Don’t Fall for E-Cigarette Claims
Electronic cigarette—or e-cigarette—sales are rising about 25% each year. In a recent announcement, the Food and Drug Administration warns consumers that health claims made by the manufacturers of these products are unproven and unsupported by research. The FDA requires electronic smoking devices—which now come under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act—to carry a warning indicating they contain nicotine.
Concerned that unproven health claims mislead consumers—for example, influencing a person who is trying to quit smoking to buy one product over another based on inaccurate information—researchers looked online to see what types of claims consumers are exposed to when searching for electronic smoking products.
They found that a majority of websites—both manufacturer and retailer sites—made at least one unproven health claim, and some sites even claimed that e-cigarettes carry no risks at all. Beginning in August, manufacturers of electronic smoking devices that wish to market their products as “healthier or safer than cigarettes” must first apply to the FDA, and then provide proof of their claims.
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