The Food and Drug Administration has put a lot of pressure on the electronic cigarette market within the last few years. The FDA has called for widespread testing and it seemed liked they were set on proving electronic cigarettes were just as bad - if not worse – than real cigarettes.
This was until the director for the FDA’s Center for Tobacco came out and said, “If we could get all of those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health.” – Mitch Zeller.
Although preliminary testing has shown positive results for the vaping community, the FDA is not backing down on seeking hard regulations. They still have concerns that have not been addressed, but they fail to see the whole picture.
One of the main concerns the FDA has about e-cigarettes is that children have been able to get their hands on them. This has long been addressed and was halted almost as soon as it started. E-cigarettes are a nicotine product and most e-cigarettes have labels warning against use by children and pregnant women.
• Not enough testing
There has not been extensive testing on e-cigarettes, but as a relatively new product it is to be expected. The FDA regulations and testing would drown out smaller, start up e-cigarette companies, leaving only room for big tobacco companies to flood the market. The testing that has been both independently done and done by the FDA has shown e-cigarettes to be a safer alternative to smoking. Water vapor is much safer for your lungs than tar filled smoke.
• Health Risks
The long term health risks of e-cigarettes are still up in the air because – quite frankly – e-cigarettes haven’t been around long enough. Things like this take time and this doesn’t mean the FDA can crush a whole market with strict regulations or even banning them entirely. The preliminary testing has been positive. E-cigarettes are not designed to be for non-smokers. They are an alternative for preexisting smokers to avoid the tar and carcinogens found in traditional cigarettes.
How They Miss the Mark
The biggest concern for e-cigarette manufactures is the money all of the regulations will cost. Having private tests done, or even FDA testing is extremely expensive. The FDA and larger corporations will snuff out small e-cigarette businesses. This is also bad because there seems to be more pride in a small business and those e-cigarette businesses would provide a safe, alternative to cigarettes that uses already FDA approves ingredients. The e-cigarettes that have been independently tested by the manufacturers to show transparency in their products have come back with positive results. Not all manufactures have the funding for these types of testing, but they follow suit to what the rest of the market is doing.
All in all, regulation is not always a bad thing. Keeping children away from the addictive properties of nicotine and warning pregnant women against its use is absolutely a good idea. It is not okay to use FDA sanctions to crush the market and suffocate those businesses trying to sell a quality product and make ends meet.
E-cigarettes still have a long way to come, but there has been plenty of push back against the FDA and big tobacco companies. Doctors, government officials, vaping advocates, and business owners are all taking a stand to prove e-cigarettes are a safe tobacco free product and should not be put under the same pressures as deadly tobacco products. We should want smokers to have a healthy alternative and not have to breathe in carcinogens anymore. E-cigarettes provide that option for those who have already become addicted to nicotine, but no longer want to smoke. It can be extremely tough to cut back smoking, but because of e-cigarettes smokers have that option. The FDA shouldn’t be able to take that away from people who already understand the risks of smoking and want a better alternative.
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