US public health body slams e-cigarettes

Would it still look as tempting if you knew it contained antifreeze?

A report by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that e-cigarettes contain a number of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals including diethylene glycol – a chemical used in antifreeze.

In an increasingly health conscious age smokers have been looking for all the help they can get to kick their dirty habit, and with the advent of e-cigarettes a few years ago it looked like technology had come to the rescue once again.

Smoking kills

Apparently not. Laboratory analysis of a range of e-cigarettes by the FDA has revealed that, in addition to diethylene glycol, half of the samples also showed the presence of tobacco-specific nitrosamines, which are also carcinogenic.

In addition, virtually all of the e-cigarettes labelled as not containing any nicotine were found to contain low-levels. Furthermore, even within the same brand, different cartridges were found to release different amounts of nicotine ranging between 26.8 to 43.2 mcg nicotin/100mL per puff.

"The FDA is concerned about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the public," said Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of food and drugs.