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Electronic Cigarette Vapor may be less harmful than tobacco smoke

A recent study has analyzed the chemical differences between electronic cigarette smoke and tobacco smoke, and the conclusions are striking.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014 (HealthDay News) - Second-hand steam created by a brand of electronic cigarettes contains fewer dangerous chemicals than normal cigarette smoke, although researchers report the finding does not leave electronic cigarettes in the clear .

The study has caveats. On the one hand, it does not examine which are the dangerous chemicals in e-cig vapor that reach the lungs of nearby people (secondhand steam). And in addition scientists only observed smoking indoors, which is often banned in the United States.

Even so, the findings indicate that "in general, electronic cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes," said study author Arian Saffari, a graduate student and associate with the department of civil and environmental engineering at The University of Southern California. However, "we can still find some dangerous material in the smoke of the electronic cigarette," said Saffari. "And therefore we can not leave electronic cigarettes unregulated."

The World Health Organization and the American Heart Association (AHA), along with other health agencies, have recently called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes. The AHA wants the US Food and Drug Administration Prohibit the marketing and sale of electronic cigarettes to young people. The FDA first proposed a rule last April that will allow it to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products do, but that proposal has not yet been finalized.