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Aug-09-2009 23:11TweetFollow @OregonNews
Smokeless 'E-Cigarettes' Raise New Health Concerns (AUDIO)Salem-News.com
Oregon’s Ban has National Implications.
(SALEM, Ore. ONS) - Oregon is the first state to ban the sale of so-called electronic cigarettes, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will soon be in court to fight the same battle nationally.
The battery-operated tube looks like a real paper-and-tobacco cigarette, but contains nicotine and flavors that can be inhaled without producing smoke. The FDA wants to regulate them as drug devices.
Some makers of e-cigarettes call them a safer alternative to smoking. For Dana Kaye, executive director of the American Lung Association of Oregon, that doesn't fly.
"My fear is just the opposite with these. If people are using them thinking they're not going to get addicted, we're going to have a new culture of folks that are hooked on nicotine, who weren't previously."
Kaye says electronic cigarettes don't make nicotine any less addictive, and the FDA has found other chemicals in them, including diethylene glycol, a common ingredient of antifreeze.
"I think we see it in some other things, makeup and lotions and that kind of stuff. There's a safe limit of that particular chemical, but not necessarily as an inhaled substance."
Kaye says most of the electronic cigarettes come from China and their health effects have not been thoroughly tested. Two distributors of the products are challenging the FDA for confiscating shipments; the court date is August 17. E-cigarettes cannot legally be sold in Oregon, but she says people are buying them online or in neighboring states.
Special thanks to Oregon News Service
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