July 23, 2009
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Electronic cigarettes, touted as a smoke-free and less-harmful alternative to smoking, contain toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, according to tests conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
CNN reported July 22 that the FDA said that e-cigarettes, which vaporize nicotine and other chemicals to allow for inhalation, have not been approved for human consumption, are potentially appealing to children, and are the subject of dubious safety claims. “The FDA is concerned about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the public,” said FDA Commmissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
The FDA analysis found that the devices contained diethelene glycol, a toxic chemical found in antifreeze, and nitrosamines and other carcinogens.
“We know very little about these devices, but to say they are healthy — that’s highly doubtful,” said Jonathan Samet, director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Southern California.
“It is very important that parents let their children know [e-cigarettes] are not safe and to make recommendations, or even enforce rules that they not be used,” added Jonathan Winickoff, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium.