Myths & Facts
Electronic Cigarettes: Myths and Facts
Myth: Electronic cigarettes are being sold to kids.
Fact: Electronic cigarettes are intended for committed smokers of the legal age to smoke.
The industry advocates proper labellng, encourages retailers to check identification of customers and notes that electronic cigarette companies in good standing validate age prior to transacting online purchases. In a recent industry study that included a random sample of US electronic cigarette customers, the average respondent’s age was 44 years old. Further, with an average product price of about $100, it can hardly be called kid‐friendly.
Myth: Electronic cigarette cartridges offer many flavours in order to attract adolescent users.
Fact: Many adult‐intended products offer a variety of flavours. The preference for flavour is universal and not age‐specific. Products of all types offer colors, flavours and other variations in order to appeal to consumers. To suggest that the cartridge flavours for electronic cigarettes were devised to appeal to kids is patently false and has no basis in fact, and is the same thing as suggesting nicotine‐infused smoking cessation gums are available in mint and cinnamon flavours in order to appeal to kids. Electronic cigarettes sold by companies in good standing are for committed smokers of the legal age to smoke.
Myth: Electronic cigarettes make nicotine readily available to non‐smokers.
Fact: Electronic cigarettes are marketed to current smokers, not non‐smokers.
Nicotine is widely available in over‐the‐counter products including tobacco cigarettes and smoking cessation gums and lozenges, and there is no evidence that these products or electronic cigarettes increase the consumption of nicotine by those who do not wish to smoke. In a recent industry study that included a random sample of US electronic cigarette customers, 96% were smokers purchasing the product for personal use, and 4% purchased the product for a friend or relative who smoked.
Myth: No one knows what is in electronic cigarettes.
Fact: Multiple studies have been conducted and the ingredients are well known.
Multiple studies by different laboratories around the globe have been conducted identifying that the vapour that is ingested when using an electronic cigarette, depending on the manufacturer, contains approximately 20 ingredients including nicotine, all regarded as generally safe for human consumption when ingested prudently and in accordance with proper labeling. By contrast, tobacco smoke contains 4,000 ingredients including arsenic and carbon monoxide, and dozens of cancer-causing ingredients.
Myth: Electronic cigarettes are illegal in Canada.
Fact: Health Canada issued an advisory in 2009 that stated electronic cigarettes with nicotine fall within the medicinal product classification which would require market authorization from Health Canada. There is no law in Canada that states e-cigarettes are in any way illegal, and Health Canada has clearly misclassified the product as medicinal. With no health, therapeutic, or cessation claims and delivering less than 4mg of nicotine per draw (or dosage unit) e-cigarettes that contain nicotine are exempt from the food and drugs act regulation.
Myth: You can stop people from smoking.
Fact: Tobacco smoking increased in the US in 2008 for the first time since 1965.
After a 30‐year decline in tobacco smoking in the U.S., the percentage of US adults who smoke tobacco increased in 2008 and for the first time since 1965; this despite decades of gallant legislative and educational efforts, and the multi‐billion dollar smoking cessation market. It is clear that some people will choose to smoke, and that further improvement in public health requires the acceptance of this reality and the full embrace of innovative new products that are ever‐less hazardous than tobacco cigarettes and ever‐more effective than abstinence.
Myth: Nicotine is bad for you.
Fact: The long‐term use of nicotine is orders of magnitude safer than tobacco smoking.
Nicotine suffers from guilt‐by‐association with tobacco. The carcinogenic properties of nicotine in a standalone form, separated from tobacco smoke, indicate that nicotine, on its own, does not promote the development of cancer in healthy tissue and has no mutagenic properties. Further, the Royal College of Physicians says that there are no grounds to suspect appreciable long‐term adverse effects on health from the long‐term use of nicotine. Electronic cigarette companies in good standing and with proper labeling do advise consumers on who the product is intended for and who should not use the product, as well as the addictive qualities of nicotine