Dropping E-Cigarette Sales

The Internet retailer is reportedly moving to stop selling or supporting the sale of e-cigarettes on its huge website. Its action follows receipt of a notice of potential legal liability for facilitating the sale of a product the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] has declared is “illegal.”

The FDA also reported that it found deadly toxins and cancer-causing chemicals in the “smoke” produced by e-cigarettes and inhaled by users; an announcement which came as NBC TV Nightly News was about to blow the lid off the agency’s refusal to take action, a news report which was to feature public interest law professor John Banzhaf of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and his legal actions aimed at compelling the agency to finally act.

Previously, after receiving a notice of potential legal liability from ASH, PayPal took a similar step, and Facebook has also reportedly banned promotions for e-cigarettes. In other venues, e-cigarettes have already been banned in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and virtually in Oregon, restricted in Finland, Malaysia, and Singapore, threatened with legal action in Connecticut, and are the subject of a major class action law suit.

Now, reports public interest law professor John Banzhaf, they seem about to be banned in California, a move which could be followed in Kentucky and then in other states; more cigarette wholesalers are finding it necessary to provide product liability insurance; and a federal court is about to issue a ruling which could uphold banning the import of e-cigarettes into the country. has reportedly begin sending the following message to merchants. “We are writing because it has come to our attention that you have listed a product that we have determined is inappropriate for We have prohibited the sale of electronic cigarettes, electronic cigars, electronic pipes, nicotine nebulizers, refill material for any of these, and similar products on our site. A list of ASINs removed from our catalog may be found at the end of this message. reserves the right to remove any listing we determine to be illegal or inappropriate for our site. For more information, please see the Restricted Products section of our Help pages. To avoid the blocking of your selling account, please do not relist this product or any other prohibited content on our site.”

Amazon’s action was taken after receiving a notice of potential liability from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a national antismoking organization, which earlier filed a legal petition urging the FDA to take action against the products until they were approved for sale by the agency. ASH also sent a very similar warning letter by Certified Mail Receipt Requested to PayPal before that organization likewise cracked down on e-cigarette sales.

E-cigarettes present potential risks to users, to young people who might use them like candy cigarettes, and to others — including infants, the elderly, and those with various medical conditions — who might be in the immediate vicinity when e-cigarette users exhale a mixture of propylene glycol (which is used in antifreeze, and may cause respiratory tract infections) and nicotine (a deadly and highly addictive drug). There may even be more deadly ingredients in the exhalation.

The FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis analyzed the ingredients in a small sample of cartridges from two leading brands of electronic cigarettes. In one sample, the FDA’s analysis detected diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze that is toxic to humans, and in several other samples, the FDA analysis detected known carcinogens, including nitrosamines. These tests indicate that these products contained detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could potentially be exposed.

Professor of Public Interest Law at GWU, and
Executive Director and Chief Counsel
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
America’s First Antismoking Organization
2013 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006, USA
(202) 659-4310 //

12 responses to “ Dropping E-Cigarette Sales

  1. I have been smoking for over 30 years and have tried several methods of quitting but none of them worked. I ordered an electronic cigarette and within 2 weeks I stopped smoking real cigarettes and now it seems that the FDA, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), and other agencies would rather me smoke the real ones. That is just crazy!

    There was an extensive study done on propylene glycol (which is the major component of electronic cigarettes) done in 1942 proving it is safe. It is considered safe enough to use in many food and cosmetics on the market today. The oral toxicity of propylene glycol is very low, and large quantities are required to incur the dangerous effects described above. The potential for long-term toxicity is also low. In one study, rats were provided with feed containing as much as 5% PG over a period of 104 weeks and they showed no apparent ill effects.[7] Because of its low chronic oral toxicity, propylene glycol is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use as a direct food additive. Cases of propylene glycol poisoning are related to either inappropriate intravenous use or accidental ingestion of large quantities by children.

    Studies conducted in 1942 by Dr. Oswald Hope Robertson of University of Chicago’s Billings Hospital showed vaporized propylene glycol inhalation in laboratory mice may prevent pneumonia, influenza, and other respiratory diseases. Additional studies in monkeys and other animals were undertaken to determine longterm effects, especially the potential for accumulation in the lungs. After a few months of treatment, no ill effects were discovered.

    As for the other bad stuff the FDA was supposed to find in electronic cigarettes they were trace amounts and are also found in the approved Nicotine Replacement Therapies and some foods.

    I think these organizations need to do some research before they go condemning something. Bottom line they are way healthier for the users and people around the user than traditional (real) cigarettes.

  2. People people people.. When will they realize that the e-cig is a good thing?! The FDA is doing exactly what they get paid for.. making people known of what is in a product..This is true. But come on.. They are over exadurating. (spell check lol) That chemical is in the things they DO approve for our food and products we use! The only reason they are banning sales and saying its illegal is because the government will be loosing X amount of dollars cause no one will buy there over taxed ciggerettes anymore. Don’t people realize this yet? E-cigs may not be healthy per say, But there far more safer for you than a normal cigarette! Thats a no brainer. To ban the oppertunity to provide smokers like my self a chance to quit or have a safer way to smoke until we can quit is retarded. They want people to stop smoking and are worried about second hand smoke.. but yet when a product is available for that to happen, They ban it cause they will loose money. Plain and simple.
    I’m having mine shipped to me as we speak.. I can’t wait to get it. I am excited to have the opertunity to have healthyer lungs with out having to quit. Actually.. to tell the truth.. i smoke light cigaretts. I ordered the ultra-light version of the e-cigs and the non nicoteen version to see if i can quit using those. So why deny me or anyone else the oppertunity to quit smoking with something that might work for them. Gums and patches wont help me loose the oral addiction i have..and i don’t want to eat more cause of it either.. i tryed to quit and gained alot.. So this version i beleive will be worth it for me cause i can fake my self out so to speak by putting in the non nicoteen ones.
    This product is a blessing. I don’t care what the FDA says.

  3. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is heavily funded by Big Pharma and hence his witch hunt against e-cigs. Current smoking cessation devices such as the patch and gums are a multi billion dollar business and their success rate borders on 5%. Pathetic.

    Studies have shown that over 50% of people that switch to e-cigs never smoke traditional cigarettes again and this is what scares idiots like ASH. They are being paid to attempt to squash out the e-cig by Pfizer but it’ll never work.

  4. I was on the fence about buying an e-cig starter kit until reading this crap. I am buying one now before it is outlawed. Goes to show the tobacco lobby still has a lot of power in Washington. If e-cigs ever became as available as tobacco cigs are the tobacco ones would be history, along with all the profits they make from nicotine addicts as well as the tax revenue as Emily said. If only there were no lobbyists and we had a government that had common sense. Let’s see, a traditional cig has thousands of chemicals, many that are toxic. The e-cig has only one chemical that is questionable, yet it is used in soaps, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. If they were really looking out for the people they would realize that the e-cig is a decent compromise. Stop taking the fascistic attitude of there shall be no smoking whatsoever and give the average working man and woman a break for once.

    FDA + Congress + Lobbyists = FAIL

  5. John dropping and Paypal and others.

    BTW, propylene glycol is used as an aerosol agent for medications given lung transplant patients. Given this, how harmful can inhaling it really be?

    Another aside: This article is obviously old (I don’t see a date on it). The judge of the Smoking Everywhere/NJoy vs FDA case has ruled against the FDA (at least for now). Also, Governor Schwarzenegger (did I spell that right? lol) has vetoed the attempt at banning e-cigs in California.

    The FDA “analyzed” the contents of a very small number of cartridges from an even smaller number of suppliers. There was nothing scientific about this analysis. They did not analyze the exhaled vapor at all. E-cigs, even according to the FDA “study” can only be concluded to be orders of magnitude safer (to the smoker and to others) than traditional cigarettes. The vast majority of current claims against e-cigs is unfounded.

  6. I cannot believe this BS! I just recieved my e-cig 3 weeks ago and have been tobacco free since day 1. I am sooo happy with this new breakthrough. And now im hearing all this talk about banning them..Why?, just so they can keep all the smokers hooked on over-taxed cigarettes until the day they die..How corrupt is that! E-cigs could very easily save the lives of millions of people each year from tobacco related deaths. Anyone who votes against e-cigs is a a greedy piece of #%*^! Sorry, just my 2 cents:)

  7. I used the e cig, and let my mom and girlfriend use it too. These products is the best. They show you how corrupt is the government and cigarette company. If phillip morris was smart they sell e cigs. I hope ecigs bring the big tobacco company down. Please do your part and try e cigs and recommend them to everybody you can. I dont sell e cigs, but I would like to!

  8. Hey… numbnuts… wrong glycol.

    “propylene glycol” is the safe one they used in medications, foods, stage/party foggers, etc etc…

    You’re looking for the OTHER glycol. … Don’t worry, I’ll wait while you do that 5 mins of Google’ng that you should’ve done in the FIRST place before posting this trash and looking like an idiot.

    Okay, times up. The glycol you’re looking for is “ethylene glycol”, that’s the antifreeze one that’s bad for you. Sorry, fail on your part.

    Stick to tobacco “facts” (if you have any actual facts here?) and leave the PV’s to the people that actually know what they do and what goes into them.


  9. Amazon to bad your overly inflated with products already. paypal who cares we have our own credit cards. More power to the home seller to make a ton of money. It’s actually a good thing. E cigerettes are 1000000000000000000000000000000 better than Cancer Causing Cigarettes. Enough said! Media and big tobacco company still working on the fear of society to get what they want. FDA is a joke, alcohol kills, Prescription drugs kill, smoking cigerettes kill. Non of these are banned and they are still out there. write all you want on e cigerettes i will still manage to get mine. have a nice day!

  10. Ok, so I’m a little late jumping on the band wagon and no one might read this but e-cigs rule. I was a pack and a half a day smoker for the past 14 years (and I’m in my 20’s) and I haven’t even smoked 2 whole cartridges (which is supposed to be = to 1 pack) in over a week. I ordered a months supply of cartridges because I wasn’t planning on quitting and I didn’t want to have to worry about ordering them to late. I switched to save money. My husband was not happy footing my cigarette bill so I figured I would give it a chance. I will never smoke “real” cigarettes again and I may not smoke at all. The other thing about this is kids aren’t gonna be able to come by these as honestly. They won’t start smoking by stealing their parents cigarettes (come on. You all did it.). They do need to put some more security on the retailers websites because it doesn’t ask for a way to actually verify your age other than agreeing you are of age. I know when I was in high school that most parents gave their kids credit cards and that is all they really need at time to purchase if you order online.

  11. Its hard to believe how Blattent the FDA is a tool for Industry and phamacys and shows they are our worst enemy. I could go on about how the law allows hydrogen tanks present at food processors so we can still get burned by trans-fat in our foods. It is true that in politics crap floats to the top!

  12. Well I just bought my 1st e-cigs of amazon and I find them great and I have smoked since I was 18 (im 56)
    The thing I have found with most “agences” they got to justify there existance
    BTW google John Banzhaf ^^

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