By Amy Bainbridge.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has lodged a case in the Federal Court against Queensland-based companies Social-Lites and Elusion New Zealand.
The ACCC alleges the companies claimed on their websites that their e-cigarettes did not contain the carcinogens or toxic chemicals found in regular cigarettes.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the companies “did not have a reasonable basis for making those claims”.
“When we tested the products we in fact found they did contain particular carcinogens and toxins,” he told the ABC.
“We got testing through the National Measurement Institute, which is the premier institute in Australia for product testing for liquids and chemicals.
“We got them to do that testing as if you were vaping the product, and the allegations we have from that testing is that both Social-Lites and Elusion contain both carcinogens and toxins.”
The ACCC said its testing showed formaldehyde and acetaldehyde were present in both brands of e-cigarettes, among other toxins.
Formaldehyde is classified by the World Health Organisation International Agency for Cancer Research as a Group 1A carcinogen, meaning there is sufficient evidence to show it is carcinogenic to humans.
Acetaldehyde is classified as a Group 2B carcinogen by the IARC, which is classified as being possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Company says it did not intend to mislead consumers.
Social-Lites spokesman Lee O’Hare said it was never the company’s intention to mislead consumers.
“I will tell people it’s a smarter choice rather than stating it’s (a) healthier one,” he told the ABC in an email.
“We are lead to believe via many independent studies from around the world that electronic cigarettes like our premium electronic cigarette starter kit … would not produce carcinogens.
“It’s only when people use vaporisers with high-voltage capabilities do carcinogens form.”
Elusion New Zealand has been contacted for comment.
Were you aware of the health risks of smoking e-cigarettes?
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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