Italy: no benefit seen in e-cigarettes

Dec. 28, 2012 at 2:58 PM

ROME, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- An Italian government report says there is no scientific evidence to suggest electronic cigarettes can be an aid in trying to stop smoking.

The report, prepared by the Italy's National Institute of Health for Italy's health minister and released Friday, urged the government to warn young adults there are still potential health risks from the popular electronic cigarettes even though the nicotine levels are lower, the ANSA news agency reported.

Roberta Pacifici, director of the cigarette, alcohol and drug division of the National Institute of Health, advocated a "prudent approach" when considering a product advertised as a way to stop smoking while still toxic itself.

The electronic cigarettes, which have been a popular Christmas gift, are a concern because they may be a "gateway" drug that could see young people moving up from the gadget to the real thing, the institute said.

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