Using certain electronic cigarettes at high temperature settings could potentially release more formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical, than smoking traditional cigarettes does, new lab tests suggest. The research does not prove a health risk — it involved limited testing on just one brand of e-cigarettes and was done in test tubes, not people. It also does not mean e-cigarettes are better or worse than regular ones; tobacco smoke contains dozens of things that can cause cancer.
A plan to classify electronic cigarettes in the same fashion as the conventional kind survived its toughest committee test Monday and now awaits a Senate floor vote. The bill cleared the Senate Commerce Committee after an attempt to weaken the proposed regulations failed on a 7-6 vote. It would add so-called vaping to state indoor air laws that bar tobacco use in public places and most businesses.
More smokers are turning to electronic cigarettes as a less-expensive and less-regulated way to get their nicotine. But they’re still so new, governments and businesses are grappling with how to deal with them. E-cigarettes have a battery-powered heating element that produces vapor rather than smoke. They’re not restricted under Minnesota’s Clean Indoor Air Act, but many businesses – including the Minnesota Twins – are telling customers to put them away.