E-cigarettes have been growing in popularity, despite the controversy surrounding them.
- “They are electronic, alternative smoking devices that simulate the sensation of smoking. They do not expose the user, or others close by, to harmful levels of cancer-causing agents and other dangerous chemicals normally associated with traditional tobacco products.” Craig Youngblood, president of InLife, an e-cigarette company.
- “They are nicotine delivery devices intended to be used like a cigarette. What happens to someone who stops inhaling the tars of cigarettes and inhales only nicotine? We don’t know. There is at least the potential for harm.” Norman Edelman, MD, chief medical officer, American Lung Association
- “We are concerned about the potential for addiction and abuse of these products. We don’t want the public to perceive them as a safer alternative to cigarettes.” Rita Chapelle, FDA spokeswoman.
So, what should we do about e-cigarettes? Sell them? Ban them? Allow them in public areas?
The European Parliament reached a decision about e-cigarettes this week. As reported by Andrew Higgins and Matt Reichtel for the New York Times:
“E-cigarette users ingest nicotine in the form of vapors from heated fluid, an alternative to smoking commonly called vaping. The European Parliament on Tuesday scrapped proposals by health officials that electronic cigarettes be tightly regulated as medical devices, setting the stage for a debate in the United States over the extent of regulation. European lawmakers endorsed a permissive approach to the sale and use of e-cigarettes, although the products could not be sold legally to anyone younger than 18. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has said it wants to issue regulations on the nicotine-delivery devices soon. Industry leaders and public health officials had expected them by the end of October but the regulations may be delayed because of the partial government shutdown that has emptied F.D.A. offices.“
Click the image to read the full article from the New York Times.