In 2009 the FDA carried out research into the electronic cigarette.
Two brands of electronic cigarette were tested. One was Smoking Everywhere, the other was NJOY.
Thee FDA chose to test the ingredients of the electronic cigarettes, rather than the vapour.
In one Smoking Everywhere cigarette Diethylene Glycol was found, at a rate of one percent of the total ingredients. Small quantities of tobacco specific nitrosamines were also found, although, as Professor Michael Siegel pointed out in a comparison of electronic cigarettes and cigarettes, these were 1400 times lower than those found in Marlboro cigarettes.
Despite, according to experts such as Professor Michael Siegel, the study proving that the ingredients of the electronic cigarettes were far safer than regular cigarettes, these findings were touted round the world as proof that the electronic cigarette was dangerous, or even that it was more dangerous than tobacco cigarettes.
This was encouraged by the FDA's press release, which pointed out that the NJOY contained toxins without giving any indication of the quantities (which were similar to those found in foods such as peanut butter.)
Perhaps the height of the allegations came when the Peninsula newspaper claimed that electronic cigarettes contained 40 times as much nicotine as regular cigarettes, despite the fact that even the strongest electronic cigarette contained considerably less nicotine than regular cigarettes.
As a result of these inaccurate and misleading reports, NJOY chartered comprehensive tests by Ben Thomas, Ph.D., a well-respected consultant with 35 years' experience in toxicology, pathology and risk mitigation and leading independent consulting laboratory, ANALYZE.
The study looked for the same tobacco specific nitrosamines that had been found by the FDA scientists - but they looked for them not in the ingredients but in the vapour actually inhaled by the user. Levels were to be compared with the FDA-approved Nicorette inhaler.
More tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNA) were detected in the FDA-approved nicorette than in the NJOY electronic cigarette. (These TSNA's, however, were of such low a level that they were of no concern.)
The only TSNA to be found in the NJOY electronic cigarette was non-toxic, which means, given the FDA had found no other toxins in the NJOY, that the NJOY vapour has been tested one hundred percent toxin free.
“Based on my review of scientific literature, NAT is not toxic and not carcinogenic, and based on the vapor analysis, it is my conclusion that TSNAs do not pose a health risk to the users of the electronic cigarettes distributed by NJOY,” concluded Professor Ben Thomas.