E-cigarettes may contain up to 10 times as many cancer-causing toxic chemicals as traditional tobacco cigarettes according to Japanese researchers. A shocking finding given the devices are marketed as harmless smoking cessation aids.
The study, commissioned by Japan's health ministry found potent carcinogens including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde in the vapour inhaled by users of some types of e-cigarettes.
The electronic devices work by heating flavoured liquid which users purchase as refills. The liquid often contains nicotine and when heated turns into a vapour that is inhaled, much like traditional cigarettes but without the smoke from the burning of tobacco.
Speaking to French news agency Agence France Presse (AFP), a spokesman for the health ministry said formaldehyde was present at much higher levels than carcinogens found in the smoke from regular cigarettes. Scientist Naoki Kunugita added that "In one brand of e-cigarette the team found more than 10 times the level of carcinogens contained in one regular cigarette,"