Feeds

'Electronic fags' are useless - US prof's startling claim

eButts don't work as advertised

Business security measures using SSL

An American professor has called for urgent regulation of so-called "electronic cigarettes", devices which are supposed to give a nicotine addict a hit of their drug without falling foul of smoking bans.

But Professor Thomas Eissenberg of the Virginia Commonwealth Uni isn't objecting to the battery-powered eCigs on the grounds that they're unhealthy. Rather, the prof says that in his tests there was no sign that they gave users any nicotine at all.

An electronic fag, generally a cylindrical plastic device a little bigger than a normal 'baccy-filled gasper, is powered by an internal battery - often a rechargeable li-ion job. A miniature heater and replaceable nicotine cartridge are used to generate a mist or vapour supposedly laden with the poisonous but popular and addictive drug, which is then inhaled by the user.

As there is no tar or other unfortunate byproducts of burning 'baccy, the eFag is held by its makers to be much healthier than regular burning ones, and is not covered by the various prohibitions and bans now sweeping the western world.

But Eissenberg and his colleagues now report on their trials in Virginia, which saw hapless drug-slaves sucking on both eButts and regular ones both lit and unlit, with accompanying blood-nicotine, pulse and "craving" measurements.

"Our findings demonstrate that the 'electronic cigarettes' that we tested do not deliver the drug they are supposed to deliver. It's not just that they delivered less nicotine than a cigarette. Rather, they delivered no measurable nicotine at all. In terms of nicotine delivery, these products were as effective as puffing from an unlit cigarette," says the prof.

He's calling for government regulation of eCigs, not so much in the form of a crackdown on their use, but to ensure that manufacturers actually have to deliver the nicotine hit they promise.

"Consumers have a right to expect that products marketed to deliver a drug will work safely and as promised", insists the prof. "These products have somehow avoided regulation thus far. Our results suggest that consumers interested in safe and effective nicotine delivery need to be very wary."

Virginia is of course a major tobacco-growing state, so Eissenberg probably knows all about nicotine and its effects.

Meanwhile other profs in California have recently stated that eCigs - or anyway ones which actually emit nicotine vapour - are still a major health hazard owing to the phenomenon of so-called "third hand" smoke.

Eissenberg's research can be read online by subscribers to the journal Tobacco Control, here. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.