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Evidence suggests e-cigs safer than cigarettes

Filed in News & Politics by on January 19, 2011

Doctor Michael Siegel Evidence suggests e-cigs safer than cigarettes

One of our favorite electronic cigarette information contributors is Yale educated Dr. Michael Siegel. He currently works in research for the Boston University School of Public Health and recently wrote the following (also published in the Journal of Public Health Policy)…

In a new report that bucks the concerns raised by the Food and Drug Administration, a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) ( researcher concludes that electronic cigarettes are much safer than real cigarettes and show promise in the fight against tobacco-related diseases and death. The review, which will be published online ahead of print this month in the Journal of Public Health Policy, is the first to comprehensively examine scientific evidence about the safety and effectiveness of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, said Michael Siegel (, professor of community health sciences at BUSPH. The battery-powered devices provide tobacco-less doses of nicotine in a vaporized solution.

“Few, if any, chemicals at levels detected in electronic cigarettes raise serious health concerns,” the authors said. “Although the existing research does not warrant a conclusion that electronic cigarettes are safe in absolute terms and further clinical studies are needed to comprehensively assess the safety of electronic cigarettes, a preponderance of the available evidence shows them to be much safer than tobacco cigarettes and comparable in toxicity to conventional nicotine replacement products.”

The report reviewed 16 laboratory studies that identified the components in electronic cigarette liquid and vapor. The authors found that carcinogen levels in electronic cigarettes are up to 1,000 times lower than in tobacco cigarettes.

“The FDA and major anti-smoking groups keep saying that we don’t know anything about what is in electronic cigarettes,” Siegel said. “The truth is, we know a lot more about what is in electronic cigarettes than regular cigarettes.”

Since coming onto the market in the United States more than three years ago, electronic cigarettes have proven to be controversial. The FDA has threatened to ban the sell of e-cigarettes and six national anti-smoking groups – the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Legacy Foundation, and Action on Smoking and Health – have also called for the removal of electronic cigarettes from the market.

Their concerns are that the FDA has not evaluated any e-cigarettes for safety or effectiveness, that the devices contain dangerous chemicals, and that they are marketed toward children. In December, however, a federal appeals court ruled that the FDA should regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products rather than as drug-delivery devices, such as nicotine-replacement patches or gum. The latter undergo much more stringent FDA regulations.

“Taking these products off the market would force thousands of users to return to cigarette smoking,” Siegel said. “Why would the FDA and the anti-smoking groups want to take an action that is going to seriously harm the public’s health? The only ones who would be protected by a ban on e-cigarettes are the tobacco companies, as these new products represent the first real threat to their profits in decades.”

The report also reviews preliminary evidence that electronic cigarettes can be effective in suppressing the urge to smoke, largely because they simulate the act of smoking a real cigarette. E-cigarettes might also offer an advantage over traditional nicotine delivery devices, the authors argue, because smoking-related stimuli alone have been found capable of suppressing tobacco abstinence symptoms for long periods of time.

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Comments (1)

  1. Lee Polcheck says:

    Your couldnt have put it more on point… I’m glad to see other free thinking, non-scared individuals who will not hesitate to express the real truth. It is all about profit… all these groups are there to push PM and marketing garbage and rhetoric. The only reason you see ANY anti smoking commercials on TV is because of a court order to the tobacco companies that they have to fund an awareness program. I am not positive but think this is true…. anyways, if you think for one second there isn’t any tobacco board members with their hand up congress and the govt *** shoving 100 dollar bills down their throats while they sit back and think, “Oh the commoners are fussing about health, they are complaining about rights being violated, their arms being restricted, well we’ll just let them scuffle and kill each other. We dont have to worry about thier problems. We belong to another way of life…” ever tried to speak to anyone in govt. personally? To air an issue or concern off the record. Mono y mono, man to man, human to human? I have right after a speech was givin, with security hand in hand. While they had no problems joking around amoungst themselves when a concerned 24 ( i’m 25 now) year old man approaches them stating a question about his town and the state programs that are being done and the issues that ive noticed.. i get a roll of the eyes and a shoulder brush off like i wasnt worth his time… Well from that point on i realized that the serving class(politicians, aides, representatives, big pharma, Oil, banking, CORPtocracy goons. do not represent us. They represent themselves, thier own personal deals and benefits, family buisnesses(take a gander at what companies cheney owns lol) They have established their insiders in powerful decision making spots that are appointed not voted for, and as for elections…. they shove this fasad of right vs left, a choice, when in reality they are the wings of the same bird, same brain. They are on both sides. The president is a mouth piece. Advised what to do and say. Our Great Nation is broken. We are truely lost… our citizens have become jello. Worried about tv and other nonsense. If we didnt have all these distractions this would have never gotten this far. But because it hasnt reached out and directly effected our lives we care nothing about it.