Since the E Cigarette was introduced to the US market 3 years ago there has always been a certain amount of controversy surrounding our favorite personal vaporizer products. The FDA has been trying consistently to implement an e cigarette ban by branding the product a drug product in order that their sale could be stopped.
In 2009 the FDA went as far as to halt imports coming for overseas to attempt to stop companies being able to get their e cigarettes onto the market. This prompted some manufacturers to source their products from inside the United States to ensure that they would always be able to meet demand from consumers. Eventually a federal judge ordered that the ceasing of shipments should be stopped stating “This case appears to be yet another example of F.D.A.’s aggressive efforts to regulate recreational tobacco products as drugs or devices,”.
The same FDA also has tried to convince smokers that there is a strong possibility that the E Cigarette could be harmful to our health. The negative e cigarette safety concerns were backed up with a test which was carried out which found “tobacco-specific nitrosamines which are human carcinogens”. The industry claimed that the FDA failed to mention that the nitrosamines were in such small amounts that they would cause no harm to the user. They were present in the nicotine liquid due to the fact that is was extracted from real tobacco, and was certainly present in tiny quantities compared to traditional tobacco products.
Regardless, the FDA’s plans to get electronic cigarettes banned looks like it has been thwarted thanks to the US appeals court which has concluded that the FDA has no authority to regulate e cigs as a drug device, instead they should be regulated as a tobacco product. This should make the manufacture, import, and sale of these devices to continue unimpeded, at least for the time being. Of course, the FDA will appeal the decision, but it is certainly great news for those of us who wish to continue using the electronic cigarette unimpeded.
There are other groups trying to voice concerns over the possible dangers of e cigarettes such as the “Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids” who claim that they pose serious risks to public health. There main concern is over the lack of regulation and manufacturing which might cause nicotine cartridges to have varying amounts of the addictive substance in them. They also fear that they could serve as a pathway to nicotine addiction for children, something that most bystanders feel is unwarranted when you compare them to the infinitely less expensive regular cigarette.
Whether an E Cigarette ban is on the cards for the future is impossible to tell at the moment, but if we seem to be on the right track to keep them on the market. Its possible that we will see increased legislation at some point which will change the way they can be advertised, how they are manufactured, and the packaging that must be used. But as long as there is a way to purchase them most of us should be happy enough with most outcomes.
Its probably worth pointing out that Tobacco Free Kids gets funding from GlaxoSmithKline who manufacture traditional stop smoking aids. The FDA also receive a sizable proportion of their finding from large pharmaceutical companies. You can decide for yourself if that represents a conflict of interests.