The following is a guest post by Sean Mayes. As always the opinions expressed by guest authors are strictly their own. If you want to express your opinion too, come be a guest author.
Electronic cigarettes, or nicotine vaporizers, are the latest topic in the smoker’s world. They are becoming highly controversial because they contain nicotine yet they are not currently regulated by the FDA, and there is little reliable quality control.
For this reason, certain areas are beginning to impose restrictions on electronic cigarettes, despite that it is widely agreed that they are “safer” alternatives to traditional tobacco cigarettes.
On a small scale, certain private establishments such as restaurants and stores request that people do not smoke electronic cigarettes indoors. Sue Chen, the spokeswoman for a restaurant called Momofuku, said that, “We kindly ask that guests do not smoke electronic cigarettes at our restaurants in New York City, as we find it disruptive to other diners.”
Entire cities are also beginning to restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in public places, and many states have specific requirements to purchase or sell the devices.
Recently there has been a heavy debate in Duluth, MN over the regulation of e-cigarettes. Legislators are trying to ban them in public places, and they are currently not allowed on busses, trains, at county workplaces, or at schools including K-12 as well as universities. They have the hopes of creating the same laws for nicotine vaporizers as are already in place for traditional cigarettes and cigars.
Norman, Oklahoma is another city jumping on the e-cig ban boat. The devices have been restricted from school campuses as well as school sporting events, which has upset some parents who are current vapers.
Los Angeles is also tightening their reigns on regulation regarding nicotine vaping as well. Councilman Paul Koretz is looking to have the sale of electronic cigarettes restricted to those above the age of 18 only. Were they to do this, they would be joining the states of Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maryland, and many other regions in creating similar legislation that is already in place with traditional cigarettes.
These new regulations are largely due to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which surveyed students in sixth through twelfth grade, showing that electronic cigarette use for that age group nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012.
Advocates of e-cigs claim that the devices help reduce the risks of nicotine addiction, and so they may feel that there should be little or no regulation. While some studies have found certain risks of smoking nicotine vapor, it is widely agreed upon even in the scientific community that it is safer than tobacco smoking.
Since there are no severe risks of second hand smoke, some think that vaporizer use should be allowed in public areas; however the largest objection to this is that it suggests to the youth that smoking electronic cigarettes is socially acceptable.
As electronic cigarettes gain increasing popularity through media advertisement and word of mouth, they become increasingly controversial. It is rumored that the FDA will step in to review the issue this fall, at which point it is likely that new, harsher regulations will be imposed, for better or for worse.