<p><b>Electronic cigarettes: alternative or health risk?</b></p> <p>Esteve Fernandez, professor of Barcelona University and coordinator of Non-smoker's Society (ETT) at Catalan Oncology Institute declares that electronic cigarettes that are intended to help smokers quit smoking are far from being harmless. Besides, according to the professor's words, in 60 % of cases they have opposite effect and have addicting properties.</p> <p>In his report on European Respiratory Diseases Congress that took place in Barcelona Professor Fernandez has provided research results confirming that electronic cigarettes in most cases are reason of cough and suffocation. Not being carcinogenic they cause throat and respiratory tracts irritation. Furthermore, propylene glycol that contains one of cigarette cartridges may produce some side toxic effects.</p> <p>About danger of second cigarette cartridge filled with flavoring agents (vanilla, chocolate, mint, strawberry, Irish coffee and so on) and intended to substitute nicotine, warns Hoakim Hea, president of European Respiratory Diseases Congress and head doctor of Hospital del Mar pulmonology department in Barcelona. "These flavors are manufactures basing on oily substances that sink in form of oily envelope on air vesicles what may cause inflammatory reaction and acute interstitial pneumonia with further development of respiratory depression" - explains Hoakim Hea.</p> According to health workers launching electronic cigarettes on the market shouldn't have taken place without careful preliminary research but on this stage their sales and consumption should be regulated by legislation.