New Zealand - 1st trial ever of e-cigarettes..

July 26, 2009 - But researchers can't reveal the results until they are published in a medical journal. Auckland University has run the first ever trial of the e-cigarettes. It looked at withdrawal symptoms after using one compared to a nicotine inhaler and a regular cigarette.

The US Food and Drug Administration wants the electronic cigarette banned, but experts here say it does more good than harm.

It looks like the real thing, puffs out a mist that looks like smoke and most importantly, it provides the nicotine kick that smokers crave - but the e-cigarette has one big difference. "They're not going to die from an e-cigarette," says Dr Murray Laugesen (Chair, Smokeless New Zealand, Inc.). "But they could die tomorrow from a heart attack due to their smoking."

Dr Laugesen: "The carcinogens that we have found have been in very, very small quantity, just above the level of detection." In contrast, every time you take a drag on a cigarette you breathe in 4000 toxins. The FDA, which regulates medical products in the US, isn't so sure. It says its tests found cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigarettes and wants them banned from sale until more studies are done.

"What's remarkable actually is the lack of evidence that these products are any better than standard smoking cessation treatments, and secondly the inadequate testing for their toxins," says Dr Michael Thun, American Cancer Society.

At this stage, New Zealanders have to go online and import e-cigarettes, but Dr Laugesen would like to see them more readily available here and says he would not hesitate to recommend e-cigarettes to anyone wanting to quit.

Reference: Row breaks out over safety of, 7/25/2009.

New Zealand related news briefs: New Zealand - BAT reducing prices discouraging people from quitting..; New Zealand - stop smoking campaigns NOT working..; BAT awarded worst corporation in New Zealand..; New Zealand - government may NOT support tobacco display bans..; New Zealand More Evidence Needed to Ban Tobacco and Cigarette Displays..; More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..; Horror photos go on New Zealand cigarette packs..; Country to Eliminate Smoking - The South Pacific nation of Niue; Ireland to ban tobacco displays..; Smokefree NZ within 10 years..; By law, oral snuff cannot (but nasal snuff is allowed) be sold in New Zealand and can be imported only for personal use..