​The Ministry of Health warns the public against the use of electronic cigarettes, whose contribution toward smoking withdrawal has not been proven, and which may, in some cases, pose a substantial health hazard. The safety certificates produced by the manufacturer or by the marketers cannot be relied upon, since they are not subjected to an organized control process.

 
It has lately become popular in the world and in Israel to use electronic cigarettes to which a cartridge containing a fluid substitute for conventional cigarettes.
 
There are two kinds of electronic cigarettes:

  • Electronic cigarettes containing nicotine – these are classified as drugs, similarly to other nicotine products, and they therefore require registration in the drug register. Ministry of Health import licenses shall be issued for these products only after they have been registered.
    For registration, the importers must produce FDA or from the European equivalent confirmation that the product has been registered as a drug, produce studies on the effectiveness and safety of using the drugs, standards-compliance certificates relevant to the manufacturing processes and so forth.
    Since there is not one importer of electronic cigarettes who has been able to produce these documents, it is in fact impossible to register or import electronic cigarettes containing nicotine, and to date such cigarettes have not been licensed for sale in Israel.
  • Nicotine-free cigarettes – the Ministry of Health has no regulatory authority over this product and, therefore, it is not possible to delay or halt the import of this product.
 
Following is the Ministry of Health’s position on this issue:
  1. There are no studies available, which enable making any assumptions as to the safety or efficacy of using the electronic cigarette.
  2. Some of the studies conducted around the world on electronic cigarettes showed the presence of hazardous or even carcinogenic substances.
  3.  The electronic cigarettes and their cartridges are manufactured under problematic conditions – non-uniform and lacking orderly quality control within the production environment.
  4. Among different articles of the same model there is no uniformity in the quantities or concentrations of the substances emitted with each inhalation from the cigarette, various problems have been reported with the battery have been reported, leaks from the cartridge etc.