Fatwa: # 18202
Category: Food
Country: South Africa
Date: 10th August 2009

Title

There is much hype around with regards to the new e cigarette that is being marketed and one of my relatives were selling these items. They say it’s a healthier...

Question

There is much hype around with regards to the new e cigarette that is being marketed and one of my relatives were selling these items. They say it’s a healthier alternative to smoking as all the chemicals that are found in a normal cigarette are not found in this. It works with drops that are put into the cigarette and you inhale in and release a vapour that is formed through the drops . the problem that has arisen is that some websites like wikipedia etc say that these drops are made from 4 recepies and and in one these recipies 8% alcohol is used to make this drops

So I would like to know by knowing this will it still be permissible to use this drops /e cigarette as they say by using this you stop smoking

The other argument that arose is that in cough mixture which is used for medicinal purposes there is 7% alcohol  so were is  the difference between the 2 as both are used for medicinal purposes

i would now like to know  from mufti saheb what is your view regarding the use of this device

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

 

There are two issues in your query:

  1. Ruling on electronic cigarettes
  2. Alcohol in food products

 

At the outset, it is important to note that electronic cigarettes are still a new product and its full health effects are still unknown. 

The information in your email is incorrect, namely that an electronic cigarette is a healthier alternative to smoking and helps stop smoking.  Instead, the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) “found that they contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze” and toxic to human beings [i].  Furthermore, health officials fear that electronic cigarettes could lead to an increase in addiction amongst young people.  Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) “does not consider it to be a legitimate therapy for smokers trying to quit” [ii]. 

Therefore, until thorough clinical studies prove otherwise, electronic cigarettes fall in the same ruling as cigarettes and, thus, are impermissible.  
 

As for the presence of alcohol in food products, the item will be permissible to consume if:

  1. The alcohol is not derived from dates or grapes
  2. It cannot not intoxicate
  3. It is not used in vain (lahw)

If an ingredient of a certain food product meets the above conditions, then it will be permissible to consume. 

 

[i]

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm173222.htm

 

[ii]

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2008/pr34/en/index.html

 

[iii]

وأما ما هو حلال عند عامة العلماء فهو الطلاء وهو المثلث ونبيذ التمر والزبيب فهو حلال شربه ما دون السكر لاستمراء الطعام والتداوي وللتقوى على طاعة الله تعالى لا للتلهي والمسكر منه حرام وهو القدر الذي يسكر وهو قول العامة

(الفتاوى الهندية، كتاب الأشربة: 5/412؛ رشيدية)

 

(أحسن الفتاوى، كتاب الأشربة: 8/486-490؛ سعيد)

 

And Allah knows best

Wassalaamu `alaykum

Ml. Abrar Mirza,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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