Primary Care Corner with Geoffrey Modest MD: E-cigarettes, again

By: Dr. Geoffrey Modest

And another issue comes up with e-cigarette. Front page story in the New York Times on health hazards from contaminated e-cigarettes made in China. 90% of the world’s e-cigarettes are currently made in China, with expectations to export >300 million to the US and Europe this year. Although a New York Times review in Shenzhen found that many large factories were legitimate and did make efforts at quality control, there is no consistent regulation and some had no testing equipment. And some e-cigs are literally made in a garage and are knock-offs of established brands.  The result is that some fake e-cigarettes, which may even be mixed in with legitimate ones, may have hazardous metals from their inappropriate manufacturing process, with 25 or so different elements, including large amounts of nickel and chromium, as well as tin particles, lead, zinc and carcinogens, and even diethylene glycol (used in antifreeze). When e-cigs first were developed, there were no regulations. The US has just begun to develop specific regulations for manufacturers, though this could take years.

So, adds to the concerns of e-cigarettes.

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