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E-Cigarettes Should Be Banned Until Made Safe: Study
Date:12/7/2010

TUESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic cigarettes should be banned until safety concerns have been addressed, University of California researchers say.

Their study adds more fuel to the controversy over the battery-operated devices that contain nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. The issue heated up this fall when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cited five e-cigarette distributors for poor manufacturing practices and falsely claiming that the products help people stop smoking.

The study found serious flaws in e-cigarette products and health claims. The researchers evaluated six different brands of electronic cigarettes that were bought online and found that:

  • Fluid containing nicotine leaked out of most cartridges.
  • The devices were difficult to take apart or put together without getting nicotine all over the user's hands.
  • Nicotine cartridge labeling was poor, with most replacement packs lacking any indication of cartridge content, expiration date, or health warnings.
  • Cartridges that claimed to have no nicotine content looked identical to those that claimed to have high nicotine content, making them indistinguishable once removed from their packs and wrappers.
  • All brands had "ambiguous amounts of nicotine," with stated levels ranging from 6 milligrams to 24 mg.
  • None of the instruction leaflets or product Web sites offered adequate instructions for proper disposal of used cartridges.
  • Safety features did not always work correctly.
  • Print and Internet material often contained information or claims that could not be backed up by scientific evidence. Examples included: "Be careful to avoid inhaling any significant quantity of fluid. Although it gives you a slight tingling sensation, it is not harmful," and "Within two weeks your lung capacity will increase by 30 percent ... Wrinkles in your skin will become less noticeable."'/>"/>

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