Based on the best available scientific evidence, I have compiled a list of the identified, known carcinogens present at greater than trace quantities in electronic cigarettes compared to conventional cigarettes.
Below that list is a table listing a number of anti-smoking organizations and which of the two products they have stated or implied they would prefer that smokers smoke.
Table 1. List of Identified, Known Carcinogens in Electronic Cigarettes, Present at More than Trace Levels (defined as 1 nanogram per cigarette)
Table 2. List of Identified, Known Carcinogens in Tobacco Cigarettes, Present at More than Trace Levels (defined as 1 nanogram per cigarette)
Table 3. Type of Cigarette that Anti-Smoking Groups Have Stated or Implied They Would Rather Have Smokers Smoke
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: Tobacco Cigarettes
American Lung Association: Tobacco Cigarettes
American Heart Association: Tobacco Cigarettes
American Cancer Society: Tobacco Cigarettes
Action on Smoking and Health: Tobacco Cigarettes
Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights: Tobacco Cigarettes
Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence: Tobacco Cigarettes
Dr. Michael Siegel: Electronic Cigarettes
The Rest of the Story
What kind of absurdity is this? The major anti-smoking groups would much rather that smokers smoke tobacco cigarettes than that they quit smoking and use electronic cigarettes, even though the tobacco cigarettes have been shown to contain at least 57 known carcinogens at significant levels while the electronic cigarettes have not been shown to contain any carcinogens at more than trace levels.
Are the anti-smoking groups actually telling smokers that they would be better off smoking a product which is known to expose them to 57 carcinogens than to smoke a product which exposes them to 0 identified carcinogens?
Actually, that's exactly what they are telling smokers.
The anti-smoking groups have thick ideological blinders on which are unfortunately precluding these groups from having any sense of public health perspective. They are living in a fantasy land in which they have convinced themselves that electronic cigarettes pose a greater threat to the public's health than conventional cigarettes.
The rest of the story is that electronic cigarettes are not what are killing people. It's the damn real ones.
And it's a tragedy that these anti-smoking groups would rather condemn smokers to the most toxic known consumer product, rather than tolerate the fact that the use of this much safer product involves a smoking-like behavior. It is that smoking-like behavior which is driving the anti-smoking groups nuts. They simply cannot tolerate that. No matter how many lives it might save.