E-cigarettes have been growing in popularity, despite the controversy surrounding them.

Consider these observations noted at WebMD: 

  • “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

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters


22 Replies to “What’s Next for E-Cigarettes?”

  1. I think e cigarettes should be sold and can be allowed in public areas. I think this will help people get over their a addiction. My uncle started smoking ecigs instead of regular ones and there is no smell whatsoever and he can smoke it in the house. I like that it eliminates the problem of second hand smoking as well. I would rather that people started smoking ecigs than normal cigs as well. Allowing them in public areas will help smokers quit because then they’ll have another reason to use and buy ecigs rather than normal cigs.

  2. I think that banning e cigarettes would be a pointless thing to do. Vendors that sell cigarettes, I think, would be wise to sell e cigarettes. Since they have basically the health effects of cigarettes- although officials of the American Lung Association are still unsure of the lone effects of nicotine- and do not emit harmful 2nd hand smoke, e cigarettes seen like an all around better alternative to traditional cigarettes.

  3. It seems to me like the logistics of e-cigarettes have not been figured out yet. Some sources claim that they are a healthier alternative to cigarettes, while others say that the medical risks have yet to be determined. An FDA spokeswoman says that e-cigarettes still have a high potential to be abused and to create addictions. With this in mind, I think it’s important that people don’t become too dependent upon them or their perception of these “healthier cigarettes”. I think that it would be illogical to ban electronic cigarettes, but I do think that business establishments should continue to prohibit the use of cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. Even if there are no second-hand smoke issues, cigarettes are distracting to other customers.

  4. I believe that e-cigarettes should not undergo regulation,in that I personally know people who use them to help them quick smoking and it has really helped them through the process. At the same time there seems that more information is needed to be provided in regards to this product in that one side of the spectrum feels that they are healthy for one to use while the other side feels the opposite, there still seems to be some confusion.

  5. In essence, e-cigarettes are no worse for the user than real cigarettes, and if real cigarettes are legal, there is no foundation for banning their electric alternatives. People poison their bodies every day with legal substances, including alcohol and cigarettes, so they should be allowed to “poison” themselves with e-cigarettes, assuming that they are harmful at all. But so far they have not been proven to be harmful to users and have been responsible (at least in part) for helping innumerable amounts of cigarette smokers quit the habit.

  6. I was never a smoker and never will be, so I don’t know how it feels to be addicted to cigarettes. However, I do believe that someone wants to quit smoking, it is a hard yet gradual process. My uncle was a hard core smoker for years. He quit a few years ago and has been clean ever since. However, it was very difficult for him. He was constantly sneaking out for a smoke, even when he said he was done forever. Now, he is completely over cigarettes, but still goes through annoying withdrawal effects. I believe that if someone had a case like that, an electric cigarette will definitely help ease the process. It is just an alternative to chewing nicotine gum, it just resembles a cigarette.

  7. Although I never was and never will be a smoker, it is evident that e-cigarettes are a good thing to sell. They are much less invasive than regular cigarettes and they are much less harmful for the user as well. Banning e-cigarettes would be pointless and rather backwards. Why would you ban something that is a much less harmful replacement than the original? If anything, regular cigarettes should be banned and e-cigarettes should be left for smokers to use and, hopefully, wean off of.

  8. I have always been an advocate for anything that reduces the number of cigarette smokers. I understand that it is a very difficult habit to break, and I feel that E-Cigarettes can help people work through this process. I would like to think that this innovation will act as a way to break the habit the completely, and not just serve as a replacement. Poisoning your lungs is never a good thing, and I think all people (even smokers) realize this.

    There have been times when I have questioned whether or not outlawing cigarettes would work. I am thinking about that again now. Could it be enforced? I highly doubt it. But it is a question worth thinking about.

    1. Smoking is a personal choice, and I think if you are going to smoke you should do so privately. Smoking in public does affect secondary people. So, I think this product is great for those who want to smoke in public because it is less harmful. It is also better for smokers(as far as we know). So, ultimately I support the whole e-cigarette craze.

  9. I don’t know much about E-Cigarettes, but I’ve heard people rave about them. I think this whole “healthier” thing is a tad exaggerated because no one seems really confident on what these E-Cigarettes actually do, however to ban them is not really a smart decision because normal cigarettes are still available, so what’s the use in banning these E-Cigarretes? I just don’t see that as a solution to anything. Maybe it is healthier, but I don’t think anyone should jump to any conclusions unless we know for certain that they are healthier or unhealthier.

  10. I believe that E- Cigarettes are a far safer and all around better choice than smoking regular cigarettes for a lot of reasons. For one the smoke that you inhale is a far safer smoke compared to a regular cigarette. It is a healthy way to try to “kick the habit” of smoking cancer causing cigarettes. It is safer not only for your body but the bodies of your loved ones and the people closest to you that would otherwise get affected from second hand smoke.you are now able to smoke in your house without the terrible odor that would come from a regular cigarette. That is why I think it helps to have E- Cigarettes rather than regular Cigarettes.

  11. I am surprised to see how E-cigarettes will become a $1.7 billion dollar market by the end of this year. Although they are supposedly a safe alternative to cigarettes, there still needs to be research done as to whether inhaling secondhand vapor is harmful. I don’t think banning E-cigarettes is necessary, especially since regular cigarettes are still widely available. There is also the concern that e-cigarettes will revive an interest in smoking by celebrating a behavior that health officials and numerous anti-smoking campaigns have spent decades trying to demonize. E-cigarettes have all types of flavors, including vanilla bean and pina colada, so companies need to be mindful not to market these products to children. We all know smoking is a difficult habit to break, but I personally am not sold on the fact that e-cigarettes will help people kick their bad habit.

  12. E- cigarettes are an all around better option for smokers than normal cigarettes. They get the smoking experience, while supposedly not getting the health dangers with normal smoking. They are also better to have in public because they second hand smoke effect is not as harmful to innocent bystanders. If normal smokers see other people using E- cigarettes, they might be persuaded to try it as well. All smokers know the dangers of what they are doing, and E- cigarettes seem to be a very nice alternative to trying to quit a smoking addiction all together.

  13. I’ve known many smokers in my life, and as such I’ve always been concerned for their health as well as my own. When electronic cigarettes came out I was happy. I thought it was a great idea considering the reduction of secondhand smoke and chemicals to the smoker themselves. But after reading this I can see the struggle between a companies good intentions and the possible heath risk. From my point of view everything has a health risk, no matter what they will exists. So even with the health risk that come with the electronic cigarettes, I still view them as a safer alternative that helps current smokers overcome their addiction.

  14. I don’t think the government should ban e-cigarettes. If they did that it would make a movement to ban regular cigarettes. At this point in time where smoking has been accepted for so many years, people know it is wrong and still do it. Being that we live in a free country, people should have this choice to make for themselves.

  15. I feel like E-cigarettes are more beneficial for those who don’t smoke than those who do. As a non-smoker myself, cigarette smoke is very annoying whenever I am around it and I find that E-cigarettes reduce the second hand smoke. However, looking at the downside of E-cigarettes (nicotine ingestion through vapors…that doesn’t sound too good!), my view on the electronic cigarette has been altered. I never thought about how the smoker was affected by this new technology. It is advertised as a safer smoking alternative, but they may have meant to non-smokers rather than those that are directly smoking it.

  16. I believe smoking e-cigarettes are much better than smoking an actual cigarette and it should be allowed to be sold and used in public. If regular cigarettes are allowed to be sold and used in public, then why can’t their water-vapor substitute be used? Even though with the e-cigarette smokers are still inhaling nicotine in the form of water vapor, it is much better than them inhaling all the tars and poisons that exist within cigarettes. It is also great for people who don’t smoke because they won’t be subjected to second hand smoke. As a non-smoker, it would be nice to not have to constantly smell the harmful smoke just about everywhere I go and I know all the other non-smokers would appreciate this as well.

  17. I think before anyone can confidently state an opinion on e-ciggarettes, we need to find out the concrete facts on their medical ramifications. While they may very possibly be safer and “healthier” then actual cigarettes, we do not yet know the health problems they may also posses. While people think the e-cigarette is the way to quitting, is it really just a way to form another addiction? Banning them would be pointless in that actual cigarettes are clearly sold, meaning that people would probably just go back to them. The only real benefit I see with e-cigarettes is that they do not harm the people around them from second hand smoke. I think that is one of the major issues with actual cigarettes. People have free will and are made well aware of the medical consequences coupled with cigarettes, but inflicting second hand smoke on other individuals is not right. So, until we are able to publicly announce the medical consequences on e-cigarettes, I dont think any decisions can be made.

  18. I personally like the idea of E-cigarettes. Myself, being a non smoker, hates having to breath in and choke on second hand smoke daily. E-cigarettes could be a great alternative that will make the non-smokers happy by reducing second hand smoke while making the smokers happy by allowing them to continue smoking with less harm to themselves and the people around them. With this being said I believe it should be allowed to be used and sold to the public. I understand the concern for health risks, however, if someone is already a smoker they are at a risk smoking normal cigarettes as well. I also believe that risks are unavoidable and no matter what one does there will always be a risk to it.

  19. I do not smoke cigarettes so I personally do not know how it feels to be addicted, however, some of my friends smoke cigarettes every day and when they do not have one they crave them, so I can only imagine how bad the addication is. I do think that e cigarettes should be sold in public areas because I think it is a good way for smokers to quit their addiction. E cigarettes can slow down your addiction and can hopefully help you to stop smoking regular cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes is not only bad for your own health, but also the health of others around you. I sometimes feel that when I am with my friends who are constantly smoking, that I could get second hand smoke. E cigarettes can reduce secondhand smoke so that when others are around you, they don’t feel like they are inhaling the smoke as well.

  20. Aw, this was a really nice post. Finding the time
    and actual effort to make a great article… but what can I say…
    I procrastinate a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

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