We have spoken alot in the past about the regulation of electronic cigarettes, but we ask the question, should they be regulated at all?
With the recent actions by the FDA against electronic cigarette distributors, such as seizing imports at the border and moving to restrict the sale or ban the products outright, one has to wonder why does the FDA allowed tobacco cigarettes to be sold so freely yet at the same time they are pushing so hard to ban electronic cigarettes? Should these devices be regulated by the FDA? Or should they be considered tobacco products, which don’t fall under the authority of the FDA?
The main crux of the matter is that the FDA is trying to classify electronic cigarettes as drug delivery device a, just like nicotine inhalers that you might buy at the pharmacy. To be sure, electronic cigarettes do function very similar to nicotine inhalers and very well could be looked at as drug delivery devices, but that begs the question, is it a bit hypocritical to classify electronic cigarettes as drug delivery devices, knowing that they will be under tighter regulation than tobacco cigarettes, when they can’t possibly be worse for you than real tobacco cigarettes?
I’m all for regulation, but you can’t cripple a brand-new industry with the same regulations you apply to drug companies who have literally billions of dollars of funding, some of which actually comes from the United States government. Electronic cigarettes are simply an alternative to tobacco cigarettes and should be looked at that way; they should not be considered drug delivery devices if for no other reason than this would cause them to be so regulated that it would probably drive them straight off the market.
Many people also worry about the addiction with vaping:
Considering the fact that over 400,000 United States citizens die every year as a direct result of tobacco usage, shouldn’t these devices that are likely significantly safer than tobacco cigarettes be promoted and encouraged as an alternative to traditional cigarettes? The FDA doesn’t seem to feel that way, and no doubt because of significant pressure from special interest groups, including big drug companies who stand to lose a lot of money if a new, more effective stop smoking device enters the market. Also, anti-smoking groups these days tend to be a little bit on the wacky side. Of course, we should discourage tobacco smoking because we know it kills people, so I’m all for that, but many anti-smoking groups discouraged the use of tobacco through lies and propaganda as well is high pressure lobbying tactics. These groups don’t want to see any products on the market with even a hint of nicotine in them, so when a new product like electronic cigarettes enters the market that show a huge potential to help people get off tobacco cigarettes, these special-interest anti-smoking groups see these devices as just another way that people can smoke.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide your own opinion, but consider all these facts when you hear in the news about an FDA ban that may or may not come in the future.