Electronic cigarettes may be as harmful as normal tobacco, according to the September issue of the French magazine ’60 Million Consumers’.
The magazine, which tested 10 disposable and rechargeable cigarettes, said they may emit potentially carcinogenic compounds.
In three models out of those 10, the levels of the carcinogenic compound formaldehyde come close to those of a conventional cigarette. They also contained potentially toxic molecules and metals.
Thomas Laurenceau, the editor of 60 Million Consumers, said: “They are not as harmless as they claim to be. That’s why it’s important to understand that smoking is not a game, don’t take it lightly, it’s not healthy.”
Smokers in France have had mixed reactions to the report. One said:
“If they tell us it’s harmful then I’m ready to give up completely.”
Another was more sanguine: “It can’t be worse than real cigarettes. Even if its a bit carcinogenic it’s not a problem, the others are really carcinogenic.”
The report also criticised certain models for lacking adequate child-proof safety caps. The high levels of nicotine in the liquid content of an electronic cigarette could be extremely harmful to children.
The review also states that it detected “carcinogenic molecules in significant amount” in the vapor emitted by e-cigarettes, which was not known before.