E-Cigarettes: Too Good To be True?August 12, 2010
E-cigarettes certainly sound like the magic bullet to save millions of smokers from the harmful effects of traditional cigarette smoking but critics are asking if they are causing more harm than good.
The smoke-free cigarette provides smokers with all of the nicotine they need to satisfy their craving for the destructive habit but claim to be practically carcinogen free.
In essence, manufacturers of this new electronic cigarette are alleging the product takes all of the health hazards out of smoking. However, many researchers believe the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, usually it is” accurately applies to the waves of new battery-operated cigarettes currently hitting the market.
The E-cigarette operates by warming liquid nicotine to create a smokeless and odorless nicotine vapor which is released as the “smoker” draws on the device.
Advertisers are marketing this gadget to the public with a campaign suggesting the e- cigarette eliminates all of the health hazards associated with smoking and even makes the smoking experience more pleasurable by being offered in tasty flavors including sour apple and chocolate.
Among the skeptics of the cigarette sized atomizers are The American Lung Association, The American Cancer Society and Cancer Action Network. They are warning the public against the potential damage this product may cause and condemning manufacturers for misleading the consumer. These organizations have released a statement saying, “Absent scientific evidence, these claims … that they are safer than normal cigarettes … are in blatant violation of FDA rules.”
One FDA survey of e-cigarettes found that the “Smoking Everywhere” brand of e-cigarette contained diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical found in anti-freeze. Consequently product liability attorneys may have an influx of lawsuits if the suspicions that this unregulated device may prove harmful are found to be true.
These warnings have not stopped thousands of smokers from going electronic. Critics are wary that the device will not only make smoking more attractive to teens by flaunting the fun flavors, but also dissuade smokers from actually quitting the unhealthy addiction by giving them a false sense of security in regards to the product’s safety.
Several states have already banned the e-cigarette including New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire while trial lawyers in other states are already gearing up for possible products liability cases resulting from injury caused by the battery-operated cigarette.
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