In November 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came up with new regulations on the sale of e-cigarettes. It went further to propose a ban on flavored cigars and methanol cigarettes. The FDA issued a proposal in March outlining potential e-cigarette policies and opened the new guidelines to comments for a month.
What are Non-Combustible Tobacco Products?
Some terms people use to refer to non-combustible tobacco products include vapes, hookah pens, vaporizers, vape pens, e-pipes, and electronic cigarettes. They use a flavored liquid that contains nicotine and several flavorings, vegetable glycerin, and propylene glycol, among other ingredients. To create an aerosol, the liquid has to be heated first for the user to inhale. The vape is available in various forms. It can resemble a USB flash disk, pen, cigar, pipe, or conventional cigarette.
Why are E-Cigarettes Restricted?
Several local governments and states restrict the use of e-cigarettes. States such as Texas, California, and Connecticut have raised the age limit of purchasing e-cigarettes and tobacco products to 21 years. However, this restriction has not gone into effect in all states.
A board of supervisors in San Francisco voted unanimously on the ban on the distribution and sale of e-cigarettes citywide. The ban applies to e-cigarettes with no FDA approval. The ban will apply to all stores and online purchases to the city’s addresses. The restrictions are there to minimize the high rate of e-cigarettes used by teenagers under 18 years. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated that most e-cig users are teenagers and young adults. The results that were released in November 2019 led to the announcement of new restrictions that include:
- New verification standards of age for online e-cig vendors and redoubled enforcement to all e-cig marketing that would attract minors.
- A ban on flavored e-cig apart from mint and methanol flavors in stores with no areas restricting the under-aged. The FDA claims that the ban should keep e-cigarettes off most gas stations and convenience store shelves.
- An outright ban on flavored cigars and methanol cigarettes that was not addressed in the proposed guidelines.
Seven vaping-related deaths in the country triggered these bans. Federal agencies, health advocates, and politicians share similar widespread concern; they claim that vaping is addictive and deadly. However, it is essential to note that several victims with respiratory illness were not using nicotine pods from FDA regulated vendors, but used THC contaminated pods, which are common in marijuana.
Are E-Cigarettes that Dangerous?
Nicotine is not carcinogenic, but if used excessively, it can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Young people can become addicted to e-cigarettes and may want to try cigarettes, which can turn them into chain smokers.
According to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), e-cigarettes expose users to cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals, although at a lower level compared to traditional cigarettes. Nonetheless, scientists claim that e-cigarettes are safer than conventional cigarettes. A health researcher at New York University says it is better to be addicted to nicotine found in e-cigarettes than being addicted to the conventional cigarettes that produce toxic smoke. The restrictions can help safeguard people from consuming substandard vaping products.
It is essential to note that some products containing flavored fluid do not cause severe health effects for users. If you buy high-quality e liquid for use in vaping devices, you can be safe. You only need to look out for reputable suppliers of flavored fluid. In the opinion of the New England Journal of Medicine, more e-cigarette users find it easier to stop smoking. The study concluded that many of them reduce their smoking by at least fifty percent. Furthermore, e-cigarettes provide higher satisfaction and are rated are more helpful compared to nicotine-replacement treatment.
The CDC has also concluded that e-cigarettes can benefit adult smokers who are not expectant if they use them to completely replace other tobacco or nicotine products. The CDC added that vaping is unsuitable for:
- People who have never smoked in the past
- Young people
- Expectant women
What’s the Problem with Flavored Cigars and Menthol Cigarettes?
Most young users are likely to smoke flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes, which will introduce them to nicotine addiction. According to the CDC, menthol cigarettes are popular among African-American youths. Quitting menthol cigarettes is difficult compared to quitting regular cigarettes.
Federal and state restrictions against the use of vaping products are there to protect the health of young adults. E-cigarettes can be hazardous to one’s health, even though they cause fewer health effects compared to conventional cigarettes. Consumers should look out for fake e-cigarettes that can cause respiratory illnesses that can lead to death.