E-Cigarettes: How Safe are They?

First Posted: Aug 28, 2013 01:26 PM EDT

As e-cigarettes are now being advertised as a healthier alternative to regular tobacco products, new research from France's National Consumer's Institute shows that they may not be as safe as you think. In fact, they could be just as harmful and even cause cancer, according to the Daily Mail.

Previous media outlets have actually suggested that e-cigarettes may contain carcinogenic chemicals, according to a report from Yahoo News this Tuesday, Aug. 27. A study showed that up to 3 out of 10 e-cigarettes had levels of acrolein and formaldehyde that were almost at the same levels as normal cigarettes.

Ten different rechargable and disposable e-cigarettes were tested by the National Consumers' Institute for carcenogenic and toxic properties, and according to editor Thomas Laurenceau, "a significant quantity of carcinogenic molecules in the vapor of these cigarettes [has] thus far gone undetected."

"In three models out of ten the levels of the carcinogenic compound formaldehyde come close to those of a conventional cigarette," Laurenceau wrote, via the study. "The highly toxic molecule acrolein was also detected in the vapors of e-cigarettes, sometimes at levels even higher than in traditional cigarettes."

Many have also criticized the product for their lack of child-proof safety caps, which could potentially harm children if they were to find nicotine inside the products.

"E-cigarettes are more than just a fad," part of the report states, via the Examiner. "E-Cigarettes' appeal stems from a variety of perceived advantages over traditional cigarettes, most commonly the perceptions that e-cigarettes are healthier, cheaper, and can be used almost anywhere ... Yet they may have some hidden dangers, including those of carcinogens and other dangers."

What is your opinion on e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that deliver vaporized nicotine, but they don't contain tobacco or don't produce smoke. Although they might seem like a good nicotine replacement method among smokers who wish to quit, little is known about their long-term safety. 

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