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Think e-cigarettes are safer than ordinary cigarettes?

Sunday - 5/4/2014, 3:13pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- The makers of e-cigarettes claim they are a safer alternative to the real thing, but new research suggests that's not totally true.

People think e-cigarettes don't contain toxins because the devices don't light up or contain burning tobacco.

But researchers have been studying what comes out of some of the high-powered e- cigarettes, known as tank systems, and say there is reason for concern.

They say those tank systems produce formaldehyde, a known carcinogin, that mixes in with the vapor that users inhale.

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes brag that their products contain no toxins. But the new research - being published this month in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research - indicates those claims need a closer look.

The Food and Drug Administration recently announced that it plans to start regulating e-cigarettes. But the FDA's focus so far has been only on the mix of stuff that goes into them. The authors of these new studies say federal regulators also need to start looking at the vapors that come out.

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