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Evidence suggests e-cigs safer than cigarettes, researcher claims
Date:12/16/2010

In a new report that bucks the concerns raised by the Food and Drug Administration, a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) (sph.bu.edu) researcher concludes that electronic cigarettes are much safer than real cigarettes and show promise in the fight against tobacco-related diseases and death.

The review, which will be published online ahead of print this month in the Journal of Public Health Policy, is the first to comprehensively examine scientific evidence about the safety and effectiveness of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, said Michael Siegel (http://sph.bu.edu/mbsiegel), professor of community health sciences at BUSPH. The battery-powered devices provide tobacco-less doses of nicotine in a vaporized solution.

"Few, if any, chemicals at levels detected in electronic cigarettes raise serious health concerns," the authors said. "Although the existing research does not warrant a conclusion that electronic cigarettes are safe in absolute terms and further clinical studies are needed to comprehensively assess the safety of electronic cigarettes, a preponderance of the available evidence shows them to be much safer than tobacco cigarettes and comparable in toxicity to conventional nicotine replacement products."

The report reviewed 16 laboratory studies that identified the components in electronic cigarette liquid and vapor. The authors found that carcinogen levels in electronic cigarettes are up to 1,000 times lower than in tobacco cigarettes.

"The FDA and major anti-smoking groups keep saying that we don't know anything about what is in electronic cigarettes," Siegel said. "The truth is, we know a lot more about what is in electronic cigarettes than regular cigarettes."

Since coming onto the market in the United States more than three years ago, electronic cigarettes have proven to be controversial. The FDA has threatened to ban the sel
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Contact: Elana Zak
ezak@bu.edu
617-414-1401
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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