Smoke and Mirrors: Controversy over Electronic Cigarette Regulation

1405 WordsFeb 3, 20186 Pages
John Doe is an 18-year-old resident, Colorado. He’s active in his community and volunteers through the local public library, he’s a genuinely nice guy, and he’s a smoker. A few months ago, John Doe decided that he wanted to minimize his health risks from smoking cigarettes, so he switched to a new alternative: an e-cigarette. Electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco, and vaporize a vegetable glycerol fluid that contains nicotine, mimicking the feeling of smoking a burn cigarette without the tar, dangerous gases, and unpleasant smell (Block). In most states, smokers can “vape” in public places with their e-cigarettes, receiving the nicotine of a burn cigarette without complaint from others. Heavy smokers find that they can use e-cigarettes to gradually decrease nicotine and many use it as a gateway to quit smoking. Yet in the absence of regulation, sale of e-cigarettes to minors is only prohibited in twelve states (Lopes), and this is a definite problem. Adolescents may see vaping as a cool new thing to do and become addicted to nicotine. The lack of regulation in the e-cigarette industry especially contributes to this, as companies create appealing advertisements displaying a variety of new flavors. Furthermore, without Food and Drug Administration (FDA) screening, e-cigarette ingredients are unregulated and this could lead to unsafe or downright harmful products. Although electronic cigarettes are safer than combustible cigarettes, they should be regulated by
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