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Amid the FDA mulling over regulating the sale of electronic cigarettes in the US, Big Tobacco is back on your television sets pitching new nicotine products that look like cigarette.
The US government is moving toward regulating these battery-powered devices, saying it doesn’t know what’s inside them and why some have exploded. More states are restricting the product, and the US government is expected to announce — as early as October — its plan for regulation. Given the product’s rise in popularity, public health officials are scurrying to figure out its safety. These battery-operated devices don’t contain the myriad harmful chemicals of regular cigarettes, but by heating a nicotine solution into a vapor that users inhale, they still provide the addictiveness of nicotine. So there’s debate over whether they’re more apt to lure kids toward tobacco or help adults kick the habit.
Tobaccos on your Idiot Box
These chic offerings are sparking another round of the tortured tobacco wars. The tobacco market is booming and the unregulated e-cigarette sales are touching sky.
“It’s time we take our freedom back,” asserts actor Stephen Dorff, oozing machismo as he says “blu e-Cigs” can be smoked “at a basketball game … in a bar with your friends … virtually anywhere.” Inhaling with swagger, he adds: “Come on, guys, rise from the ashes.”
R.J. Reynolds, the second-largest U.S. tobacco company and maker of Camels, started TV and print ads last month for its recently revised VUSE brand, which it began rolling out nationally in July. Aware of the public’s sensitivity to TV tobacco marketing, VUSE spokesman Richard Smith says its ads won’t show people inhaling as do those for blu-eCigs, a company bought last year by Lorillard, the nation’s third-largest tobacco company and maker of Newports.
These ads for electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, including new ones with former Playboy model and upcoming co-host of The View Jenny McCarthy, hark back to an era when smoking was en vogue and people could light up on airplanes, in offices and, really, wherever they liked.
How far your E-cigarettes safe?
Electronic cigarettes that are considered as a good way to quit smoking or a better and healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes, are raising concerns among the researchers as they are finding health woes related to it.
How far these e-cigarettes healthy is a matter that needs to be addressed. There’s a little research on how safe they are and their efficiency on kicking the smoking habit is also doubtable.
A survey says more people are giving e-cigarettes a try every day. About one in five adult cigarette smokers in the US had tried electronic cigarettes in 2011, nearly twice as many as in 2010. Sales reached nearly USD 500 million in 2012 and are expected to double to USD 1 billion this year. An estimated 43.8 million people, or 19 percent of adults, in the United States smoke cigarettes.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., accounting for more than 440,000 deaths annually.
About 6% of all US adults and 21% of adult smokers said they tried them in 2011, double the 2010 rate, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also found six in 10 were aware of them in 2011, up from four in 10 a year earlier.
What is E-Cigarette?
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are a smoke-free alternative to the traditional paper cigarette. It is comprised of a liquid cartridge attached to a white cylinder containing a battery. The liquid is a mixture of propylene glycol (a common chemical used in many in food products), vegetable glycerin, flavoring and nicotine. The battery heats the liquid into a vapor that the user inhales. Instead of the tradition term ‘smoking’, having e-cigarettes is called “vaping.”
E- cigarettes range from around USD 10 to as much as USD 70 depending upon the manufacturers. Although prices of the complete set of electronic cigarettes vary, pre-filled liquid cartridges usually cost a few dollars. , These cartridges usually last about as long as a pack of regular cigarettes. Flavoured e-liquid are also available for the vaping lovers at a price ranging from a few dollars to more than USD 10 depending on size.
So far, no sincere research has been carried to trace the health effects of inhaling a nicotine-laced vapour. There’s a lot scientists still don’t know about these modernized method of smoking. These includes the actual chemical exposure that users receive compared with traditional smokers’ intake; the way vaporized nicotine is absorbed by the body; and the effects of secondhand vapour.
The e-liquids themselves are not required to meet any federal standards, although the FDA is expected to exercise its regulatory authority over the products later this year. For now, e-cigarettes are in a gray area and are not regulated as tobacco products or medical devices, even though they share similarities with both product categories.
Approval by the FDA means that a nicotine product, such as a patch or gum, has met standards of safety and effectiveness, said Dr. Anne Joseph, a tobacco researcher at the University of Minnesota. Joseph adds that electronic cigarettes may not be all bad for current tobacco users, with a couple of important caveats: Nonsmokers shouldn’t start, and e-cigarette consumers should use them only with the goal of quitting.