The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are likely to specify rules and regulations for e-cigarettes by the end of April. It will be interesting to see how these rules, regulations and guidelines will affect this fast-growing but largely unregulated industry and its huge customer base.
The e-cigarette industry initially evolved from the Internet and at shopping-mall kiosks. Soon, it grew from thousands of users in 2006 to millions of users across the worldwide today. With more than 200 e-cigarette brands available in the market, the sales figures of this comparatively safer mode of smoking are estimated to be close to $ 2 billion in 2013.
The Current Regulations
The regulations for e-cigarettes and e-hookahs vary widely from region to region. In United States, there are no federal regulations for electronic cigarette due to which many states and cities have established their own regulations. In most of the states including Minnesota, New Jersey, Maryland, Kentucky, Utah, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Colorado the sale of e-cigarettes and e-hookahs is banned for minors.
FDA’s Possible Proposals
Speculations are rife that FDA may do a balancing act as strict guidelines may hit the booming electronic cigarette industry which is offering a safer alternative to traditional smoking. On the other hand, FDA has to ensure that e-cigarettes don’t become an addictive drug for minors who are curious to try it out.
The first regulation that FDA may propose is to restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes, e-hookahs and other similar products to keep it far from the reach of children. This regulation has already been implemented in most of the states and cities in US.
FDA regulators can also ask companies to display the constituents of ecig and place health warning labels on packages and ad materials as in the case of conventional cigarettes.
The authorities are expected to put a tab on thousands of eflavors available as these flavors entice the children to try them and expose them to nicotine doses at very early stage of their life.
There are chances that FDA can bring nicotine-vapor pens under tobacco control authority officially and put some restrictions on marketing and packaging of these products.
The brighter side
While critics are advocating for strict regulations for electronic mode of smoking, one has to agree that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to conventional smoking for more than one reason. Let’s discuss a few:
No tobacco: E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco which when on burning produces harmful cancer causing elements like tar that damages your respiratory system.
Don’t produce foul odor: E-hookahs or ecig do not produce that distinctive odor that a cigarette is known for.
Safe for your family: Conventional smoking is not just harmful for smokers but also for the people around them including your children as it produces smoke containing cancer causing elements. E-cigarettes, on the other hand, produce vapors that vanish when come in contact with air.
We can hope FDA would consider the bright side of e-cigarettes and e-hookah while proposing its regulations for sale and marketing of electronic devices of smoking.