In the past few years, e-cigarettes have become a booming business around the globe. In fact, there are now 466 brands of e-cigarettes globally. This is big business valued at $3 billion last year, with some researchers projecting a 17-fold increase by 2030.
Yet, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) recently released a report calling for stringent restrictions on these devices and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed extending its regulation of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes and a ban on sales to people under 18. In fact, because tobacco regulations don’t currently apply to e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco (also manufacturers of e-cigarettes) is marketing e-cigarettes to teenagers.
Numerous health agencies and medical experts urge restrictions are necessary for a number of reasons:
• e-cigarettes contain a variety of chemicals and known toxins. While e-cigarettes may be less toxic than cigarettes, that does not mean they are not carcinogenic.
• more study must be done to determine the possible harmful effects since there is only a few years of experience. Also the brew of chemicals & nicotine contained in e-cigarettes varies widely between brands
• young people may be attracted who otherwise would not have used cigarettes. They may continue on to cigarette use or continued exposure to e-cigarette toxins.
More debate will certainly occur over this subject.
Photo credit: Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press