FDA Warns E-Cigarettes May Contain Carcinogens
In a new release yester, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that e-cigarettes may contain carcinogens. According to the announcement laboratory analysis of electronic cigarette samples has found the e-cigarettes contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze.
Electronic cigarettes are also called e-cigarettes. They consist of a battery-powered delivery system that generally contain cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor and other chemicals which are turned into a vapor the user inhales. Most e-cigarettes look like their conventional counterparts.
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.
Much of the concern with e-cigarettes come from the ready availability of the product to young people in shopping malls and online. None of the products contain health warning regarding nicotine or other byproducts as conventional cigarettes do. Even if the health risks of the “byproducts” aren’t settled, the risk of nicotine addition and its health issues are.
Public health experts continue to express concern over the e-cigarettes. The e-cigarettes are available in different flavors, such as chocolate and mint, which may appeal to young people. This increases the concern that the e-cigarettes could increase nicotine addiction and tobacco use in young people
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.
E-cigarettes, including their nicotine cartridges, must be kept out of the reach of children at all times, given the risk of choking or nicotine poisoning. Nicotine is hazardous to the health and safety of certain segments of the population such as children, youth, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with heart conditions, and the elderly.
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