FDA 'concerned about safety' of electronic cigarettes

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by WFAA-TV Staff

wfaa.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 11:38 AM

File / WFAA-TV
Users of electronic cigarettes inhale a vapor that contains nicotine.

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Manufacturers claim electronic cigarettes are safer than their tobacco-based cousins, but federal health officials warn that may not be accurate.

The Food and Drug Administration said it found toxic chemicals in the battery-powered cigarettes, including an ingredient used in antifreeze along with low levels of nicotine.

"The FDA is concerned about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the public," said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg in a statement issued Wednesday.

The test results are based on small samples from two leading brands of e-cigarettes, which turn nicotine and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user.

The FDA said it has no way to know about how serious the problem could be because the products have not been submitted for formal evaluation or approval.

The federal agency said it is concerned because the electronic cigarettes are marketed and sold to young people at shopping malls and online.

News 8 first reported on the new product last November.

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