While anti-tobacco lobbyists claim that more studies need to be done on e-cigarettes, they can’t refute science. A single e-cigarette cartridge contains nine tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNA) where a single full-flavored cigarette contains about 11,190 or 1,300 times more.
By Tom Kiklas.
Whenever I hear people ask whether or not electronic cigarettes are safe or why these products aren’t studied more, my first reaction is that they don’t understand the category.
The electronic cigarette is comprised of only five common constituents, all of which have been in the U.S. food supply for generations and all of which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for human inhalation use. So what more do we need to study?
Do we need more study on the propylene glycol used to make the vapor? That has already been completed by the EPA who stated, “Upon reviewing the available toxicity information, the Agency has concluded that there are no endpoints of concern of oral, dermal or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol.”
Do we really need more studies on nicotine? Water? Food flavorings? There are currently over 30 scientific studies done on the electronic cigarette and in not one has there ever been found a single constituent at any level harmful to humans—including the FDA’s own 2009 e-cig study.
The rational answer is that the e-cigarette has already proven its social utility. Those that wish to limit or deny the public’s access to e-cigarettes by claiming that these products have not yet been proven to be safe are displaying an ignorance or agenda that is not in the public’s best interest.
In August, the city council in Laguna Beach, Calif. reviewed whether or not to ban the use of electronic cigarettes within the city and its attorney wrote the following contained in the bill’s amendment. “The FDA has conducted laboratory analysis of electronic cigarette samples and found that they contained carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users and bystanders could be exposed.”
The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) had the opportunity to present to the city council the scientific facts in rebuttal to the July 2009 FDA press release. This led to the city council voting not to ban e-cigarettes.
Also within the FDA release, which has been the genesis of so much confusion on the safety and efficacy of electronic cigarettes, is a request by the FDA that healthcare professionals and consumers may report serious adverse events (side effects) or product quality problems with the use of e-cigarettes to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. During this same time the FDA was litigating with TVECA co-founder Ray Story. A subsequent ruling in that litigation by the Washington D.C. Appellate Court stated, “Regarding harm to third parties and to the public interest, the district court observed the FDA had cited no evidence to show that electronic cigarettes harmed anyone.”
The FDA had more than a year to find and present to the court incidences of harm that were caused to consumers by e-cigs to buttress their litigation, yet presented not one.
E-cigarettes are a simple product that are enjoyed by more than four million Americans. They are a less harmful, logical option than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. There have been billions and billions of uses of the e-cig this year alone without a single incidence of harm. Trying to eliminate these useful products is in itself not safe.
Tom Kiklas is cofounder and chief financial officer for the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA), an association of private sector companies engaged in electronic cigarette technologies. TVECA’s mission is to provide the tools and information necessary for policy-makers and private sector companies to make informed decisions about the management and use of electronic cigarette technologies.