Thursday, May 3, 2012

Physician Urges Public Not to Use Electronic Cigarettes, Claiming that They Involve Combustion

by Dr. Michael Siegel

In an article about electronic cigarettes at the KTLA (Los Angeles) web site, a physician is quoted as cautioning the public about the use of these products because they involve combustion.

According to the article: "some doctors say not enough is known about the cigarettes to determine if they pose a health risk. 'We don't know if they offer any potential health risk or not,' said Dr. Clark Fuller of Saint John's Health Center. 'What we do know is it involves a combustion and a release of a vapor that is inhaled in the lungs. The chemical makeup of that vapor is unknown.'"

Wrong on both accounts.

First of all, electronic cigarettes do not involve combustion. The juice is heated with an electric element to vaporize the nicotine, but there is no combustion. You do not "light" an electronic cigarette. Since there is no combustion, there is no smoke. Most importantly, there is no tobacco involved.

Second of all, we do know the chemical makeup of electronic cigarette vapor. There are a number of laboratory studies in which the composition of electronic cigarette vapor was analyzed using gas chromatography mass spectrometry. I have summarized the major findings of these studies in the review article I co-authored with Zachary Cahn, which was published in the Journal of Public Health Policy.

This story illustrates two important points.

[Read More]


Jerry said...

Dr. Clark Fuller must getting paid by the FDA or a tobacco company.

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