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FDA Warns of Health Risks Posed by E-Cigarettes

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Of particular concern to parents is that e-cigarettes are sold without any legal age restrictions, and are available in different flavors (such as chocolate, strawberry and mint) which may appeal to young people.

In addition, the devices do not contain any health warnings comparable to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products or conventional cigarettes.

During the phone conference, which was shared with the news media, FDA announced findings from a laboratory analysis that indicates that electronic cigarettes expose users to harmful chemical ingredients.

FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis—part of the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research—analyzed the ingredients in a small sample of cartridges from two leading brands of e-cigarette samples.

One sample was found to contain diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in antifreeze. Several other samples were found to contain carcinogens, including nitrosamines.

Agency Actions

FDA has been examining and detaining shipments of e-cigarettes at the border and has found that the products it has examined thus far meet the definition of a combination drug device product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The agency has been challenged regarding its jurisdiction over certain e-cigarettes in a case currently pending in federal district court.

FDA is planning additional activities to address its concerns about electronic cigarettes.

Meanwhile, health care professionals and consumers may report serious adverse events or product quality problems with the use of e-cigarettes to FDA through the MedWatch program, either online or by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088.


For more information about topics for your health, visit the FDA Consumer Information Center (  

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