Medical research societies, health experts, large health organizations and policy makers have shown concern about the increased use and popularity of e-cigarettes. Some have pushed for varying measures ranging from tight regulations to complete bans of vaping products. However, these concerns have never been quantified or qualified. In 2016, it is expected that the result of judicial assessment and evaluation of possible regulations and bans will be known. In this article, we will evaluate the pro’s and con’s of electronic cigarette regulations.
According to this regulation, e-cigarettes will be grouped in the same category such tobacco products as cigars, hookah tobacco, pipe tobacco, etc.
Pro – E-cigarettes will now be subject to federal prohibition on free sampling and sale to minors. The manufacturers will be supposed to put warning labels on each vaping material they produce. This is advantageous in several ways. One, the sale of e-cigarettes to school-going kids will reduce. Two, it is fair for people to know that e-cigarettes are not completely safe. Through warning labels, users will understand that vaping comes with its own health risks, though it’s safer than smoking.
Con – Regulating e-cigarettes as a tobacco product might result into more people smoking conventional tobacco. At present, e-cigs have a competitive advantage over conventional tobacco because its marketing and advertising terms are less stringent. Classifying e-cigs in the same class with tobacco products will mean that vaping cannot be advertised through media with high youth viewership. Diminishing the popularity of e-cigarettes can result in an increase in the use of conventional tobacco which has serious health concerns.
If this regulation comes to effect in 2016, all businesses dealing with e-cigarettes will have to undertake an approval process for all its products. The business owner or manufacturer will have to show that his products are “substantially equivalent” to a similar product that was in the market before February 2007.
Pro – Before 2007, e-cigarettes were mainly used for therapeutic purposes. Today, however, the e-cig industry has evolved into something else. Not all e-cigarettes and other vaping materials are produced for the original purpose. This regulation might help to remove such products from the market.
Con – The approval process will involve extensive collection and analysis of data for each product. This process might cost between $2 million and $10 million depending on the size of the business, which is too expensive for many businesses. Consequently, some businesses may choose to stop their operations because going through the approval process would be a hill too steep to climb. In fact, not many businesses can go through this process. Closure of business will lead to unemployment and a downturn in the e-cig industry.
According to this regulation, manufacturers are supposed to list the ingredients used to make different vaping products.
Pro – Users would like to know what makes the products they use. In fact, it is their right to know. Manufacturers will therefore produce a list of the ingredients and print it on the product for every user to read.
Con – Not all ingredients can be listed because they are so many. Even if only the basic ones are printed, the production cost of e-cigarettes will obviously go higher and this will affect the industry negatively.
E-cigarettes and vaping materials are to be packed in less attractive containers. Also, manufacturers are to stop using sweet flavors when making the products. This regulation aims at reducing the attractiveness of vaping products to the young people and also small kids who innocently get attracted to the e-cigs because of their color or flavor.
Pro – There have been cases where infants get attracted to e-cigs stored in the house and get poisoned. Studies have also indicated that a considerable number of young people find e-cig flavors tempting. A ban on use of fragrant colors and flavors can help to reduce liquid nicotine poisoning and the use of e-cigs by minors.
Con – The e-cig industry suffers from every regulation. The flavors and attractive colors have been used to market vaping products. Lack of use of the two marketing strategies will obviously reduce the attractiveness of the products in the media. Many smokers who found the flavors a cool reason to vape may fall back to their addictive habit of smoking.