You think you know that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes, but only because the e-cigarette industry has led you to believe that. After all, the industry says they don’t have all those chemicals found in cigarettes. Australia, the first country to bring plain packaging for cigarettes, is now the first country “to successfully take legal action against e-cigarette companies for making false and misleading claims about the carcinogens in their products.”
Three companies, Joystick Company, Social-Lites and Elusion Australia along with their CEOs and directors, have been ordered to pay penalties for breaching consumer law. All three companies admit to the deception as statements on their websites “led consumers to believe they would not be exposed to the harmful chemicals found in ordinary cigarettes.” However, testing done on samples found formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein in the products of all three manufacturers with the addition of acetone found in Social-Lite’s products.
It seems that these e-cigarettes also claimed they are not a therapeutic device yet their websites urge smokers to use them in their desire to quit. Claiming them as therapeutic requires them to follow certain regulations. The companies also claimed that e-cigarettes are safe or harmless when in fact there are no long-term studies to back up that claim nor any studies to prove the devices have helped smokers “quit for good.”
It is time that e-cigarette users, no matter where they live, learn the truths about the products they are using. It will be interesting to see if U.S. e-cigarette companies make changes to their claims following the Australian outcome.
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