not buy from either of these companies anyway because I feel that thier products are inferior, but to get an idea how many vendors there are go here and scroll to the bottom:http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/
I count 80 just on this forum.
2.More About Diethylene Glycol-(http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/o8764.htm
) "Diethylene Glycol is not a known carcinogen, nor is it expected to be found as one in the future. Antifreeze typically contains ethylene glycol as its active ingredient, but some manufacturers market propylene glycol-based antifreeze, which is less toxic to humans and pets. The acute, or short-term, toxicity of propylene glycol, especially in humans, is substantially lower than that of ethylene glycol. Regardless of which active ingredient the spent antifreeze contains, heavy metals contaminate the antifreeze during service. When contaminated, particularly with lead, used antifreeze can be considered hazardous and should be reused, recycled, or disposed of properly." (from http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/campaigning/28246-facts-regarding-fda-press-release-7-22-repost.html
3. E-cigs are also made with Vegetable Glycerin instead of propylene glycol. They cost the same and have the same taste.
4. Nitrosamines: The highest amount found was in 16mg liquid, which had an average of 8.183 Ng. In comparison, Nicorette Gum (which is approved as an NRT) contains about 8 Ng. To put that number into perspective, Swedish moist snuff contains between 1000 and 2400 ppb nitrosamines, and unburned tobacco from cigarettes contains around 1230 ppb.
5. Diethylene Glycol is also in the Fog Machines used at clubs. There is no study by the FDA for that.
So, in my perspective the risk is minimal. I have not heard of one report of E-cigs harming anyone, and niether has the FDA or they would have mentioned it. Of course if they outlaw e-cigs the thousands who have been helped by them may go back to regular cigarettes which won't hurt the tobacco companies.