Are E-Liquids As Toxic as The Media Will Have Us Believe?

The Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA) are a UK based body that look into electronic cigarettes and how they are sold. They have done some interesting research into the toxins in e-liquids and specifically into how they are labelled.

At the moment reputable e cigarette manufacturers should label their products with essential warnings and a skull and cross bones logo. We do that here at CloudCig because we’re committed to letting our customers know exactly what they are buying.

In the Summer of last year the ECITA looked into this and found some interesting information:

For starters it is worth noting that e-liquid comes into the same labelling category as washing up liquid – which you’ll notice has no skull and cross bones on it either.

What the ECITA found is that there are very different rules and ways of labelling depending on where you are in the world. Some countries ban electronic cigarettes and some countries allow them to be sold with no regulations at all. You’ll find that some of them consider them medicine whilst some countries consider them a tobacco product. No one seems to be reading from the same page and this can make things confusing.

Next year the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) will come into play. This should help to settle things down throughout the EU at least. It will still be confusing but it should help to make things a little easier to understand.

So, what should you be seeing on your bottle of e-liquid?

Firstly it is worth knowing that we need more research into nicotine doses. At the moment we base nicotine lethal doses on two men back in the 1800s. It was a very scientific which simply looked at how could ingest the most nicotine without dying. We still base our information on this – crazy isn’t it?

There have been some studies into this with e liquid and the results are interesting. For starters the research was carried out in a laboratory with actual equipment rather than just two random men being picked. This looked at the same thing as the original study but in just a more reliable way. They then came up with what the classification, labelling and packaging should be)

What they found was actually really surprising, especially for people like CloudCig who do use skull and cross bones on their label. The ECITA didn’t just use the above information and claim it as gospel. They passed it around to a number of industry professionals to have them verified and confirmed Professors Riccardo Polosa and Bernd Mayer and Dr Jacques Le Houezec all looked into.

They found that using the 1800s lethal dose of 50mg/ml means that what we currently use for labelling e liquid is way off the mark. However, we do know that anything with over 25mg/ml nicotine does need warning labels. However it does mean that we need to question the TPD’s ruling of no e-liquid higher than 20mg/ml due to toxicity. Confused yet? You’d be right to be.

What we know is that no warning labels are needed until nicotine levels reach 25mg/ml. So why is it that we have a limit of 20mg/ml? I wonder if this is because ECITA sent off their nicotine after TPD was rushed through? Who knows!

Taking Steps To Be Sage

Whether or not e liquids have warning labels on them, it is down to you to be safe with them. You need to make sure that you store them properly, keep childproof lids closed, keep them away from children etc. You need to be responsible and ensure that they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

So far we have new guidelines issued by ECITA and these are:

“The new report demonstrates that the acute oral and dermal toxic hazards of the strongest consumer e-liquids only merit being classed as category 4 – along with washing-up liquid – while the vast majority of e-liquid (which has nicotine concentrations below 25mg/ml or 2.5%) does not require any type of formal hazard warning. ECITA will still mandate its members to provide clearly labelled e-liquid in childproof containers.”

They also state that:

E liquid bottles have childproof lids
Labels should include the word “CAUTION” as a minimum.
They also suggest they have the following warnings: “Keep out of the reach of children and pets”, “Only for use in electronic cigarettes” “Seek medical advice if you feel unwell” and “*Refer to device manufacturer for refilling instructions“

Labels also need to have nicotine levels listed and a batch number so that they can be traced back. There needs to be a best before date, contact details and a nominal quantity. CloudCig are proud to say we have all of this on our packaging in easy to read text.

One of the biggest shames is that the media aren’t picking up on these positive stories. Perhaps if they did then people would be less afraid of electronic cigarettes. Instead they’re printing scare tactic stories with no real background. For now, we just have to keep our fingers crossed that the media will change sooner rather than later.