E-cigarettes harmful to health

Refillable electronic e-cigarettes, and the potential exposure to e-liquids containing nicotine, may pose risks to public health, according to a report recently adopted by the European Commission.

The report included input from an external study that analysed physical samples, scientific literature and data from poison centres in eight EU countries. The study also surveyed the e-cigarette industry on their perception of the risks.

The report found four main risks with refillable e-cigarettes:

  • poisoning from ingesting e-liquids containing nicotine (especially for young children);
  • skin reactions related to dermal contact with e-liquids containing nicotine and other skin irritants;
  • risks associated with home blending
  • risks due to using untested combinations of e-liquid and device or hardware customisation.

The report concludes that although the measures for refillable e-cigarettes set out in the Tobacco Products Directive and secondary legislation, combined with national regulation, provide an adequate and proportionate framework for mitigating health risks, further study of these products is needed.

To read the full report on the risks of electronic cigarettes on the eur-lex.europa.eu website