The electronic cigarette, or e-cig for short, is a smoke-free alternative to tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes are vaporizers used in place of traditional cigarettes – unlike a dry herb vape, which is used for cannabis. E-cigarettes heat nicotine-infused liquid into a vapor that only has a few traces from the 60-plus carcinogens typically found in cigarette smoke. It is designed to give smokers and ex-smokers the same experience they get with regular smoking without as many harmful effects.
Since the inception of e-cigarettes in 2004, it has become a popular, smoke-free alternative for smokers with over millions worldwide switching from regular cigarettes to these new devices. Soon after, “vaping,” the slang term for using e-cigs, became a trend to all smokers.
During Obama’s presidency, e-cigs were labeled as tobacco products. Since Trump became president, lawmakers have been doing whatever they can to turn this back. The efforts for this process continue today.
The e-cigarette industry was valued at over $3.7 billion in 2016. While it is estimated that there could be another increase in the industry, there has been news about new regulations that could threaten its future.
USA Today reported that with the industry at stake, on Wednesday, April 26, more than a dozen conservative groups wrote letters to Congress, telling them that they must add a pro-vaping provision to a spending measure. This had to be passed by midnight on that Friday to prevent a government shutdown.
The bill was passed less than a week later. As a result, Forbes.com reported that as of May 2017, the FDA revealed a strict set of rules that will extend its federal regulatory authority. One of those rules involved banning sales of e-cigs to underage Americans.
One of the biggest requirements from these newly revealed laws puts a burden on the industry itself. All e-cigarette and e-liquid companies must have a detailed list of each product’s ingredients along with research findings of each product’s impact on a person’s health. Each product adjustment could cost at least $2 million.
At one point, these new laws did not go into effect because the FDA had to postpone deadlines under the new rule. The rulings are currently being implemented.
What is worse is that big tobacco companies have entered the e-cig business in recent years, and some of them now own big brands that are sold in retail and convenience stores.
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, says that tobacco will be able to further expand its position in the market, which could cause thousands of small businesses to shut down, leaving over tens of thousands of workers unemployed.
As reported by foxnews.com, today, there are over 250 e-cig brands on the market, and the number of e-cig users continue to grow exponentially. The topic of how safe and reliable they really are is still being debated, but there is no doubt about how much this multi-million dollar industry has impacted the world.