Scientific ignorance or deliberate misconduct? Statements on e-cigarettes from Malaysian cancer “expert”


By Dr Farsalinos

In an amazing attempt to create confusion and misinform the public, an online newspaper in Malaysia is quoting today the chief medical officer of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) Dr Dalilah Kamaruddin saying that: “In fact vapourised nicotine is similar to nitric acid which may trigger cancer”. Moreover, she claimed that: “you cannot use liquid nicotine no matter how small the dosage, for fear that its absorption into the blood stream may produce mutations which create chemical imbalance in the cells, besides containing glycerine”.

These are shocking statements, because they are completely ridiculous. Nicotine is an alkalic substance, while nitric acid is a strong acid. The two chemicals are as similar as day and night. Here is their formula:


nicotine nitric


A secondary school student would easily understand the difference. I wonder, has Dr Dalilah Kamaruddin heard that nicotine is inhaled when smoking tobacco cigarettes? Is she aware of the extensive literature explaining the huge differences between nicotine-related health risks and smoking-related health risks? In any case, I am certain she has never reviewed the extensive evidence on e-cigarette safety/risk profile.

I am not sure if it is better to assume that she is ignorant or that she deliberately misinforms the public, regulators and decision-makers. Whichever of the two is true, this is another attempt to create confusion, with the end result being to protect and promote tobacco cigarette sales. Dr Dalilah Kamaruddin needs to immediately retract and apologize for her statements.



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