June 30, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Philippine FDA warns about secondhand emissions from e-cigs, urges including in local clean indoor air laws

The Philippine FDA has issued an advisory on e-cigarettes, "Secondary exposure to e-cigarette emission might be harmful to health." 

The Philippine FDA notes that "Electronic cigarettes are not emission-free.   E-cigarettes contain volatile organic substances, including propylene glycol, flavors and nicotine, and are emitted as mist or aerosol into indoor air.  Study showed that these ultrafine liquid particles ... may penetrate deeply into lungs."  These ultrafine particles are an important cause of heart attacks with a nonlinear dose-response, i.e., low levels of exposure have big effects.

The advisory goes on to state, "four of the metals measures, namely sodium, iron, aluminum and nickel, were present at higher levels that those known in cigarette smoke.  Five others, namely copper, magnesium, lead, chromium, manganese, were present in the same amount, while potassium and zinc were present at lower levels.  Nickel and chromium are carcinogenic and lead is suspected to be carcinogenic.  If several people are using e-cigarettes in a room at the same time, considerable indoor air pollution will accumulate and may result in harmful second-hand exposure." [emphasis added]

The FDA ends saying, "local government units shall be guided by this advisory in strengthening their ordinances against smoking in public places and on second-hand exposure to harmful substances."

Needless to say the Philippine ecigs lobby is attacking the Philippine FDA using language reminiscent of US cigarette company attacks on Surgeon General reports (press coverage).

The Philippine FDA relied on the excellent report, Electronic Cigarettes – An Overview, released by the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (DKNZ) earlier this year.


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