Health Tip: Are E-Cigarettes Safe?

(HealthDay News) — People may turn to electronic cigarettes thinking they are a healthier alternative to smoking.

Not so fast, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. E-cigarettes can:

  • Encourage use of tobacco products, either by former smokers or by those who have never smoked.
  • Cause harm to pregnant women and fetuses.
  • Cause nicotine poisoning from accidental ingestion, inhalation or absorption of the nicotine liquid in e-cigarettes.
  • Expose non e-cigarette users to secondhand nicotine emissions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is particularly concerned about users under the age of 18: On Thursday, the agency said it will ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The move is part of its long-awaited plan to extend the agency’s regulatory powers across all tobacco products.