An article published Monday in The Daily Mail announced “E-cigarettes are as dangerous as cigarettes and could cause cancer, claims study.” This article said a French consumer magazine, 60 Millions Consommateurs (60 Million Consumers), had branded the devices as ‘far from the benign gadgets they are sold as by manufacturers’. Quickly, news outlets from all over the world were reporting that “E-cigarettes might be carcinogenic” and “E-cigarettes as harmful as cigarettes.”
According to the 60 Millions Consommateurs, which is published by the National Consumers’ Institute (a government-funded organization somewhat much like Consumer Reports in the United States), their investigators examined 10 e-cigarettes. This “report” uses the French government announced in May this year to ban electronic cigarette use in public spaces, that has outraged French e-cigarette buyers and sellers.
Clive Bates, former head of ASHUK plus a tobacco harm reduction advocate, announced on his website that he had issued a complaint about the Daily Mail post to the Press Complaints Commission, following the news broke.
“There are many flaws within the Mail article, mainly shoddy health journalism and shortage of equilibrium or proportion, and life is so brief to go into them all,” Bates wrote in a post titled “Lazy, mindless, wrong – the Mail can’t stop it self.”
The web version of the post has since been re-named “E-cigarettes contain substances that produce some ‘as harmful as normal tobacco’.”
On Tuesday, another article was posted by the magazine with a few more details, which allowed experts to partially assess the findings.
MSN.com reported an interview with Drexel University Professor Igor Burstyn, who told them he is skeptical of the analysis. The post was titled “Rumor: E-cigarettes are as harmful as the real things,” and it concluded the rumor was “unconfirmed” and that “the bulk of investigation says they are much safer.”