How dangerous can e-cigarettes be? What are the consequences of the added flavorings? In the US, much attention is devoted to the topic. In contrast, no abnormalities are known in Europe.

The number of lung diseases after the consumption of e-cigarettes in the US has increased according to official figures: Meanwhile, one assumes 530 cases, as the US health authority CDC announced. Previously, there had been around 450 potential illnesses in 33 states. Six deaths attributed to the use of e-cigarettes have so far been reported. 

Over 373 of the injuries would have more accurate data, said CDC chief Robert Redfield. About 67 percent of them are between 18 and 34 years old, 16 percent are younger than 18. About three out of four are male. The US authorities again warned all users of e-cigarettes before use for possible lung damage.

According to their representative Mitch Zeller, the supervisory authorities have so far collected more than 150 suspicious samples. It is still unclear which substances are responsible for the lung diseases. However, many of those affected had inhaled products purchased on the black market that contained the cannabis ingredient THC. The investigation was “complex”, with a quick result is unlikely, said Anne Schuchat from the health department CDC. Health authorities first became aware of an accumulation of lung disease among e-cigarette users in July.

The US government is now considering a nationwide ban on flavored e-cigarettes . Sweet or menthol-tasting additives are particularly popular with young people in the US. The US states of Michigan and New York have already imposed a ban on flavored products of this type.

The big tobacco companies have been advertising e-cigarettes for some years looking for new customers: According to them, these products are much less dangerous than traditional cigarettes and can help smokers switch completely to “safer” alternatives. In Germany or Europe so far no similar increase of illnesses is known.