Tobacco Expert Witness On Electronic Cigarettes

Tobacco control expert witness Dr. Michael Siegel has served as an expert witness in several major tobacco litigation cases. The associate chairman and a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University writes on the electronic cigarette issue:

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal recently announced plans to seek a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes in the state. This ill-advised decision follows a federal Food and Drug Administration report that put a scare into electronic cigarette users across the country, telling them that these battery-powered devices – which deliver nicotine without burning tobacco like conventional cigarettes – are dangerous because they contain carcinogens…

However, the FDA failed to mention in its press conference that the levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (the carcinogens) detected in electronic cigarettes were extremely low, below the level allowed in nicotine replacement products, such as nicotine patches, inhalers and gum. The agency is not threatening to take nicotine patches or gum off the market, although they too contain detectable levels of carcinogens…

The bottom line is this: Conventional cigarettes have been thoroughly tested. They are known to contain at least 10,000 chemicals, including about 57 carcinogens. Electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine without these 10,000 chemicals and 57 carcinogens. It doesn’t take a rocket toxicologist to figure out that electronic cigarettes are a much, much safer alternative to conventional ones.

Unfortunately, what the FDA and the anti-smoking groups are essentially telling smokers is that they would rather have them continue to smoke the most toxic cigarettes – the conventional ones – rather than switch to a product that is likely orders of magnitude safer.

Excerpted from