Electronic Cigarettes: Are you trading one addiction for another?


Source: FDA, 2012



Sales of electronic cigarettes have been skyrocketing and so have questions surrounding the safety of these types of devices. Currently there are over a 100 different brands and they are sold globally. E-cigarette manufacturers have creatively used regulatory loopholes to advertise the product as an alternative to conventional smoking.


E-Cigarettes may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans, and may contain other ingredients that may not be safe. These companies market the product as a safer, cheaper, and environmentally friendly substitute to traditional cigarettes and cigars, not to mention they promote their use in tobacco-free environments such as bars, restaurants, offices, airplanes and even hospitals!!! Before we allow, e-Cigarette users to convert our tobacco-free environments to quasi-tobacco free environments we need to understand the effects of this device on users.


In 2012, the US Court of Appeals issued a decision that e-cigarettes could be regulated as tobacco products under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009.  To date, there have not been clinical studies conducted or submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review the safety of this device. Since the FDA already regulates the tobacco industry it would be the ideal agency to regulate these types of devices. Many would argue that since it does not contain tobacco there is no need for it to be regulated.


As an advocate for smoke-free environments, I would like to see some results of clinical trials that look at the effects of the device on the users as well as people in proximaty to users as a precaution.



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