Top 10 E-Cigarette Hoaxes

By Lindsay Fox Posted March 21, 2013

electronic cigarette myths

When you’re first learning about e-cigarettes, the fine vapor of their health benefits often gets blocked from view by the thick, pungent smoke of misleading claims, scaremongering headlines and downright fallacies. Wading through the smog and coming out with any reliable, definitive facts about e-cigarettes is unfortunately difficult, but the information is out there. To help you understand the harm reduction value of e-cigarettes, this article addresses the common and all-too-familiar myths regarding electronic cigarettes.


10: E-Cig Battery Explosions!


e-cigarette battery explosion victim
57-year-old Tom Holloway of Niceville, FL was a victim of a battery explosion in February 2012


The story of a Florida man whose e-cigarette exploded in his mouth has plagued e-cigarettes ever since. The truth is that this e-cigarette exploded because it was a “mod” e-cigarette, or in other words: one he’d built himself. Manufacturers build their reputation on the quality of their products, and institute rigorous safety checks and third-party testing to prevent this from happening. Plus, cell phones explode with unfortunate regularity, and all batteries inherently carry a small risk.



SEE ALSO: Inherent Dangers of Lithium Batteries in E-Cigs and Safety Tips


9: E-Cigs Contain Anti-Freeze!


An FDA study which looked at eighteen different e-cigarettes found a trace amount of diethylene glycol in one of them. This was seized upon by the news media since it’s an ingredient in anti-freeze. What they didn’t mention is that the same chemical is used in ten times the quantity in aspirin, and independent reviews have found no traces of the chemical in other e-cigs.


SEE ALSO: E-Cigarettes Don’t Contain Toxic Antifreeze


8: E-Cigs Contain Other Carcinogens!


The same FDA study also found tobacco-specific nitrosamines in the e-cigarettes, which are known to cause cancer. This was also reported readily, but a few salient facts were left out. It’s a question of quantities, and Michael Siegel’s analysis demonstrates clearly that there are up to 1,400 times more nitrosamines in cigarettes, and that they’re also present in any nicotine products, such as FDA-approved gum and patches.


7: Nicotine Causes Cancer, so E-Cigarettes are Still Dangerous


Nicotine has a negative reputation because it hangs out with a bad crowd when it’s in tobacco. The 5,000 plus chemicals in tobacco smoke include plenty of carcinogens, but nicotine itself is not one of them. The Royal College of Physicians in London referred to nicotine as a “very safe drug” in a piece of research on harm reduction measures for smoking. Also, the effects of pure inhaled nicotine have been studied in rats and they didn’t get more tumors than the control (no nicotine) group.


SEE ALSO: Top 10 Studies on Nicotine You Need to Know About!


6: Nobody Knows What’s in Electronic Cigarettes!


nicotine e-cigarette ingredient

Scare-stories of rogue online traders and deviant manufacturers have banded around the idea that nobody knows what’s inside e-cigarettes. This is far from true, as there have been numerous studies into the contents of e-cigarettes. They only contain nicotine, propylene glycol (which is very safe and used in everyday products) and FDA-approved food flavorings.


5: E-Cigarettes Harm the Lungs!


A recent piece of research has claimed that e-cigarettes increase airway resistance after ten minutes of use. This was broadly translated into “e-cigarettes harm the lungs,” and the media snapped it up. Michael Siegel explains that breathing hot, humid air has the same effect, and points out that the residents of Tampa aren’t all suffering from lower levels of blood-oxygen as a result. Transient increased resistance does not equal lasting lung damage.


SEE ALSO: E-Cigs Not Found to Cause Lung Damage


4: Second-Hand Vaping is Dangerous



Second-hand vaping isn’t the same as second-hand smoking


The notion of “second hand” damage from “vaping” (inhaling vapor from an electronic cigarette) is absurd because of the things already learnt. Nicotine isn’t dangerous, and e-cigarettes contain little else of note. The levels of nitrosamines in e-cigarettes are of insignificant risk for the users themselves, so the second-hand danger is exponentially lower than that.


SEE ALSO: Electronic Cigarettes Do Not Cause Second-hand Smoking


3: E-Cigs Lure Children into Smoking



image credit: tumblr


This is where things start to get ridiculous. It’s claimed that the fruity flavor selections and the “attractive packaging” will tempt children to use e-cigarettes. The flaws with this are numerous and damning. For one, e-cigarettes are subject to age restrictions, so they’re as challenging (if not more so) to get hold of as tobacco cigarettes. Yes, there are internet suppliers, but starter kits regularly cost in excess of $100 and require a credit or debit card to purchase. If a child got hold of an e-cigarette that way, their main concern would be their parents’ reaction to their credit card being stolen!


SEE ALSO: E-Cigarettes Aren’t Targeted at Teens


2: Electronic Cigarettes Will Attract Non-Smokers


Another outwardly ludicrous assertion is that e-cigarettes will lure non-smokers into nicotine addiction. This is basically like claiming that methadone will lure non-users into heroin addiction. E-cigarettes are for smokers who want to reduce the harm they are doing to their bodies. Some non-smokers are interested in smoking (otherwise nobody would ever take it up), and before e-cigarettes they would have just bought a pack of cigarettes. By extension, some non-smokers will take to vaping, but it isn’t because of e-cigarettes, it’s because of the appeal of smoking.


SEE ALSO: Electronic Cigarettes are not Gateways to Cigarette Smoking


1: E-Cigs are Just as Bad as Tobacco


This article has been wholly dedicated to dispelling this myth. The various forms that criticism of e-cigarettes takes are equally flawed, and the conclusion that e-cigarettes are as dangerous as tobacco could only be reached by someone who has read nothing substantial on the topic. Research is needed to clarify the (pretty meager) potential risks of e-cigarettes, but the notion that they’re as dangerous as tobacco is deeply and fatally flawed.


SEE ALSO: Top 20 Rebuttals to Win an E-Cigarette Debate



  • Jenny Hernandez

    I so need to try this. I have been trying to quit smoking for years and have yet to succeed.

  • Sleepyheadedmom

    There will always be things like that floating around but it’s up to consumers to do their own research and decide what’s right or wrong for them.
    It’s amusing to me how e e-cigarettes are getting a bad rap. It may not be “good” for you but it’s not all that bad either.

  • Amanda

    great article.. thanks for sharing!

  • Jenine

    Interesting information! My mom desperately needs to quit smoking. I’m glad to see this option!

  • Jenny Hernandez

    I so need to try this. I have been trying to quit smoking for years and have yet to succeed.

    • Aonus_the_blaster_maniac

      Ok, just so you know. Theres alot of immediate thoughts that put “E-Cigs are for Quitting smoking”. Just to clarify, E-Cigs are an alternative to smoking, a healthier one at that. Now in regards to quitting, it is very very doable with E-Cigs. Because you can order and control the nicotine level of your juices you can lower nicotine content or bring it up dependant on where you want to go. Ive seen first hand many of those who want to quit smoking and drop the habit totally by lowering the nicotine levels of their juice orders. starting from 18miligrams, then to 16miligrams, down to 12 on the next order, then down to 6, and then bam!… 0 miligrams.

      • Mike

        After smoking for over 30 years, I gave e-cigarettes a try. I bought the type with the rechargeable battery that fills at the top. I stopped smoking real cigarettes in about 3 weeks! I feel a lot healthier and don’t need viagra anymore! And after a initial investment of just $26 dollars, I save a fortune not buying smokes at $5 a pack! I strongly recommend giving e-cigarettes a try if You smoke! I mean, who wants to catch emphysema! Or cancer! Or throught or tongue cancer! Yuck! Do it now for your health!

    • I was a two pack a day smoker for more than 30 years. I tried everything known to ,man to quit and nothing worked. On Aug. 01-2011 I bought my first e cig and I had my doubts about it. I have never touched a tobacco cigarette since then. I still have a half pack of cigarettes that I had when I bought that e cig. I keep them to remind me of how bad thjey were and how much better I feel using an e cigarette.

  • Sleepyheadedmom

    There will always be things like that floating around but it’s up to consumers to do their own research and decide what’s right or wrong for them. It’s amusing to me how e e-cigarettes are getting a bad rap. It may not be “good” for you but it’s not all that bad either.

    • Aonus_the_blaster_maniac

      last i saw, you are correct. its always up to the consumers. but companies use media to deliver the bandwagon. Where the bandwagon goes, the masses will follow. While in regards to the E-Cig its always better to just not take up smoking, but for those who have been smoking analog cigarettes, Vaping is a whole better option. The media is attempting to build a “Vaping is bad” Bandwagon and trying to get everyone on board.

  • Amanda

    great article.. thanks for sharing!

  • Jenine

    Interesting information! My mom desperately needs to quit smoking. I’m glad to see this option!

  • woccow

    Most of the info in this article is outdated and incorrect. Additionally it conveniently leaves out references to evidence based research. Point #5 has a picture that shows a drawing of smokers and non-smoker’s lungs but doesn’t address e-cig.

    • Aonus_the_blaster_maniac

      Well then, please inform us of what the hell your talking bout then? pictures are there for visual aid. please bring out what evidence you have that E-Cigs are bad and maybe someone will actually consider you credible.

  • Myrydyan

    I hate seeing the bad rap vaping is getting. People will squawk about anything and everything won’t they?! I was a smoker for more than 30 years and really given up hope for ever quitting even though I knew it was extremely bad for my health. I walked into a vape store, walked out with my device, and after a cigarette and a half later – I was totally done with them. I have been vaping since March 2013 and still very proud that I am no longer a smoker. I wish these things would have come out 20 years ago. To all the hype about aiming it towards kids because of the flavors…really? Adults aren’t allowed to enjoy fruity and fun flavors too? If not…why do you think all those crazy flavors are available in vodka and rum? The second hand story is way over thought since there is virtually nothing being blown out except vapor. I feel better and my kids are proud that I quit smoking. To me – vaping has probably saved my life!