Will the US See Greater Regulation on Alternative Smoking Products in 2015?
There are many reasons that smokers choose to use e-cigarettes. Some use e-cigarettes to monitor their nicotine intake and slowly reduce their dependency on the substance. Others supplement traditional cigarettes with e-cigarettes when they are in bars and restaurants. Whatever your reason for using alternative smoking products, such as e-cigarettes, you may be concerned to hear that many counties and states in the US are considering issuing stricter regulations concerning the sale and use of these products.
The Fight for Stricter Regulations
Texas is one of nine states that allows minors to purchase e-cigarettes are now currently considering banning sales to minors. This isn't surprising, considering the large majority of states do not allow minors to purchase e-smoking products and the federal government is considering outlawing sales to minors nationwide.
What is slightly surprising are counties such as Winnebago, Wisconsin, are considering stricter regulation of e-cigarettes for adults and businesses. Politicians are claiming that since e-cigarettes contain nicotine, they should be treated like other cigarettes and banned from public buildings, including restaurants and bars.
While it is important that e-cigarette users know the health risks associated with e-cigarettes and use them responsibly, are strict regulations actually necessary? Most likely, they are not.
E-cigarettes Are Not Tobacco Products
The main argument for why e-cigarettes need stricter regulation is that they contain nicotine and are therefore a tobacco product. Actually, e-juice, the substance that is actually inhaled while using an e-cigarette, contains no tobacco. In fact, you can order your e-juice with varying amounts of nicotine, including nicotine-free e-juice. This allows users to slowly decrease their dependency on nicotine, and non-smokers can give e-cigarettes a try without becoming addicted to nicotine.
Lawmakers claim that e-cigarettes are a gateway solution that will cause non-smoking teens to become addicted to nicotine. This is because of studies showing that more teens use e-cigarettes than smoke cigarettes. However, these studies are often misrepresented because they do not show how many teens have stopped smoking by using e-cigarettes or how many both smoke and use alternative products.
In both England, only 1% of e-cigarette users have never smoked cigarettes before. In the US, the number of high school seniors who have smoked has dropped from 11% in 2009 to 6.7% in 2014, not risen due to the popularity of e-cigarettes, as some would suggest.
Current Regulations Protect Children and Inform Consumers
Other reasons politicians are calling for stricter regulations on e-cigarettes are because the high amount of nicotine available in some e-juices can be harmful to children if it is accidentally consumed and e-cigarettes can contain harmful substances. However, these issues have already been addressed by requiring vapoligy ecigarette products to have childproof lids and a listing of all ingredients on their labels.
In actuality, there are few reasons for e-cigarettes to be further regulated in 2015, but there is growing momentum for regulation. If you are concerned that the regulation of e-cigarettes may limit your use there are several things you can do.
First, find out if there is local legislation against e-cigarettes pending in your area. If there is, contact your local representative to express your concern and share these reasons why e-cigarettes do not need to be regulated with him or her.
Secondly, use your alternative smoking products responsibly. This entails keeping them away from children, educating yourself about the different levels of nicotine available and proper usage, and using your device respectfully in public.
If you are a responsible consumer and active citizen, there is no reason why e-cigarettes should fall under stricter regulatory practices in 2015. Use these tips above to ensure you can enjoy e-cigarettes in a responsible manner.