E-cigarettes found to contain dangerous chemicals
28th August 2013
e-cigarettesElectronic cigarettes are not the harmless devices their manufacturers would have you believe and are “potentially carcinogenic” according to a French consumer advocacy group, who say that some are even as harmful as normal tobacco. The report, published by monthly magazine 60 Millions Consommateurs (60 Million Consumers), details the findings of the National Consumers’ Institute who utilised a new and intelligent method to analyse 10 separate reusable and disposable e-cigarette models. Their analysis follows the French government unveiling plans back in May this year to prohibit electronic cigarettes from public places in France, which may cause some degree of upset to the estimated one million smokers of the devices in the country. According to the National Consumers' Institute, the tests showed that three out of 10 e-cigarettes contained a similar quantity of formaldehyde as regular cigarettes, in addition to other hazardous chemicals such as acrolein, chrome, nickel and propylene glycol – which can cause various respiratory and immune deficiency problems. Thomas Laurenceau, editor of the National Consumer Insitute magazine, wrote: “We detected a significant quantity of carcinogenic molecules in the vapour of these cigarettes which have thus far gone undetected. In three models out of ten the levels of the carcinogenic compound formaldehyde come close to those of a conventional cigarette. The highly toxic molecule acrolein was also detected in the vapours of e-cigarettes, sometimes at levels even higher than in traditional cigarettes.” However, the report was also scathing in its assessment of certain models not having safety caps as the nicotine levels within the liquid of an electronic cigarette may prove lethal if ingested by children. Mr Laurenceau continued: “It's not a reason to ban them, but a good reason to control them.” Just five months ago during an interview with a radio station, French health expert Professor Bertrand Dauzenberg spoke of his belief that e-cigarettes were counter-productive and having the opposite affect that they were meant for, commenting: “These electronic cigarettes could also lead children to start smoking and sale should be banned to minors. However for heavy smokers, I believe these will reduce the health risks, but the best way to quit smoking is the patch or chewing gum.” The furore in France follows similar apprehensions regarding the safety of e-cigarettes in the UK, following the announcement in June that from 2016 The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will regulate e-cigarettes as medicines when new European-wide tobacco laws are due to be introduced. This means electronic cigarette manufacturers will face much stricter regulations than previously, being forced to adhere to strict safety standards or risk a ban on the sale of their products. Part of the concern is that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can be highly addictive and can lead to heart problems. Perhaps quitting smoking, and not just reverting to e-cigarettes, is the recommended path to take for smokers. It is clear that many e-cigarettes and all regular cigarettes can cause a varying degree of health problems. Fortunately, Medical Specialists Pharmacy is able to help you quit smoking with the aid of the smoking cessation medication Champix, which mimics the effect of nicotine on the body, reducing the urge to smoke and relieving withdrawal symptoms. It can also decrease the enjoyment you experience of smoking if you are still smoking whilst on the treatment.