A week ago, three U.S. congresspersons, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) wrote in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration. They complained that e-Cigarette companies are taking advantage of a “loophole” in current regulations that allows them to escape the type of oversight given to the rest of the tobacco industry.
Really. The tobacco industry is getting nervous. That can't be all bad. Remember, these are the peddlers of cancer sticks they call tobacco cigarettes.
What this trio of representatives is really complaining about isn't regulation of the product based on contents, health, or dangers. It's competition. Commerce. They're doing their dirty deeds under the guise of trying to protect children from vaping -- using eCigs.
First, I don't want to see kids smoking. Certainly not cigarettes. Yet the health hazards equated to eCigs and related vaporizing devices, according to the Daily Consumer Alert are not all that drastic.
A few of the benefits claimed from using the electronic cigarette:
No tar, tobacco, carbon monoxide, or ash.
Get the same amount of nicotine as a regular cigarette.
Each cartridge costs less than $2 and is equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes.
Average consumer can expect to save over $1,000 each year.
You won’t “smell” like a smoker any longer.
Different flavors are available.
No more second-hand smoke.
Yet because there is no tobacco in these products, they don't fall under the strict guidelines the FDA has set up for tobacco products. One of those restrictions has to do with access to anyone under 18.
Will kids start taking up eCig usage and vape? You bet, just like with regular cigarettes. But is this healthier for them? Probably, but that's what research is for.
Then the question becomes, before a product is deemed needing regulation, do kids need extra protection, just in case? Hesitantly I say, maybe. But I'm not sure yet of the motives of the people trying to bring parity with the tobacco industry regulations. I've got questions as to who's bidding these congresspeople are doing. Are they interested in the children, or is this a lobbyist attempt to help out what could be a dying cigarette industry?
Maybe if they want to bust open their books and return any money they've received in contributions in the past or currently, I might be inclined to be less dubious of their putting some "sin" in sincerity.
If vaping grows as rapidly as it looks to be doing, there's cause for tobacco to worry. Cigarettes won't die out forever, but they may becomes yesterday's news.
A year ago I didn't know anyone who had tried an eCig. Today I know a few. And those are all people used to smoke cigarettes. They don't anymore. I've asked if they enjoy the experience and unanimously they say yes.
Formerly, the cigarette smoker's clothes and even their bodies reeked of old cigarettes. Their breath wasn't fresh, and when they'd taken a hit or two in my presence, I got a headache from the smoke smell. Not now. With the eCig usage I noticed nothing more than a light waft of soft, fragrant aroma. It's less than passing by mid-summer, night-blooming jasmine.
So maybe these congresspeople should cool their jets. Do some research. If eCigs require more regulation, it'll come. But after research.
Until then, check out the newest advertising for eCigs. An adult campaign isn't going to get kids to want to give vaping a try. See for yourself.
Hmm. You know what I wrote up above -- Never mind.