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UK Health Minister report

10th December 2013

The under Secretary of State for the Department of Health - Earl Howe has stated, based on findings by American scientists, that the level of toxins in electronic cigarettes is about one thousandth of that in cigarette smoke and that they are substantially less harmful than smoking tobacco cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes are designed to mimic the act of smoking without the thousands of dangerous chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes.

The tobacco cigarettes had levels of between 3000ng/g and 9000ng/g of nitrosamines per cigarette. Whilst they found the electronic cigarette to have a maximum of 8.18ng/g.

According to some studies, the majority of electronic cigarettes do not contain nitrosamines. However the level which was identified in the study shows the level to be the same as found in approved nicotine patches.

It is also worth noting that nitrosamines are something that we continually have exposure to in the various food and drink we consume - for example beer, fish, cheese, and even drinking water.  As these cannot be eliminated, governments have set the maximum allowed limits. In the UK this is set a 30ng/g and in the US this is 60ng/g.  So whilst there is still some debate as to whether or not e cigarettes actually contain nitrosamines - it is clear from the evidence that even if this was the case, the levels have been found to be way under the allowable government limits.