Electronic cigarettes not so harmless as manufacturers say

e-cigaretteAccording to a National Consumers’ Institute (INC) study in France, published by the “60 Million Consumers” magazine, electronic cigarettes contain carcinogens.

Electronic cigarettes “are not as harmless” as their manufacturers say. According to the study, some electronic cigarettes “contain potentially carcinogenic compounds.” The study also reveals problems with labeling, manufacturing defects and false nicotine dosage labeling. The review is based on tests on a dozen models of disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes.

Carcinogens – the most disturbing of this study: the e-cigarette vapor contain “carcinogenic molecules in significant quantities,” says the French magazine that published Monday the results of the study. “Thus, in three cases out of ten, formaldehyde levels come close to those in some conventional cigarettes,” writes the magazine.

Toxic products: also detected, acrolein, a toxic molecule was found in very significant quantities in E-Roll. According to the study, electronic cigarettes of this brand contain “levels that exceed even those sometimes found in some traditional cigarettes.” This is likely due to a device that heats too quickly.

As for acetaldehyde, considered possible carcinogenic, the content may be far from negligible. Trace of “potentially toxic” metals were detected in Cigartex which releases both nickel and chromium, same as a traditional cigarette and Cigway which releases more antimony, a chemical which exhibits properties between metals and non-metals.

Safety standards not met: in principle, the manufacturers of electronic cigarettes can do better. The magazine denounced, in fact, the lack of safety cap on some refills while nicotine is particularly toxic for children. “Ingested, high doses of certain products can kill a child,” Thomas Laurenceau, editor of the National Consumer Institute magazine, told Europe 1.

Wrong labeling for nicotine dose: the study also noted that the dose of nicotine liquid refill does not always correspond to what is mentioned on the label, with lower levels in all cases. “On 10 liquid samples that we tested, six of them were not consistent with what the label read. Actual nicotine levels were different by up to 70% from the displayed value,” explains Thomas Laurenceau. Another labeling problem: some products were advertised as “free” of propylene glycol, but in fact contain it or some manufacturers “forget” to mention its presence.

“Try to better control this.” Thomas Laurenceau  wants to alert authorities on risks for e-cigarette consumers,  more than one million French smokers. Thomas Laurenceau asked for better regulation of the electronic cigarettes. “Everything must be done so that the electronic cigarette is as harmless as possible and remove all the junk from the market,” he says.

In 2007 smoking in public places was banned in France and it was extended to cover e-cigarettes in May 2013. 200 people die every day in France from smoking-related diseases.