FDA warns of health risks due to likelihood of nicotine and other toxic chemicals. E-cigs face limits or bans in some states.
Electronic cigarettes sound fantastic. Rather than fill your lungs with tar, they deliver a vapour of nicotine to satisfy your craving, without the nasty side effects. They are popularly perceived as the safe alternative to cigarettes, a harmless way to get a nicotine hit. No wonder 700,000 people were using e-cigarettes in the UK last year, with that figure set to rise to over a million by the end of 2013.
Doctors are desperate to drive down the £5bn a year that smoking-related illness costs the NHS. Anything that could help smokers quit would be welcomed. But e-cigarettes aren’t a medicine. There’s a reason you buy them from a newsagent rather than get them on prescription. E-cigarettes may look legitimate, but they haven’t been through the same stringent safety checks as medicated nicotine replacement therapies.