According to the article:
"The Ministry of Health is considering banning the import of electronic cigarettes, which are an alternative for those who want to continue smoking without inhaling harmful substances and avoid the smoke nuisance to people who are around. The Ministry of Health, considered that the ban is necessary because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, for its acronym in English) found that in this type of cigarettes also have cancer-causing substances. ... According to the FDA, when a person inhales, the device ejects nicotine and contains toxic ingredients and chemicals hazardous to health as ethylene glycol, used in antifreeze for vehicles."
The Rest of the Story
It is a shame that the FDA has never corrected the misinformation that has resulted from its July 2009 press conference in which it widely misled the public, falsely scaring the public about the carcinogenic risks associated with electronic cigarette use. It seems clear that this misinformation is leading to health officials in other countries taking action to eliminate these products from the market.
It is inane to remove electronic cigarettes from the market because they contain trace levels of a carcinogen (that is also present in nicotine gum and patches) but to allow cigarettes to remain on the market with their thousand times higher levels of the same carcinogen. Rather than demonstrate a carcinogenic risk associated with vaping, the FDA laboratory study (and subsequent studies by other laboratories) demonstrated just the opposite: that these products greatly reduce the carcinogenic risks inherent in cigarette smoking.
You may recall that as a part of the court order in the Department of Justice's lawsuit against the tobacco companies, the companies are being required to post corrective statements regarding misleading or false assertions that they made to the public.
I believe that the tobacco companies are not the only ones who need to issue corrective statements.
This may be a good time to remind readers of the corrective statement that I have proposed for the FDA:
Proposed Corrective Statement #1: (for the FDA)
Corrective Statement for FDA's Deception Regarding the Presence of Carcinogens in Electronic Cigarettes
We are being required to tell the truth about our laboratory findings regarding the detection of carcinogens in electronic cigarettes. We told you that electronic cigarettes contain carcinogens but we deceived you by not revealing the level and by not comparing it to that of regular cigarettes or nicotine replacement products. Here's the truth:
- We found only trace levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in electronic cigarettes, comparable to those found in FDA-approved nicotine replacement products like nicotine patches and nicotine gum.
- The levels of carcinogens we detected in electronic cigarettes are orders of magnitude lower than in regular cigarettes, indicating that electronic cigarettes are likely much safer than regular cigarettes in terms of cancer risk.
- The minute levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in electronic cigarettes are a necessary result of the extraction of nicotine from tobacco. Overall, these devices deliver nicotine with only a few other chemicals, compared to the delivery of nicotine plus tens of thousands of chemicals and more than 60 proven carcinogens in regular cigarettes.
And I would add a second one:
Proposed Corrective Statement #2: (for the FDA)
Corrective Statement for FDA's Deception Regarding the Presence of Anti-Freeze in Electronic Cigarettes
We are being required to tell the truth about our laboratory findings regarding the detection of anti-freeze in electronic cigarettes. We told you that electronic cigarettes contain diethylene glycol, a component of anti-freeze but we deceived you by not revealing that this component was only found in one brand of electronic cigarettes that is no longer on the market and multiple brands of electronic cigarettes that have been subsequently tested have not contained diethylene glycol. Here's the truth:
- We found diethylene glycol in only one brand of electronic cigarettes which is no longer on the market.
- Multiple brands of electronic cigarettes that have subsequently been tested have been shown not to contain diethylene glycol.
- The diethylene glycol most likely results from using low-grade propylene glycol and can be easily controlled by requiring electronic cigarette manufacturers to use pharmaceutical grade propylene glycol. We have not issued any such requirement.