That’s been both the indirect and direct claim of a number of anti-smoking organisations and individuals. When considering these allegations it is worth remembering how extreme some of these organisations are.
For example, ASH in the States has recently claimed that third hand smoke (meeting people who are smokers but who are not smoking, or visiting places where smokers have been) is as bad as actively inhaling smoke from a cigarette, while others have claimed that showing a person smoking in a film is as bad as poisoning the water supply.
A few examples!
1. “In many ways, they may be more dangerous than traditional cigarettes because of their lack of oversight or any conclusive studies into their health effects.” (Sen. Bob Gordon)
This claim was made by a Senator while banning the use of the electronic cigarette despite zero evidence of passive smoking. This senator also claimed that electronic cigarettes were an attempt by the tobacco industry to reinvent itself, despite the zero involvement to date of the tobacco industry in electronic cigarettes.
2. “… there is no evidence that they are safer, and because they are not regulated by the FDA, some are clearly much more dangerous. The FDA has studied a sample of these products and is now warning the public about their risks of toxic chemicals. For example, some samples contained chemicals that cause cancer or that are otherwise toxic, such as an ingredient used in antifreeze.” (National Research for Woman and Families)
The ingredient used in anti-freeze is propylene glycol, which is also used in make-up, medicine and food. Simply because an ingredient is used in something that could cause harm does not make that ingredient harmful – water is also used in anti-freeze, but that does not mean water is dangerous.
3. “Upon testing it [the electronic cigarette] was found that the “e-cigarette” harms human health far more than the normal cigarette and it contains 40 times as much nicotine as a regular cigarette.” (The Peninsula)