With the way lawmakers are now acting towards electronic cigarettes, it’s as if they are game organizers who have set the fighting stage for ecigarettes. The FDA’s regulations on ecigarettes are not yet finalized so the rapid growth of the vaping industry still remains unbridled. Thus, state legislators take it as their responsibility to come up with law against vaping that they believe will protect their constituents.
States Against Electronic Cigarettes
States have already started setting the stage where ecigs and ecig users ought to fight seriously. Like a game where contenders try their best to win, vapers and campaigners are now poised for a fight of their lives. If they will not engage in battle, the right to vape and the right to be freed from the detriments of smoking will not be completely possible.
It has been recently declared by the Health Department of CA that ecigs are public health threats. It issued a 21-page report that warns young people that youngsters might become nicotine addict because of vaping so lawmakers need to act to avoid this possibility.
From Oregon to Virginia
In the 21 states stretching in between these states, there are now at least 60 bills whose provisions involve restrictions on the fast growing industry. This shows a major increase from last year when there were only 11 bills that are related to ecigs and being considered throughout 10 states, said Consumer Advocates for Smokefree Alternatives Association ecig advocacy group.
Oregon bills include ecigarette legislation that ban flavors as well as online sales. In Indiana, a bill is considered that will require expensive permits for retailers selling their liquid nicotine. In California again, a bill is underway to ban the devices in public places.
Governors of states are also now showing signs they want to contend with ecigarettes. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo included in his budget a provision to ban the flavors, to restrict advertising and to prohibit indoor ecig use.
The FDA issued in April its preliminary rules that will restrict ecig sales to minors and will require manufacturers of ecigarettes to submit their products to lengthy and expensive approval process. According to FDA, it is expecting rules to be finalized by June.
Ecigarette sales reached $2.5 billion in retail sales, which are expected to reach more than $3.5 billion this 2015, based on the Wells Fargo Securities data. Bank analysts also predicted that $1.5 million of sales this year will be contributed by cigalikes while $2 billion will come from liquid nicotine as well as customizable and high-powered vaporizers.
Some legislators are alarmed by some studies whose results indicate that teenagers are using the devices as traditional cigarette alternative. CDC data showed that more than quarter a million of youths who have never smoked cigarettes experimented with ecigs in 2013.
Some officials of states are feeling frustrated that FDA has not yet addressed the issue. Rep. Kevin Mahan from Indiana introduced a bill that will require liquid nicotine retailers to first obtain licenses. In a statement, FDA said that it needs sufficient time in completely reviewing and analyzing issues that surround ecigarettes.
Laws on ecigs started to be introduced to Legislature in 2010. Now, over 40 states have imposed ecig sale to minors ban while more than 100 US cities ban indoor vaping. The proposals this year, apparently, are more inappropriately restrictive like ban on flavors, restriction on licenses and higher tax rates.
Ecig advocates support some legislation introduced in the past like prohibition of sales to minors, but majority of them believe that the latest measures will only discourage the switch to vaping and thus jeopardize or deprive the public of possible vaping benefits.