NJOY, the electronic cigarette brand based in Scottsdale, will continue to market the tobacco-less devices despite a warning from the Food and Drug Administration that it could pose health risks.
Public health officials said last week that electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigarettes,” may not be such a healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes.
The FDA tested NJOY and another brand. Results showed some of the samples in both brands contained human carcinogens and tobacco impurities suspected of being harmful to humans.
NJOY, manufactured and distributed by Sottera, Inc., in the Scottsdale Airpark, has argued that e-cigarettes contain impurities at much lower levels than traditional cigarettes. In a statement, the company said the FDA’s study does “not confirm a risk to health from using NJOY’s products.”
• The FDA’s division of pharmaceutical analysis tested ingredients in two leading “e-cigarette” brands – Scottsdale-based “NJOY” and Florida-based “Smoking Everywhere.”
• In one “Smoking Everywhere” cartridge, they found diethylene glycol, a toxic ingredient used in antifreeze.
• Tobacco-specific impurities suspected of being harmful to humans were detected in most of the samples.
• Some tobacco-specific human carcinogens were detected in half of the samples.
• Cartridges that were labeled as “no nicotine” had low levels of nicotine in all cartridges except one.
The devices have been marketed since April 2007 with “no reports of adverse health consequences,” the company said. The FDA has not asked NJOY to re-label or remove the product from shelves.
E-cigarettes, which are battery-operated and contain cartridges of nicotine, are made to look and taste like normal cigarettes. When inhaled, they produce a nicotine-laced vapor that is absorbed into the lungs and marketed as safer than traditional tobacco.
NJOY recently hired an independent third-party to analyze the results of the FDA study. The results will likely be released this week, said Amy Linert, a representative who spoke on behalf of NJOY.
“We’re looking at quality control,” Linert said. “We’re looking at levels of the elements.”
Health experts expressed concerns that e-cigarettes, which have addictive nicotine, could get smokers hooked at a younger age. The products do not contain any health warnings, unlike nicotine replacement products or conventional cigarettes.
Companies sell them in different flavors, which health officials said could appeal to young people. NJOY’s cartridges come in flavors such as apple, strawberry and vanilla.
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