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How safe are e-cigarettes?

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A Florida man’s claim that an electronic cigarette battery exploded in his mouth, knocking out several teeth and destroying part of his tongue, raises questions about the safety of e-cigarettes.

An estimated 2.5 million Americans use the devices as an alternative to smoking or as a vehicle to help them quit.

“What smokers find out is that you can get just the satisfaction from this product as you do from a cigarette without the tar, the carcinogens, the smell, the ashes and the butts,” said Dave Dorsey, owner of EVO Vapor, a Wichita based e-cigarette maker.

Dorsey said he was suprised by the incident in Florida and he cautioned people to wait for all the facts. He said it’s possible the explosion victim may have been using a modified battery or homemade e-cigarette.
“I say would the odds of having an electronic cigarette blow up on you like this guy did are probably about the same odds as getting hit by lightning,” Dorsey said.

Wichitan Frank Curtis said he had a bad experience with electronic cigarettes and he doesn’t recommend people use them. Curtis said a tobacco juice cartridge burst in his mouth, causing nicotine liquid to run down his mouth and face. He aslo said the incident left him with minor “chemical burns” around his mouth.

“I personally wouldn’t use them. I’d say go cold turkey or just learn to ween yourself off of whatever you’re smoking,” Curtis said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is in the process of creating specific regulations for electronic cigarettes. The agency has not tested or approved the devices and says consumers have no way of knowing

If they are safe for their intended use,
What types or concentrations of potentially harmful chemicals are found in these products, or
How much nicotine they are inhaling when they use these products.
The FDA doesn’t allow e-cigarette manufacturers to market their products as smoking cessation devices.

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