Attorney General: Attorney General Warns of E-Cigarette Dangers Citing Recent FDA Analysis Finding Carcinogens and Antifreeze

Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Warns of E-Cigarette Dangers Citing Recent FDA Analysis Finding Carcinogens and Antifreeze

August 18, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today issued a consumer warning urging consumers and retailers to avoid e-cigarettes in the wake of a recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analysis finding cancer-causing chemicals and an antifreeze ingredient in some of the devices.

E-cigarettes, which lack FDA approval, are battery-powered nicotine delivery systems that produce heated vapor instead of smoke. Manufacturers and retailers claim e-cigarettes are a safer, healthier alternative to smoking.

The FDA, however, recently tested two brands, Smoking Everywhere and NJoy, finding both contained nitrosamines, known carcinogens. An antifreeze ingredient -- diethylene glycol -- was found in a Smoking Everywhere cartridge. In addition, nicotine levels varied more than 60 percent in cartridges labeled as containing a high concentration of the drug. Researchers also found nicotine in cartridges marked nicotine-free.

Blumenthal said e-cigarettes falsely claim to deliver nicotine without the health risks of smoking. He expressed concern they could addict young people to nicotine, leading them to smoke.

"Despite their fancy hype and alluring flavors, these products deliver carcinogens in a cartridge," Blumenthal said. "These battery powered devices give consumers no clue that they are inhaling toxic and cancer-causing chemicals, as well as luring children into nicotine addiction. Far from providing a safe alternative to smoking, E-cigarettes pose a serious public health risk. They sell vapor instead of smoke -- with the same health risks and costs.

"E-cigarettes are potential nicotine and addiction enablers -- drug pushers, not a smoking cessation aid. Mint and candy flavors cannot mask their menace. Smokers seeking to quit should consult their doctors for safe and effective therapies and products proven to combat nicotine cravings.

"Their motto should be: no smoke or mirrors, just plain cancer and addiction. Recent FDA testing found cancer-causing chemicals and a deadly antifreeze ingredient in e-cigarettes. Levels of nicotine varied wildly -- more than 60 percent -- while supposedly nicotine-free cartridges actually contained the highly addictive drug. Because e-cigarettes are unregulated and unapproved by the FDA, consumers have no clue what they are inhaling. E-cigarettes are a potential gateway device, hooking the young on nicotine and leading to actual smoking.

"Incredibly, manufacturers have filed a lawsuit fighting FDA review -- claiming no need to protect public health. They may deter current smokers from questioning -- and provide a gateway to nicotine addiction with youth friendly candy and fruit flavors, such as bubblegum and cream and cola.

"The products are easily available -- without restriction -- online, or at malls, so far only in other states.

"I will vigorously fight to ban e-cigarettes, unless approved by FDA, and any attempt to retail the devices in Connecticut, as well as work with federal authorities to regulate Internet sales."

Content Last Modified on 8/18/2009 12:48:22 PM