The hardworking staff has long admired the work of New York Times correspondent David Barboza, who, according to the Times website, “was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting ‘for his striking exposure of corruption at high levels of the Chinese government, including billions in secret wealth owned by relatives of the prime minister, well documented work published in the face of heavy pressure from the Chinese officials.’ He was also part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.”
Now comes Barboza’s latest run at a Pulitzer. From Sunday’s New York Times front page:
China’s E-Cigarette Boom Lacks Oversight for Safety
Producing 90 Percent of World’s Devices, With Hazards for Health of Users
SHENZHEN, China — In a grimy workshop, among boiling vats of chemicals, factory workers are busy turning stainless steel rods into slender tube casings, a crucial component of electronic cigarettes. Not long ago, Skorite Electronics was a tiny firm struggling to produce pen parts. Today, it is part of an enormous — and virtually unregulated — supply chain centered here that produces about 90 percent of the world’s e-cigarettes.
This year, Chinese manufacturers are expected to ship more than 300 million e-cigarettes to the United States and Europe, where they will reach the shelves of Walmart, 7-Eleven stores, gas station outlets and so-called vaping shops.
The devices have become increasingly popular, particularly among young adults, and yet hundreds of e-cigarette manufacturers in China operate with little oversight. Experts say flawed or sloppy manufacturing could account for some of the heavy metals, carcinogens and other dangerous compounds, such as lead, tin and zinc, that have been detected in some e-cigarettes.
Sold American graf:
Altria, formerly known as Philip Morris, sells the e-cigarette brand MarkTen. In a statement, Altria said: “MarkTen is manufactured in China for Nu Mark” — Altria’s e-cigarette subsidiary — “by an established manufacturer of e-cigarettes, which is following Nu Mark’s design specifications and quality control requirements” with “detailed quality-control measures.”
The bottom line is that regardless of Big Tobacco’s entry into the e-cigarette business, the vast majority of e-cig sales are the 21st century version of roll your own.
Say a prayer for the FDA, which should be on e-cigs like Brown on Williamson (except it isn’t).
They’ll need it.