Feeds

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

eButts don't work as advertised

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.