E-cigarettes are not safe, and here’s why

E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, have been largely unregulated, and there have been many doctors questioning its safety.

MedPage Today recently reported on the FDA’s analysis of such products, and now we have some guidance as to how dangerous they can be.

E-cigarettes are battery operated, and contain nicotine and other flavors that the user can inhale. Advertisements claim they are safer since they don’t burn tobacco.

But according to the FDA, they “contain carcinogens such as diethylene glycol — used in antifreeze — and nitrosamines.”

To his credit, internist Matthew Mintz has been sounding the alarm for awhile. Not only does he point out they are largely unregulated, there are real questions as to whether they help with smoking cessation at all. He writes that, “e-cigarettes were designed to be tobacco cigarette replacement products, not smoking cessation aides. It is also possible that smokers will use e-cigarettes in place of SOME of their tobacco cigarettes. Although this does decrease exposure to known dangerous products, e-cigarettes might therefore actually prolong tobacco cigarette smoking.”

It’s encouraging to see the FDA start critically analyzing the claims of these types of alternative products, often advertised on late-night television. Hopefully there will be more to come.

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  • http://www.mednetdirect.com/ Jayne

    I think people should just face it, there is no safe way to get nicotine. I’ve never even heard of E-cigarettes, sounds scary.

  • http://www.MedMinded.com Aaron B. Hicks

    While I abhor smoking, could e-cigarettes present a “lesser of two evils” type of situation? I’m aware of the shortcoming relating to anecdotal accounts, but I have heard from acquaintances that e-cigarettes do not “feel” like they deliver the same amount of nicotine as traditional cigarettes. If properly regulated (as to inhibit marketing teams from using e-cigarettes to attract new smokers), perhaps they could potentially serve as a means to wean users off of nicotine (if mechanism for decreasing the delivered dose were implemented) while still providing for the “oral fixation” some claim other cessation programs fail to account for.

    Then again, with the large number of clinically proven cessation options, perhaps e-cigarettes are just a dangerous step in the wrong direction.

  • Classof65

    You mean that some people might actually use E-cigarettes in situations where they can’t smoke their real tobacco cigarettes?! How shocking! Face it, some of us will do anything to get our nicotine fix.

    Look at our situation: smokers can no longer be admitted to hospitals or nursing homes, we cannot ride public transportation, we can’t even go to prison! Soon we will probably be forbidden to have children. And all just because we wanted to look cool when we were 15…

  • http://judyarbic@yahoo.com Judy

    Do people in Europe who smoke alot and in all public places have more cancer then in the United States?

    I have been an on and off smoker. My Aunt also. We have always been able to stop when ever we wanted to.

    We are both having a problem this time! We both feel as though they are putting something more addictive in cigaretts now. Nothing would surprise me>

    I wonder if the Government checks the ingredients in the cigaretts and makes sure nothing is being added.

    Also, why can’t they get rid of the carcinogens in cigaretts and make them safe?

    I realize that they are not good for your body, but either is drinking, or prescriptions, and no one has a problem with them!!

    Thanks, Judy

  • Raven

    It’s sickening that the FDA allows drugs like chantrix to be sold to stop smoking.It’s already proven itself to be a dangerous substance,people have become suicidal on that drug.
    That same agency wants to stop me from harming myself accoriding to them by stopping my use of a personal fog machine mixed with nicotone,flavorings and propelene glycol.
    If this gets taken away from me I’ll just go back to smoking regular cigarettes.
    Surely with the 400 plus chemicals in those including MAOI inhibitors,arsenic and tar I’m not harming myself.
    The FDA could care less about me,they just want more power to tell me what I can or can’t put in my body.

    Regarding Diethylene Glycol:

    Looking at the Health New Zealand study1, the presence of Diethylene Glycol was not tested for. They seem to have based their tests on manufacturer ingredient lists and known tobacco carcinogens.
    So what is Diethylene Glycol? The MSDS2 shows that chronic exposure to Diethylene Glycol can cause lesions on the liver and kidneys, as well as damage to the same organs. In the case of inhalation, the only first aid recommended is removal from the source to fresh air. The toxicalogical information is as follows:

    Quote:
    Oral rat LD50: 12565 mg/kg. Skin rabbit LD50: 11.89 g/kg Irritation: eye rabbit, standard Draize: 50 mg mild. Investigated as a tumorigen and reproductive effector.
    ——–Cancer Lists——————————————————
    —NTP Carcinogen—
    Ingredient Known Anticipated IARC Category
    ———————————— —– ———– ————-
    Diethylene Glycol (111-46-6) No No None

    This shows that Diethylene Glycol is not a known carcinogen, nor is it expected to be found as one in the future. In addition, the dose required to kill half of the sample of rats tested is 12.565 g/kg and 11.89 g/kg for rabbits. Assuming this can be extended to humans, an average adult male would have to ingest 855.925 g to receive a lethal dose.
    Is Diethylene Glycol the main ingredient in antifreeze? The EPA3 has this to say about antifreeze variations:

    Quote:
    Antifreeze typically contains ethylene glycol as its active ingredient, but some manufacturers market propylene glycol-based antifreeze, which is less toxic to humans and pets. The acute, or short-term, toxicity of propylene glycol, especially in humans, is substantially lower than that of ethylene glycol. Regardless of which active ingredient the spent antifreeze contains, heavy metals contaminate the antifreeze during service. When contaminated, particularly with lead, used antifreeze can be considered hazardous and should be reused, recycled, or disposed of properly.
    Ethylene Glycol is the main ingredient in antifreeze. While straight antifreeze is toxic, the main hazard is from used antifreeze, which absorbs heavy metals.

    What about Nitrosamines? Nitrosamines are carcinogens. Tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) are found in the liquid used by Ruyan in their cartridges. According to the Health New Zealand report1, the amount increases with the amount of nicotine, and the average is 3.928 Ng (or parts per billion [ppb]). The breakdown is as follows:

    Quote:
    Nitrosamines
    0mg – 0.260 Ng (ppb)
    6mg – 3.068 Ng
    11mg – 4.200 Ng
    16mg – 8.183 Ng

    The highest amount found was in 16mg liquid, which had an average of 8.183 Ng. In comparison, Nicorette Gum (which is approved as an NRT) contains about 8 Ng. To put that number into perspective, Swedish moist snuff contains between 1000 and 2400 ppb nitrosamines, and unburned tobacco from cigarettes contains around 1230 ppb.

    Study Links here
    http://www.healthnz.co.nz/2ndSafetyReport_9Apr08.pdf

    http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/o8764.htm

    http://www.epa.gov/waste/conserve/materials/antifree.htm#alternate

  • http://drgrumpyinthehouse.blogspot.com Dr. Grumpy

    What’s wrong with smoking? It’s good for business.

  • http://thehappyhospitalist.blogspot.com/2009/06/do-internists-have-confidence-in-their.html Happy Hospitalist

    Perhaps you could just role up your nicotine patch and smoke that too.

  • Classof65

    The patches only work if I paste them over my mouth! :-)

    I’m getting mixed messages. I do not wish to harm others — so the nicotine replacement therapies appeal to me. I find it confusing that non-smokers are against such methods. Perhaps it’s our Puritan background at work: I should not be allowed whatever pleasure I get from smoking cigarettes. Non-smokers want me to suffer while quitting smoking. Well, I’m not masochistic enough to go through hell just because I offend others. They don’t even care if I don’t smoke in their presence, I still smell of smoke and they can’t stand that. So I have become agoraphobic and smoke even more — I’m up to 3 to 4 packs a day now. At this rate I will probably die even sooner and everybody will be happy.

  • SarahW

    Count me as one that just feels cynical about the push to control e-cigarettes. The real problem had with these devices isn’t public health, or even puritanism, I suspect but profit and tax revenue leaks.

    That said, I assume the devices to be unsafe. Kind of like…cigarettes. Of course they foster continued nicotine addiction, but have no inclination to prohibit that kind of self-indulgence as long as I don’t have to join in.

    As a nonsmoker I selfishly cheer when I am spared the the bad habits of others. I am happy they have found a way to politely enjoy their addiciton.

    It means a cleaner, less irritating world, though, and I’m all for it.

  • http://ecigvsanalog.blogspot.com/ Tonya G

    I agree with Sarah, except for the assumption that electronic cigarettes are unsafe.

    I am not a smoker, nor have I ever considered being one. I am a former Guillian Barre Syndrome patient, and am not even supposed to be around cigarette smoke, however my husband is a smoker, and has been since he was 18. He is now 42.

    My husband has tried to quit several times throughout the years with absolutely no success. He had tried patches and gum, and then finally went to the doctor, where he was prescribed anti-depressants which helped not at all as well.

    As time has gone on and he would talk about quitting, our children would know to stay out of his way for the few hours he managed to make it. It was a rough time those 15 smokeless hours!

    In April of this year, my husband found electronic cigarettes. “Hey, look at this!” he said excitedly, “It says it works just like a cigarette, but doesn’t have nearly the harmful chemicals regular cigarettes do. It would be a lot better for you and the kids, too.”

    Yeah right, I’m thinking. I’m even more sour on the idea because it’s $70.00 to get the start-up package, and with 6 kids still at home, one of us employed, $70 is a LOT. We really did want him to stop smoking, though, so deep breath, close my eyes and hand over the debit card.

    About 5 days later, he received the product, and when I got home from work, he greeted me very enthusiastically that he had NOT smoked a traditional cigarette in 3 hours.

    You jest! says I, ever the skeptical being I am, thinking surely he cheated somewhere to keep me from being angry that we’d spent that much on something that was a piece of garbage.

    But as the day wore on, and I’d see the BLUE LED light up at the end of the metal stick he was puffing on (in the posts recently, those against the e-cigs insist it’s always a red LED light – my husband’s have always been blue) I thought very cautiously… we may actually have something here!

    The hours turned into a day, the days turned into a week, and then holy cow, Batman, we’re at 2 months that he hasn’t smoked a traditional cigarette!

    Our house and our clothes and my husband and our children’s father no longer stinks of stale cigarette smoke.

    I currently work in a law firm, and when my husband would walk into our office, it was a point of embarrassment for me, as it would remind one of a bar – thick, stale smoke.

    Today, we learn there is or is going to be a ban on electronic cigarettes because of the harmful ingredients found. No where in my research of the FDA findings this morning have I been able to find a comparison chart as to the harmful chemicals found in electronic cigarettes as well as those found in “analog” cigarettes, which is what I see them being called today.

    I love my husband dearly, and aside from the fact that I would love him to be able to prolong his life by not smoking, I’ve seen the effects of his efforts by previous NRTs, and I don’t think he would have made it as far as he has without the electronic cigarette.

    He can taste again. We can make love without him feeling as though he needs an oxygen bottle. He can play football with the boys outside without having a near fatal heart attack. His life is better. More importantly, OUR lives are better.

    I feel that what people AREN’T seeing is that these people are going to smoke regardless. Toxic chemicals, which are worse and more numerous in standard cigarettes, are still going to filter into these people’s bodies, and the FDA is still going to allow it for whatever crazy reason. The effects of electronic cigarettes MAY, per the FDA, be harmful to the consumer. And guess what, EVERYone knows standard cigarettes ARE harmful to the consumer AS WELL AS TO THE INNOCENT BYSTANDER! E-cigarettes are NOT.

    To make the government saps happy, sure, let’s get the chemical regulated, let’s figure out a way the government can make money off of it, because ultimately, if you look at electronic cigarettes compared to standard cigarettes, that’s what it is all going to filter down to.

    But before they start deciding the fate of the lives of smokers and the fate of the lives AROUND the smokers, their testing should be more accurate and more precise. I do not want to know about the “hazardous chemicals” in these “new fangled gadgets.”

    I want to know what the difference is in the chemicals contained in electronic cigarettes as opposed to the chemicals in standard cigarettes. The question is NOT “are electronic cigarettes dangerous and should they be allowed” because OBVIOUSLY standard cigarettes contain MANY many many many toxins that have been killing people for years, but “are electronic cigarettes the greater or lesser of the two evils?”

  • Cold

    I think it is great that there is a SAFER alternative to smoking but it seems everyone is not getting the message. They are SAFER, no SAFE. you are still absorbing Nicotine wich is doing bad things to you, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, anurisms, you are still at risk. Maybe even more so because you think you are healthy so you push to hard.

    Great that they are safer but please realise they are not safe.

  • Andy Lees

    The FDA have used a scaremongering tactic. I don’t know why they have done this! The simple fact is this, they found Diethylene Glycol in one cartridge (out of 18) at levels less than 1% in the liquid. However the Diethylene Glycol was NOT found in the vapourised content. So, if you are an electronic cigarette smoker there’s no need to worry as even the FDA in a round about way have admitted that they are safe!

    You always have to read between the lines (or between the lies) and the truth comes out! The FDA say “We have found carconagens in electronic cigarette liquid” – then when you read the actual print they say that One carconagen was found, at an acceptable level for human consumption, but it wasn’t even present in the vapour!

    They are also still trying for all their worth, to find a link between nicotine and heart disease – but they can’t. The links so far have been extremely flimsy. Even so, electronic cigarettes don’t deliver anywhere near as much nicotine as regular tobacco, so again they are safer.

    If these get banned it’ll be on dangerous grounds. They contain nicotine (which is present in hundreds of NRT products, and skin contact nicotine is regarded as safe), nicotine is said to be about as dangerous as a cup of coffee – so unless a new study comes out (and the study has to be completely independent) proving a link to heart disease or cancer they can’t ban it because of the nicotine. Other than that as they have already stated this was found in one out of eighteen tested – what flavour did they test that contained the Diethylene Glycol? The FDA don’t say. Maybe they should just ban that particular flavour? As the other 17 flavours were found to be free from anything dangerous how can you ban it all? Also, the vapour is proven by the FDAs own report to be completely safe, so you can’t ban it for second hand effects. There is little to no smell given off either, so again no-one can say say it is intrusive.

    If this gets banned, then you will have to ban coffee,tea and any other hot or boiled product (for giving off vapour). You will have to ban perfume (because the smell can be intrusive to others) and you will have to ban ALL NRT products. Oh and you really should ban all tobacco products!

    While we’re on the subject, driving cars should be banned because of all the carconagens they release into the atmosphere. All aircraft should be banned for the same reason, so to trains, buses, motorbikes etc. Cows should be banned for giving off too much methane – actually, all animals including humans should be banned for the same reason!

    Go ahead FDA – ban life while you’re at it!!

  • Anonymous

    “They are also still trying for all their worth, to find a link between nicotine and heart disease – but they can’t”
    ———————————————————————-
    “nicotine causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, this causes extraordinary “wear and tear” on the cardiovascular system”

    ” New research shows that nicotine from cigarette smoke may promote hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), even with low-nicotine cigarettes.
    Atherosclerosis makes heart attacks more likely”

    “NEW YORK – New research reveals that nicotine can damage the insides of arteries and raise the risk of developing heart disease.

    According to the report, nicotine taken via a nasal spray or through cigarette smoke reduced blood flow in the arterial inner lining, or endothelium. Damage to the endothelium is an early marker of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque inside arteries that can lead to heart attack and stroke, researchers explain in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

    The findings suggest that nicotine is not only addictive but can also contribute directly to the risk of heart disease.

    “Cigarette smoking is an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease and the leading preventable cause of (heart disease) and death in most industrialized countries,” Dr. Thomas Neunteufl from the University of Vienna in Austria and colleagues write. “However, it remains unclear whether the increased occurrence of atherosclerosis in smokers is caused by nicotine or by other components of tobacco smoke.”

    To investigate, the researchers administered 1 milligram of nicotine via a nasal spray or cigarette smoke to 16 healthy long-term smokers, and then used ultrasound to examine the endothelium after 20 minutes. Nicotine-containing nasal spray was less damaging than cigarette smoke but still reduced blood flow inside the artery, the study found.”

  • Cold

    Andy,
    Please post where you see that they found DG in only one sample. I am not challenging you, I am interested in this. I am trying to get my wife on Ecigs but I want to be sure of all of the dangers. I stand by the heart risks, it is clinically proven that nicotine raises heart rate and blood pressure.

  • http://ecigvsanalog.blogspot.com/ Tonya G

    I like your style, Andy Lees!

    My point is, aside from what MIGHT or MIGHT NOT be in electronic cigarettes is this:

    I am not a smoker. I am not supposed to be around cigarette smoke. I do not like my children around cigarette smoke.

    Electronic cigarettes, if they ARE found to be harmful ARE NOT HARMFUL TO ME AND MY CHILDREN. Period. No argument in that.

    Now, I don’t want to sound totally immoral or uncaring or selfish or any of the “goodness, she’s heartless” words, but my husband IS a smoker. Whether it be electronic cigarettes or standard cigarettes, my husband IS going to smoke! Do people honestly believe that the standard cigarette is healthier for ANYone than the electronic cigarette?

    This isn’t a matter of “some people just don’t get that electronic cigarettes aren’t safe.” Standard cigarettes are KNOWN killers – if you’re going to ban one, PLEASE, for the love all that is holy, ban the traditional cigarettes as well.

    I really do think this is more of a common sense situation.

    Standard Cigarettes – harms the smoker and everyone around them. Proven fact.

    Electronic cigarettes – IF they are harmful, they’re harming ONLY the person smoking them. And even the studies on harming the smoker are very vague and minor. I’ll still opt for the alternative.

  • Andy Lees

    Cut from the actual FDA study:

    # Specifically, DPA’s analysis of the electronic cigarette cartridges from the two leading brands revealed the following:

    (a) * Diethylene glycol was detected in one cartridge at approximately 1%. Diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze, is toxic to humans.
    (b) * Certain tobacco-specific nitrosamines which are human carcinogens were detected in half of the samples tested.
    (c) * Tobacco-specific impurities suspected of being harmful to humans—anabasine, myosmine, and β-nicotyrine—were detected in a majority of the samples tested.
    (d) * The electronic cigarette cartridges that were labeled as containing no nicotine had low levels of nicotine present in all cartridges tested, except one.
    (e) * Three different electronic cigarette cartridges with the same label were tested and each cartridge emitted a markedly different amount of nicotine with each puff. The nicotine levels per puff ranged from 26.8 to 43.2 mcg nicotine/100 mL puff.
    (f) * One high-nicotine cartridge delivered twice as much nicotine to users when the vapor from that electronic cigarette brand was inhaled than was delivered by a sample of the nicotine inhalation product (used as a control) approved by FDA for use as a smoking cessation aid.

    I would like to add that the doseage of Diethylene glycol that is fatal to humans is around 500g – Also it was NOT found in the vapour, it therefore must have a higher temperature vapour point than the standard PG found in these carts. Also, it was only in ONE cartridge of 18 tested!!!

    As far as nicotine causing heart disease – you lot are soooo easily led. Read the evidence again, then again, then again – it then becomes apparent that they haven’t found any link. Nicotine increases blood pressure!! So what? So does caffine, salt, alcohol, taurine, jogging, weight lifting, light aerobic exercise. So using this so called proof that there’s a link to heart disease you could just as easily say that light exercise is linked to heart disease because it raises blood pressure!!!!

    Please realise that scientists and labs get funding for research. If the funding comes from a totally independent source then you can (probably) trust the results. However, if it is a heart disease study, by heart disease researchers – you can damn well bet your last dollar on the fact that they will find a link. Well, they won’t, but they’ll word their report to look like they’ve found a link.

    I’ll give you a quick example – We gave ten samples of clean, pure drinking water to ten healthy individuals – upon drinking the water all ten showed signs of capilliar frugementation along with severe malaorgianisation, sometimes reaching levels of 9833 bgj. These levels are hundreds of times more than those found in humans with face cancer. Therefore we would advise against the use of pure clean drinking water!

  • Andy Lees

    “nicotine causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, this causes extraordinary “wear and tear” on the cardiovascular system”

    ” New research shows that nicotine from cigarette smoke may promote hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), even with low-nicotine cigarettes.
    Atherosclerosis makes heart attacks more likely”

    The above is a HEADLINE used to get your attention – it states no facts! It just makes a statement!

    “NEW YORK – New research reveals that nicotine can damage the insides of arteries and raise the risk of developing heart disease.

    Who is doing this research? And again, another HEADLINE made to get your attention!

    According to the report, nicotine taken via a nasal spray or through cigarette smoke reduced blood flow in the arterial inner lining, or endothelium. Damage to the endothelium is an early marker of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque inside arteries that can lead to heart attack and stroke, researchers explain in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

    The reduction of blood flow through the endothelium does NOT damage arteries! This is what happens when blood presssure increases – this happens when you walk briskly!

    Damage to the atherosclerosis is an early marker but again, no damage is done by reduced blood flow!

    The findings suggest that nicotine is not only addictive but can also contribute directly to the risk of heart disease.

    Did you notice that? The findings suggest – the word SUGGEST can be used as a get-out, it did not say CONCLUSIVE PROOF OF it says SUGGEST, this is how they can slip a lie in, in order to obtain funding!

    “Cigarette smoking is an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease and the leading preventable cause of (heart disease) and death in most industrialized countries,” Dr. Thomas Neunteufl from the University of Vienna in Austria and colleagues write.

    Now we are back to Cigarette smoking – NOTHING TO DO WITH PURE NICOTINE INHALATION – do you see how they go off topic?

    NOW WE COME TO THE ONE BIT OF TRUTH IN THE WHOLE ARTICLE:

    “However, it remains unclear whether the increased occurrence of atherosclerosis in smokers is caused by nicotine or by other components of tobacco smoke.”

    I knew we’d get there one day. It remains unclear.. hahahahahahahaha What a joke, what they mean is ‘it isn’t the nicotine’.

    Do you now see what I mean. It’s all BS!

  • http://www.dyingforinsurance.com Virtual Patient

    After trying many ways to quit, I ordered E-cigarettes online starting with regular and just ordered a week supply of the lightest and 1 week of “no nicotine”. My plan is to use this to quit smoking even though FDA does not approve. So far, it seems promising and does provide a “fix”, but if I can’t quit using this method, I do not plan on considering this a safe alternative to smoking and will attempt others. Time will tell.

  • kaydee

    The governments will try anything to protect the income they get from tobacco. I have read numerous reports on these devices and it appears to me that the FDA is nit-picking to find something wrong with a product they can not tax like tobacco.

    One of the main arguments against these products is the anti-freeze one. Leaving diethylene glycol aside for a moment, Propylene glycol (used as the main ingredient) is used in anti-freeze but this comparison with anti-freeze is like saying water is used as engine coolant and a coolant in nuclear power stations as well as being a major component of urine so dont drink it!!

    One brand in the UK are now using a liquid which does not contain propylene glycol possibly to avoid the anti-freeze stigmatism. I’m sure many will follow suit.

    I am in the UK and this debate hasnt started here yet but as soon as it starts to threaten the revenue from tobacco you can be assured they will start picking on it.

    As for the diethylene glycol someone has already pointed out it was only found in ONE sample at a very low concentration. The FDA have sighted media hype with this one result. Much the same as the hysteria caused with swine flu deaths (we all know seasonal flu kills people. Swine flu is no different other than it will affect more people in a shorter space of time ergo – more deaths) but the governments cause media hype and public hysteria.

    As for carcinogens the reports I have seen only show very small amounts which are well below international safety limits.

    Whatever the risks are (if any) they cant possibly be anywhere near as bad as smoking real cigarettes.

    Also these products should not be compared to smoking. They mimic the action of smoking but no combustion takes place so there is no smoke. Perhaps the correct word to use would be misting or atomising.

    I went cold turkey from cigarettes 2 months ago and if i ever felt the urge to go back it would be an e-cig not a standard one. With normal cigarettes you know you are putting around 4000 harmful substances in your body. With e-cigs they are manufactured to be as safe as possible and any nasties you might find in them cant possibly be as toxic as a normal cigarette.

    Riding my bike in heavy traffic probably causes me more harm from toxic inhalation than an e-cig ever could.

  • Cold

    Gee, look what else PG can do:

    Propylene glycol is used:

    * As a solvent in many pharmaceuticals, including oral, injectable and topical formulations. Notably, diazepam, which is insoluble in water, uses propylene glycol as its solvent in its clinical, injectable form.[5]
    * As a moisturizer in medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, mouth wash, and tobacco products
    * In electronic cigarettes to deliver vaporized nicotine
    * As an emulsification agent in Angostura and orange bitters
    * As a solvent for food colors and flavorings
    * As an ingredient, along with wax and gelatin, in the production of paintballs
    * As a humectant food additive, labeled as E number E1520
    * As a cooling agent for beer and wine glycol jacketed fermentation tanks
    * As a carrier in fragrance oils
    * As an ingredient in massage oils
    * As a less-toxic antifreeze
    * As a solvent used in mixing photographic chemicals, such as film developers
    * In smoke machines to make artificial smoke for use in firefighters’ training and theatrical productions
    * In hand sanitizers, antibacterial lotions, and saline solutions
    * In cryonics
    * As a working fluid in hydraulic presses
    * As a coolant in liquid cooling systems
    * To regulate humidity in a cigar humidor
    * As the killing and preserving agent in pitfall traps, usually used to capture ground beetles
    * As an additive to pipe tobacco to prevent dehydration.
    * To treat livestock ketosis
    * As the main ingredient in deodorant sticks.
    * To de-ice aircraft.[6]
    * UV Blacklite Tattoo Ink

    I still stand that nicotone is not good for you, maybe in the caffiene arena but still not good but I see too many jumping on the antifreeze train. Enough.

  • Melben

    I have tried these before and to be honest did not like them at all. I really do not think this is going to help people quit smoking. They are advertised everywhere but I did not know they were available in the US…

  • Cold

    They are not intended to be a cessation tool (even though some dealers are touting them as such). They are intended to be a safer alt to smoking.

    Using these you will not remove the physical habit nor the Nicotine addiction (Unless you wean off the nic)

  • Scott Brown

    Many excellent rebuttals to junk science on the FDA’s part (and to those who believe in it), here. I liked the one about nicotine raising your blood pressure, hence linked to heart disease. Caffeine and light exercise, anyone? Stupid articles raise mine. Dangerous stupid articles raise it further. What is dangerous here is that these attacks (both the FDA’s “findings,” and articles which support or report them as valid views or news) will turn smokers off to something which very well might otherwise save their lives.

    I also like the one from “Cold” about anti-freeze. I’ve spend a lot of time in RVs and trailers over the years. Know what they use as an anti-freeze in the drinking water pipes and tanks in these things? Yup, propylene glycol. Guess why they use it instead of ethylene glycol? Know who approved it “as generally safe for human use?” You won’t believe it, but it’s the same three-letter outfit who approved nicotine polacrilex in patches and gum you can by OTC at Rexall and Walmart. Now, this leaves batteries, atomizers, and LEDs, have these been proven safe by the FDA?

    Just accept, without my going into the standard 45-years-smoking-praise-God-for-e-cigs litany, that I know whereof I speak. Every time I heard or read of a smoking reduction or cessation device or method, I tried it: no soap. (Well, no one told me to try soap, but I would have, I tried weirder things.) Even when I used pipes and cigars I was inhaling my own sidestream smoke, and everything around me smelled wretched, so I probably did as well.

    Aside from yet another vote for e-cigs, what do I have to offer the cause? The fact that I’ve spent countless hours researching them online, and here’s what I’ve learned of note:

    o MANY non-smokers seem curiously interested in the topic (perhaps because they know and care about friends and relatives who smoke, and/or they suffer from sidestream smoke). And a HUGE number of these non-smokers side with “vapers” against the FDA (perhaps because they’ve learned to trust Federal Express more than any other outfit with the name “Federal” in its name).

    o VERY few (I believe I’ve read two, and seen one in a video) of those who have tried vaping have said it was not for them, that they would not consider using e-cigs as an alternative to actual smoking.

    o NO non-smokers have reported having an interest in taking up the nicotine habit via e-cig, or having inadvertently done so, although one, curiously, said she might get one to use with a zero-nicotine cartridge, just to “smoke” in bars. (Hey, as far as I’m concerned, go nuts…even if you have to use a fake ID to get into the bar; I was smoking unfiltered Pall Malls and Chesterfields at 15, and scrounged ashtray butts before that–stripped and RE-ROLLED!).

    o EXTREMELY FEW e-cig users said they still smoked combustibles occasionally, but those who did had reduced consumption to perhaps 1/5th their previous usage. The vast majority said they’d quit smoking, cold, and that this surprised them (it surprised me, too, after my experiences with pipes, cigars, herbal blends, patches & gum, hypnosis, Wellbutrin, snuff and smokeless…clearly this is no mere psychosomatic phenomenon when this many users simply don’t bother to light up again).

    o The VAST majority of the news items from here in the US have been negative, slanted, biased, not factual, utterly out-of-touch with the reality of the e-”smoking” phenomenon. The reality is that hundreds of thousands of ex-smokers in the last 2-3 years feel they’ve been given a new lease on life (and their pocketbooks, for that matter…these things average out to under 1/5th, often MUCH less, than tobacco products plus taxes).

    o Only a small fraction of e-ciggers are trying to use them to quit nicotine per se (having given up hope years past), although many claim to have gradually cut down anyway. ALL users have used them to cut down on smoking combustibles, and most have been 100% successful in this regard, the vast majority on Day One.

    It is no wonder so many vapers have become evangelists…they’ve recently learned they won’t necessarily die of cancer, emphysema, heart disease, COPD, etc., or have to live as a social pariah for the rest of their shortened days. Nor did they have to go through quitters Hell to accomplish this.

    o Since their invention and inception 5 or 6 years ago, no one has died from them and come back to tell us about it. Nor have any grieving friends, relatives, doctors, or coroners.

    “Has ‘Our’ FDA Finally Gone Too Far?” is the sort of title we should be seeing in the media, not the uninformed crap we’ve been subjected to. From what I’ve seen in my Internet research, even the public who hear only the FDA’s side of the story aren’t buying it this time. (Probably mostly consumers of Cheerios and organic foods illegally mis-labeled as heart-healthy.)

    Now, about those Vioxx studies we, curiously, have heard so little about lately… You know, where the FDA approved a drug for a major drug lobbyist which caused nearly 28,000 heart attacks they admitted to (other estimates, 55,000)?

  • Thomas Zarobinski

    Look Ladies & Gents…

    The bottom line is as a smoker of both cigs and e-cigs, I must say being smoke free the past couple of weeks do to e-cigs is by far well worth the potential ummm, not proven, ummm could be side effects.I feel like I am reborn I can breathe easier , I am filled with more energy, and not to mention I DONT SMELL LIKE A DIRTY GARBAGE CAN ANY MORE. So to the cynical negativity being posted about :OMG they are dangerous!!!!” WAKE UP PLEASE!!! CIgarettes killed more freinds and family members than any other thing that comes to mind. So who are we trying to kid? One can not even phathom that e-cigs are as bad as regular cigs.

  • James

    Sarah W was complaining that there was no comparison of the dangers of e-cigarettes with cigarettes. Actually, there is a very good one by a professor of medicine who has over 20 years of experience in the field of tobacco control: http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/07/comparison.html.

  • Mike

    I have been using e-cigs for 89 days now. I can smell things again and food tastes better. I stopped smoking regular cigarettes the second day. My clothes, car, house, etc. no longer reeks like cigarettes. I think if you think e-cigs are not better (not safer but better) than cigarettes I think you lack the ability to reason with common sense.

    In regards to Diethylene Glycol, according to the ECA (Electronic Cigarette Association) it would take 12,500 hundred (YES HUNDRED) cartridges a day to create toxic concerns. The avereage e-cig smoker uses 1.5 cartridges per day. The FDA is concerned about Diethylene Glycol but not arsenic, amonia, formaldahyde and thousands of other chemicals in cigarettes? Give me a break. They should be banning addatives in cigarettes but they are not because they whored themselves out to lobbyists. Grow up people, the Gov is not here to help you.

    Dog e-cigs all you want, the fact is I actually stopped hacking and can breath easier now … but hey what do I know? I’m not an MD.

  • http://twitter.com/Dan1347 Dan Thompson

    I smoked for over 40 years. Ordered the e-cigarette and have not smoked a regular cigarette in 4 weeks.  This has been my path out. My cough is gone. I feel better everyday.  No lighters, ashtrays, packs to carry around in my pocket, on and on. I am able to do this because of the presence of nicotine in the cigarette. No withdrawals or irritability.  If I decide to gradually step down from the nicotine or continue to use the e-cigarette with nicotine, that is my choice.  In my opinion, e-cigs will become a main stream product that will help many people get off tobacco. I’m going to see my doctor next week.  I’ll be telling him I’ve quit using tobacco – and now use the e-cig. He may not be happy I’m still on the nicotine but I’m pretty sure he’ll be happy I’m off tobacco.  I would not try to talk anyone else into doing this. It is a personal choice.