Big Tobacco companies, including Marlboro maker Altria Group and Camel maker Reynolds American, recently decided it was high time to make their way into the electronic cigarette industry. In a move that has baffled tobacco experts, new Big Tobacco e-cig products, such as MarkTen from Altria affiliate NuMark and Vuse from Reynolds, feature lengthy warning labels listing what seems like every health side effect associated with nicotine, The New York Times reported. The cloud of confusion kicked up by e-cig warning labels could be just what Big Tobacco was looking for: blurring the lines for smokers considering these products as a smoking cessation or replacement tool.
The American Lung Association issued a recent statement calling out speculative research that suggests e-cigarettes can be used to help smokers quit. E-cigarettes are not only an ineffective smoking cessation tool, but in many cases they are just as hazardous as regular cigarettes. FDA lab tests from 2009 found detectable levels of cancer-causing chemicals, including a main ingredient in anti-freeze, in two of the leading e-cigarette brands. A study published in 2014 found a wide range of nicotine levels found in popular e-cigarette brands revealing that smokers have no way of knowing what they’re getting in these products.
MarkTen’s warning label states:
This product is not a smoking cessation product and has not been tested as such. This product is intended for use by persons of legal age or older, and not by children, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or persons with or at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or taking medicine for depression or asthma. Nicotine is addictive and habit-forming, and is very toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed.
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