Image via WikipediaThe FDA Warns of Health Risks Posed by E-Cigarettes. Also known as "e-cigarettes," electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices designed to look like and to be used in the same manner as conventional cigarettes. Sold online and in many shopping malls, the devices generally contain cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor, and other chemicals. They turn nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. “The FDA is concerned about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the public,” says Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs.
In the FDA Consumer Update - FDA Warns of Health Risks Posed by E-Cigarettes (pdf), they state that they're concerned about:
- e-cigarettes can increase nicotine addiction among young people and may lead kids to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death
- the products may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans
- because clinical studies about the safety and efficacy of these products for their intended use have not been submitted to FDA, consumers currently have no way of knowing: 1) whether e-cigarettes are safe for their intended use, or 2) about what types or concentrations of potentially harmful chemicals, or what dose of nicotine they are inhaling when they use these products
For folks in the regulated industries, you'll be interested to know that the FDA has been examining and detaining shipments of e-cigarettes at the border and the products it has examined thus far meet the definition of a combination drug-device product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
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