At the request of State Secretary Martin van Rijn (VWS), RIVM is carrying out an investigation into the safety of e-cigarettes. This concerns an investigation into the harmful substances in the e-liquids and the vapour from e-cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes is also being investigated. Based on this information, RIVM is assessing the risks of direct exposure of the user to the vapour. In addition, it is determined whether replacing a cigarette with an e-cigarette is less harmful for the individual users.

An investigation of this magnitude has never been carried out before. The first results are expected this autumn. This will also reveal if replacing a cigarette with an e-cigarette can result in less damage for the individual user. Depending on the results, RIVM might also look into the health risks from harmful substances in the air breathed out by e-cigarette users for bystanders.

Last year RIVM produced a fact sheet on behalf of NVWA which included facts about e-cigarettes, including the potential risks of the product. In this, RIVM stated that there was insufficient research data available to establish the safety of e-cigarettes and also indicated their concern over the quality of e-cigarettes, the sale and the recommended prices of the product. This fact sheet has since been modified and now contains an updated list of the substances present in e-cigarettes.  In part based on information from this fact sheet and advice from RIVM, State Secretary Van Rijn has decided to ask RIVM to carry out additional research into the safety of e-cigarettes.