E-Cigs May Be Worse Than the Real Thing

The e-cig Super Cigarette.E-Cigarettes have been all the rage, especially as smoking becomes more and more taboo across the country. Most products use some form of glycol to deliver atomized doses of nicotine, much like a breath spray or mouthwash aerosol. They’re supposed to smoke like a real cigarette, and according to the FDA, they’re just as bad for your health.

I’ll spare you the majority of the boring details, which you can find on the FDA’s website. Essentially, the FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis took a look at several brands, who sell themselves as a “safe alternative” mind you, and found some disappointing results. One sample included a type of glycol found in antifreeze, diethylene glycol. You can imagine that stuff is toxic to human beings (UPDATE: in concentrated doses. The FDA approves food-grade use of DEG in concentrations up to .2%. The FDA study found DEG levels as high as 1%, which is 5 times the level approved by the FDA – thanks to toosheds at reddit). Other suspected compounds include anabasine, myosmine, and β-nicotyrine, all of which appeared in several samples. Half the samples tested produced known human carcinogens present in tobacco cigarettes.

As for helping you quit, the results might make you think about Nicorette. One tested sample delivered twice the amount of Nicotine of inhalers approved for cessation therapy. Other e-cigs produced such variable amounts of nicotine per puff that it would be almost impossible to call them cessation methods.

This isn’t really news for the people who will continue to smoke, regardless of health concerns. Sure, you’re adding another toxic chemical or two to the mix, but at least you can do so in smoke-free restaurants and bars, right? For anyone considering the devices as a quitting method or “safe alternative,” get your buzz elsewhere. I’d recommend a delicious cup of coffee. Speaking of…

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