The Law in Vapor

The E-Cigarette and Vaping industry has experienced a remarkable journey over the last few years. Some glorify vapes to be the saviors for addicted smokers, while others rubbish these claims and consider it as just another product to pander the masses. Though the media seems to have an undecided stance on the issue, with a number of arguments on both sides, the market has warmly accepted its latest catch, surpassing all the brouhaha.

The latest bone of contention in this industry has been in determining the legalities. Is the law truly in vapor? We at BIS Research have been more than eager to find out.

Since the vapor from the electronic smoking devices is completely different from the smoke emitted from conventional cigarettes, the vapes should not be included in the same set of governmental regulations. The medical evidence against vapes is still limited compared to the support it has garnered. Since the product is relatively new in the market, its safety is still debatable. But if one were to sum up the implications of the medical findings, it can be said that medical research is still in its nascent stage; nonetheless, the result of the existing studies lies in the favor of vapes over tobacco cigarettes.

The central problem  regarding the regulations pertaining to e-cigarettes is as to where smoking is allowed, resulting in compliance problems with existing smoke-free laws. Most local and state smoke-free laws were enacted before e-cigarettes were introduced in the market, therefore, such laws do not explicitly mention e-cigarettes. Currently there is no law from the Centre regulating e-cigarette smoking in public but a few states have recently taken steps  towards that direction. Six states, which include California, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Hawaii and Illinois, have signed bills enabling partial bans on smoking e-cigarettes in public areas. Out of these states, the ban in Hawaii includes stringent regulations on vaping as much as that on conventional smoking.

Another piece of legislation recently passed has the potential to re-mould the structure of the vaping industry. As per the FDA’s proposal, any e-cig product made after 2007 must get the FDA approval in order to be sold. This would mean hiring experts to do medical research to determine the health impact of new devices, which can take months and cost millions of dollars. Which means that many small fragmented businesses, which collectively hold around 30% of the market share, will be ‘choked’. This would further consolidate the hold on the e-cigarette industry in the hands of Big Tobacco.

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