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Public Health Focus

Concerns Voiced by the Public Health Experts About Electronic Cigarettes


No Demonstrated Public Health Benefit

“The electronic cigarette is not a proven nicotine replacement therapy. WHO has no scientific evidence to confirm the product's safety and efficacy.”
World Health Organization, Press Release, “Marketers of electronic cigarettes should halt unproved therapy claims” (September 19, 2008)

“Makers and retailers of these products have been making unproven health claims about their products, claiming that they are safer than normal cigarettes and asserting that they can help people to quit smoking. Absent scientific evidence, these claims are in blatant violation of FDA rules. In fact, no studies have been done on e-cigarettes to date regarding their health effects or their effectiveness as cessation aids.”
Statement of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (March 24, 2009)

“We basically don't know anything about them [electronic cigarettes]. They've never been tested for safety or efficacy to help people stop smoking.”
Dr. Richard Hurt, Director, Nicotine Dependence Center, Mayo Clinic (June 2, 2009)

“We do not know yet how the ‘smoking' technology these products use affects human health. We do not yet know all of the ingredients in these products and, accordingly, the impact of those ingredients on the health of people who 'smoke' e-cigarettes or the people around them. We do not know what ingredients these products actually deliver (nicotine or otherwise) and what the risks of these products might be. We have seen no studies regarding whether e-cigarettes actually help smokers quit or, instead, delay cessation attempts by providing smokers with a way to continue their smoking behaviors when they cannot smoke a tobacco product.”
American Legacy Foundation, Statement, “Electronic Cigarettes” (May 2009)

Marketing of E-Cigarettes May Appeal to Young People

“E-cigarettes are also being marketed towards young people, who can purchase them in fruit flavors and online, without having to verify their ages.”
Statement of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (March 24, 2009)

“It looks like a cigarette and is marketed as a cigarette. There's nothing that prevents youth from getting addicted to nicotine.”
Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, Chairman, American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium (June 2, 2009)

“Finally, and of critical importance, information is not yet available as to whether e-cigarettes might actually encourage children and teens and young adults to take their first step toward smoking cigarettes, drawn in by the products' novelty and variety of flavors, including strawberry, banana and chocolate.”
American Legacy Foundation, Statement, “Electronic Cigarettes” (May 2009)