New Study Shows E-Cigarettes Threaten Public Health, Says Banzhaf // Finds They Keep People Smoking and Lure Kids Into Addiction

A new study shows that e-cigarettes may be a public health hazard by permitting users to continue smoking despite workplace smoking bans, encouraging kids to become addicted to nicotine, causing increased indoor air pollution, and encouraging smoking, says Professor John Banzhaf.

Washington, DC, May 19, 2014 --( Even if using e-cigarettes was less hazardous than smoking conventional cigarettes, they could still be a major public health hazard by permitting users to continue smoking despite workplace smoking bans, by encouraging kids to become addicted to nicotine by using these "candy cigarettes on steroids," causing increased indoor air pollution, and possibly indirectly promoting the smoking of conventional cigarette with "aggressive marketing messages similar to those used to promote cigarettes in the 1950s and 1960s," says a major new study from scientists as UCSF.

"This major new study, published in a prestigious medical journal supported by the American Heart Association, provides even stronger evidence that e-cigarettes should be strictly regulated," says Banzhaf, whose actions help lead to the tentative regulatory steps the Foods and Drugs Administration [FDA] has just taken.

A leading scientist not involved with the study agrees that, until the science is better known, e-cigarettes should be treated the same as regular cigarettes when it comes to public use and marketing, Banzhaf notes.

"The burden should be proving it's safe, not that it's unsafe after hurting hundreds of thousands of people," the scientist said, but the FDA seems to be taken the opposite approach; allowing them to be marketed with few restrictions turns millions of users and those around them into human guinea pigs, says Banzhaf, a leading critic who has been called "The Law Professor Who Masterminded Litigation Against the Tobacco Industry."

This important new study, just published in Circulation magazine, finds that "the evidence available at this time, although limited, points to high levels of dual use of e-cigarettes with conventional cigarettes, no proven cessation benefits, and rapidly increasing youth initiation with e-cigarettes," as well as "using the products . . . to circumvent smoke-free laws."

"Furthermore, high rates of dual use may result in greater total public health burden and possibly increased individual risk if a smoker maintains an even low-level tobacco cigarette addiction for many years instead of quitting," the study concluded.

The study reported that "it is clear that e-cigarette emissions are not merely 'harmless water vapor,' as is frequently claimed, and can be a source of indoor air pollution, noting that e-cigarettes give off ultra-fine particles, and that research has shown that even low- and short-term exposure to similar particles increases the risk of heart and regulatory disease."
George Washington University Law School
Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
202 994-7229 // 703 527-8418