Study: Some E-Cigarettes Contain Carcinogens Similar To Those Found In Regular Smokes

There you are, puffing away on your e-cigarette, feeling like you’re doing something good by not smoking a regular cigarette. But popular though those tobacco-less nicotine vaporizers may be, a new study finds that there could be a comparable level of carcinogens in e-cigs to their traditional cigarette brethren.

E-cigarettes have been hailed in recent years as a way for smokers to kick their habit or at least reduce it by giving them the nicotine fix they craved while avoiding potential side effects often linked to regular smoking, like cancer.

But a report in France’s National Consumer Institute Magazine this week says that many e-cigs contain “a significant quantity of carcinogenic molecules” than had previously been reported, via Yahoo! News. Here’s a direct link to the PDF.

Researchers say that three in 10 e-cigarettes have levels of formaldehyde and acrolein that are almost the same as levels in a traditional cigarette.

“This is not a reason to ban them, but to place them under better control,” National Consumer Institute’s editor in chief Thomas Laurenceau said.

As such, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is on the case and has some new potential regulations under consideration, including a ban on online sales.

Since the study has hit the news, there’s been an outcry from critics of the French study, calling it misinformed. One such critic is Dr. Farsalinos, a researcher at Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens, Greece. His reaction, which is echoed by many of our readers:

“The biggest problem with such articles is the intimidation of e-cigarette users. Every time such an article is published, there are vapers all over the world who throw away their e-cigarette devices and relapse to smoking. I have seen it happening to people I know, it is happening every time such “news” are reproduced with such impressive titles and without the slightest reservation from the writers. This French study in fact gives us no new information about the chemical composition of e-cigarette vapor and does not change in any way our knowledge about the potential risks of e-cigarette use and the benefits compared to smoking tobacco cigarettes. I cannot explain why worldwide media refer to this study as if it is the most important discovery about e-cigarettes.”

Study says e-cigarettes contain carcinogens similar to regular cigarettes [Yahoo! News]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.