Many consumers have raised concerns regarding whether or not electronic cigarettes are a healthy alternative to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. The Federal Drug Administration did a study on two brands of e-cigarettes in May 2009 and announced that a couple carcinogens were found in the cartridges and that nicotine levels were not exact as stated on their respective labels. They issued a press release in July 2009 to warn the public. In September 2009, the FDA classified and announced that electronic cigarettes as drug delivery devices and are subject to regulation under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The classification was challenged in court and overruled by the Federal District Court citing “the devices should be regulated as tobacco products rather than drug or medical devices.” In March 2010, a US Court of Appeal stayed the injunction pending an appeal. On December 7, 2010, the appeals court ruled against the FDA in a 3-0 unanimous decision. The judges rules that such devices would only be subject to drug legislation if they are marketed for therapeutic use. Electronic cigarette manufactures had successfully proven that their products were targeted at smokers and not at those seeking to quit. The District of Columbia Court declined to review the decision on January 24, 2011.
Many claim the FDA wants regulation so they can have more of the market for stop smoking aids, such as, nicotine patches and nicotine gum. However, no proof of such claims has come to the forefront. In April 2010, The American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) stated that they support electronic cigarettes sales to adults, "because the possibility exists to save the lives of four million of the eight million current adult American smokers who will otherwise die of a tobacco-related illness over the next twenty years."
Another study of electronic cigarettes was administered by the Boston University School of Public Health in 2010. The study performed by researchers concluded that electronic cigarettes were safer than real cigarettes and may aid in breaking the habit of smoking. Researchers said that while further studies on electronic cigarettes were needed, "few, if any, chemicals at levels detected in electronic cigarettes raise serious health concerns." Electronic cigarettes were found to be "much safer" than traditional tobacco ones, and had a level of toxicity similar to existing nicotine replacements. In their report, the level of carcinogens in electronic cigarettes was found to be up to 1,000 times lower than regular cigarettes. It also said early evidence shows that electronic cigarettes may help people to stop smoking by simulating a tobacco cigarette.
Many current e-cigarette users have reported advantages of making the switch from traditional tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes:
- No smoke including secondhand smoke like traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes only produce a harmless vapor consisting of 99% water, 1% nicotine and other trace elements which have been deemed nonharmful by the FDA.
- No ashes or mess like traditional cigarettes
- Less harmful carcinogens than the 4,000+ carcinogens found in traditional cigarettes
- Can smoke them almost anywhere even hospitals.
- No yellow stained teeth or hands like traditional cigarettes
- Far less expensive than traditional cigarettes. Many claim to save a couple thousand dollars annually.
So are electronic cigarettes really "safer" than traditional tobacco cigarettes? The bottom line is that consumers should make educated decisions by doing some of their own research. Many of today’s products are reviewed by a multitude of consumers from all walks of life. Before you make a purchase, check out reviews and testimonials of other consumers. The truth behind electronic cigarettes is that they are helping many people quit smoking or at the very least cut down their smoking habits. Do your own research by reading some of the many articles on the subject and talk to people who are currently vaping electronic cigarettes. Your conclusion will be your truth and truth is freedom.
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