Health authorities in South Korea have concluded that vaping electronic cigarettes is not safe, according to a story in The Korea Times.
The National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency, which is under the wing of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said Monday that electronic cigarettes contained carcinogenic substances, though it conceded that the amounts of those substances might be lower than those in traditional cigarettes.
‘Some studies also show e-cigarettes can contain harmful materials that do not exist in ordinary cigarettes, such as phthalate,’ it said.
‘Also, when the users control the amount of nicotine solution, it is difficult to predict how much nicotine the people consume. So we can’t say that e-cigarettes are safe from nicotine exposure.’
The agency said it had received help from 11 ‘experts’ who took part in an agency discussion in February.
The agency further said that there were not enough medical grounds to claim that electronic cigarettes were able to help people to quit smoking, and that it was ‘improper’ to advertise the devices as quit-smoking aids.
There was a call for more discussions so as to prepare regulations on electronic cigarettes: such as on the level of a nicotine solution’s concentration and on the kinds of permitted additives.
“The nation needs more studies about the reality of e-cigarette use, its safety and effect in quitting or reducing smoking,’ the agency reportedly said.
“But such studies will have to exclude commercially interested parties.”