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FDA cautions public on harmful effect of e-cigarette to health

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Wednesday that secondary exposure to electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) emission could be harmful to one's health.

FDA Director General Kenneth Hartigan-Go said that e-cigarettes are not emission-free based on a few studies, including that of a a publication this year on Electronic Cigarettes -- An Overview by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Unit Cancer Prevention, Heidelberg, and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control.

"E-cigarettes contain volatile organic substances, including propylene glycol, flavors and nicotine, and are emitted as mist or aerosol into indoor air," he said.

According to a study, Go said that these ultrafine liquid particles of less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter may penetrate deeply into the lungs and while they are substantially fewer than conventional cigarettes, the substances emitted by e-cigarettes may be inhaled by non-users when used indoor. 

"If several people are using e-cigarettes in a room at the same time, considerable indoor air pollution will accumulate and may result in harmful second-hand exposure," the official said.

With these findings, Go urged the public, especially the youth, not to start smoking at all and to stop using cigarettes, cigars, or e-cigarettes.

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