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Electronic Cigarette Safety: New Study Says E-Cigarettes Are Bad for Smokers' Health

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First Posted: Aug 28, 2013 12:57 PM EDT
electronic cigarette
(Photo : Reuters)

A new study reports that electronic cigarettes contain carcinogens, despite claims that electronic cigarettes are a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes.

Makers of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, say that their product is less damaging than cigarettes because they do not have tobacco. Instead, e-cigarettes vaporize liquid nicotine.

The National Consumer Institute in France, however, released a report on Monday with evidence that vaporizing nicotine, or "vaping" is still risky.

"In three cases out of 10, for products with or without nicotine, the content of formaldehyde was as much as the levels found in some conventional cigarettes," the report said.

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According to the report, a "significant amount" of "carcinogenic molecules" was found in the vapor released by 12 different types of e-cigarettes.

"This is not a reason to ban them, but to place them under better control," Thomas Laurenceau, National Consumer Institute editor, said.

Seal Beach, Calif. is concerned about the apparent risks of e-cigarettes and is using legislation as an attempt to better understand the product. The town temporarily banned businesses from beginning to sell e-cigarettes if they do not already carry them in their stores.

The decision was made in a city council meeting by a unanimous vote.

"It's a new type of development," city attorney Quinn Barrow said. "The city had no laws on the books concerning this type of use so, therefore, they wanted some time to study it."

The ban will last for 45 days.           

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is also working on new legislation to control the use of electronic cigarettes.

Some disagree with the legislation and criticism of e-cigarettes. They say that e-cigarettes are still a safer alternative. On the other hand, some people believe that smoking is bad no matter what, even if an alternative makes it slightly safer.

"Many anti-smoking groups oppose these products because they are blinded by ideology," Michael Siegel, of Boston University's School of Public Health, said in an interview with The New York Times."They find it difficult, if not impossible, to endorse a behavior that looks like smoking, even though it is literally saving people's lives....What's not to like?"

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