With its slim white body and glowing amber tip it can easily pass as a regular cigarette. It even emits what look like curlicues of white smoke. The Ruyan V8 which produces a nicotine-infused mist absorbed directly into the lungs is just one of a rapidly growing array of electronic cigarettes attracting attention in China the U.S. and elsewhere — and the scrutiny of world health officials. Marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking and a potential way to kick the habit the smokeless smokes have been distributed in swag bags at the British film awards and hawked at an international trade show. Because no burning is involved makers say there s no hazardous cocktail of cancer-causing chemicals and gases like those produced by a regular cigarette.
There s no secondhand smoke so they can be used in places where cigarettes are banned the makers say. Health authorities are questioning those claims. The World Health Organization issued a statement in September warning there was no evidence to back up contentions that e-cigarettes are a safe substitute for smoking or a way to help smokers quit. It also said companies should stop marketing them that way especially since the product may undermine smoking prevention efforts because they look like the real thing and may lure nonsmokers including children. “There is not sufficient evidence that they are safe products for human consumption ”
Timothy O Leary a communications officer at the WHO s Tobacco Free Initiative in Geneva said this week. The laundry list of WHO s concerns includes the lack of conclusive studies and information about e-cigarette contents and their long-term health effects he said. Unlike other nicotine-replacement therapies such as patches for slow delivery through the skin gum or candy for absorption in the mouth or inhalers and nasal sprays e-cigarettes have not gone through rigorous testing O Leary said.
via WBBM 780 – Chicago’s #1 source for local news, traffic and weather – A New Kind Of Cigarette.