Tobacco interference is something that governments are actively doing in recent years, and this holds true even in the e-cigarette, or e-cig, industry. The surge in popularity of e-cigs, primarily because they offer a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, has led to a large number of the smoking population switching to vaping e-cigs instead. Unfortunately, it also drew the attention of the government, which is now intent on having a say on the sale and use of e-cigs.
More than the actual use of e-cigs, however, it would seem that the focus is more on the marketing of the stuff. In the United States, more and more states are imposing prohibitions in selling e-cigs and other related products to anyone below the age of 18.
In its effort to control the e-cigs industry, the government is now implementing various measures, including making the rules regarding the sale of cigarette products, including e-cigs, to minors. Another is to require all e-cigs manufacturers to furnish them with a list containing all the components and ingredients present in their respective electronic cigarettes. Even the packaging of the e-cigs is noticed by the government. For example, they want it clearly stated on the label a warning regarding the danger of being addicted to nicotine.
At a glance, all these are rooted in good intentions, and they may not really make that much of an impact to the average smoker. However, there is no denying that these changes, when fully implemented, will open the floodgates.
Some of the expected scenarios springing from these subtle changes include MORE changes. It certainly gives the Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA) more power to request and impose changes that DO impact smokers and citizens. They are likely to get themselves more involved in the marketing and advertising aspect. Soon, they may even think of interfering in the manufacturers’ production process, dictating on which flavours are acceptable, and which ones should be completely scrapped. For instance, they may approve the bubble gum flavour, but ban the cola flavour.
The question is: will these methods actually work or have an impact? Will banning the cola flavour in e-cigs dissuade e-cig smokers from using e-cigs in general? That is highly doubtful. Adding warnings on the labels also does not change the fact that the e-cigs are designed by manufacturers to look appealing to young people. There is also the fact that regular cigarettes, despite the widespread knowledge about their ill effects on one’s health, are still hugely popular, and e-cigs have become recognised as the less harmful alternative.
So what should be done? Focusing on changes on the label or controlling the production process and the marketing programs of e-cigs are never going to be enough to dissuade users from vaping. It would be a better idea for the FDA, and the authorities, in general, to think long-term instead of concentrating on short-term fixes. They should look deeper and research on the long-term impacts of e-cigs to those who are vaping. Go to the root of the problem, cut off the head instead of hitting on the limbs.