FDA Issues New Warnings About E-Cigarettes // Also Cites New Concerns About Toddlers and Environment

The FDA reported that e-cigarettes pose “acute health risks” which “cannot seriously be questioned” because they contain “toxic chemicals,” and that the devices also “present a serious risk of addicting new users, including children.”
 
 
Growing Movement to Ban E-Cigarette Use in Public
Growing Movement to Ban E-Cigarette Use in Public
 
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WASHINGTON - April 18, 2014 - PRLog -- WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 18, 2014):  In the past, the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] reported that e-cigarettes pose “acute health risks” which “cannot seriously be questioned” because they contain “toxic chemicals,” and that the devices also “present a serious risk of addicting new users, including children.”

        The  agency also said that e-cigarette users suffer from a wide variety of potentially serious symptoms "including racing pulse, dizziness, slurred speech, mouth ulcers, heartburn, coughing, diarrhea, and sore throat," and that nicotine [one of the two major chemicals used in and emitted by the product] in high doses can be dangerous and even fatal," reported public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

        Now, after the agency has conducted more scientific study, it has added new warnings, noting that "fatalities related to accidental exposure and misuse have occurred,"  "e-cigarette aerosols may include harmful and potentially harmful constituents," "e-cigarettes present risks of unintentional nicotine exposure and are potential choking hazards," "labeling was inadequate or misleading," and that "battery explosions and the risks of exposure to the e-liquid (especially for children) are also concerns."

        It now warns that e-cigarette refill solutions contain varying levels of nicotine (often different from the amount shown on the label), as well as cancer-causing tobacco-specific nitrosamines  (TSNAs), aldehydes, metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Phenolic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and drugs.   "Aerosolised propylene glycol [one of the chemicals they contain] and glycerol produce mouth and throat irritation and dry cough," the agency reports.

        The scientific and medical agency also raised concerns about the adverse impact of the new product on the environment, reporting that “a 2010 survey of six e-cigarette models found that none of the products provided disposal instructions for spent cartridges containing nicotine.”

        Ironically, the agency pointed out, “some e-cigarette manufacturers claim their e-cigarettes are ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘green’, despite the lack of any supporting data or environmental impact studies. Some authors argue that such advertising may boost sales and increase e-cigarette appeal, especially among adolescents” - for whom they may serve as a kind of “candy cigarettes on steroids,” says Banzhaf.

        The overall conclusion of the new report is that not enough solid scientific and medical data is available to assess the full dangers of this new product, noting that the WHO recommended that “consumers should be strongly advised not to use any [such] products until a product is deemed safe, effective (as a smoking cessation aid) and of an acceptable quality by a competent regulatory body.”

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052, USA
(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418
http://banzhaf.net/ @profbanzhaf

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