Tuesday, December 14, 2010 (Last Updated: 12/15/2010)
TUESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic cigarettes, known as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), are poorly designed and labeled, leading to safety concerns which might merit removal from the market, according to research published online Dec. 7 in Tobacco Control.
Anna Trtchounian and Prue Talbot, Ph.D., both of the University of California in Riverside, conducted a study of five brands of ENDS which claim to deliver nicotine to the lungs of smokers. The design features of the devices and the accuracy and clarity of labels, instruction manuals, and associated print and online materials were evaluated and compared.
Overall, the researchers found that the basic design of the five brands of ENDS was similar, but specific features varied widely. Most brands had nicotine-containing fluid leaking from the cartridges which was difficult to avoid during handling. Labeling of cartridges was generally poor, with labeling of replacement packs better but still containing important omissions. Some orders were filled incorrectly. Safe disposal of used nicotine-containing cartridges was not adequately addressed in user manuals or on the manufacturers' Web sites, and safety features sometimes did not function correctly.
"Nonsmokers could easily mistake 24-mg cartridges for 0-mg cartridges and in the process become addicted to nicotine. Likewise former smokers could become re-addicted by inadvertently smoking nicotine-containing cartridges," the authors write. "Our observations provide evidence that regulators should consider removing ENDS from the market until design features, quality control, labeling, disposal, and safety issues have been adequately addressed."
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