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Safety of Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic Cigarettes

E-cigarettes provide users with nicotine through a liquid solution that also contains other chemicals and flavorings. Because they were invented only a decade ago and are not yet regulated, Thomas Glynn with the American Cancer Society says their safety is unknown. “Because there are more than 250 e-cigarette companies making e-cigarettes right now, some of them do have contaminates in them, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown, and that’s a concern,” Glynn said. North Carolina lawmakers passed a bill last year that classifies e-cigarettes as tobacco products and prohibits their use by minors. Glynn said it is possible that e-cigarettes could be helpful aids for those trying to quit smoking, but more research and regulation are needed. “Every time you light a cigarette, you’re inhaling more than 7,000 chemicals; 60 of those are carcinogenic,” he warned. “With e-cigarettes, from what we know so far – and I emphasize that – they should be considerably less harmful.” The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule that would allow the agency to regulate e-cigarettes as they do tobacco products. According to Consumer Reports, sales of e-cigarettes totaled $1.5 billion in 2013, nearly triple the previous year. A CDC survey found that from 2011 to 2012, e-cigarettes doubled in popularity among middle- and high-school pupils. Glynn said some e-cigarettes are candy- and fruit-flavored, which is attractive to the younger crowd. “Many of the companies are responsible. They have no flavors, or the only flavor they have is menthol. Others have flavors like bubble gum,” he said. “So that’s a definite concern is we do not want kids enticed into using these.”