Tobacco Companies Put Out Strong Health Warnings on E-Cigarettes
With the e-cigarette industry booming after stricter anti-smoking policies were enforced, health advocates and researchers have been studying the devices in order to determine whether or not they are safe to use. Now, tobacco companies have voiced their thoughts on the safety of e-cigarettes by putting out some of the strongest health warnings in regards to e-smoking.
These warnings, with many of them being direr than the warnings printed on cigarette packs, have received criticism. Some of the warnings included, according to the New York Times:
"Nicotine is addictive and habit forming, and is very toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed," printed by Altria, which manufactures Marlboros.
Reynolds American, the creator of Camels, stated that e-cigarettes are not intended for people with "an unstable heart condition, high blood pressure, or diabetes; or persons who are at risk for heart disease or are taking medicine for depression or asthma."
Altria's MarkTen, which is a large e-cigarette brand, printed a 100-word warning on their e-cigarette cartridge refills stating the e-cigarettes are not smoking cessation aids. The warning has also been printed on Reynolds American's e-cigarette, Vuse.
Spokesman for Altria, William Phelps added, according to TIME that the waning is a part of the company's "goal to openly and honestly communicate about health effects."
All of these warnings have been added voluntarily. Some experts believe that the tobacco companies added these warnings as a way to reduce their chances of legal liability and improve their corporate image at the same time. The warning labels could also affect the small e-cigarette manufacturers that claim e-cigarettes can be relatively healthy for smokers.
"When I saw it, I nearly fell off my chair," said Dr. Robert K. Jackler, a professor at the Stanford School of Medicine where he leads research into cigarette and e-cigarette advertising. "Is this part of a noble effort for the betterment of public health, or a cynical business strategy? I suspect the latter."