The multiple e-cigarette debates need to reach a conclusion

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2014-05-28 13:47:59

Type in a general search on e-cigarettes and all the topics that come up are contradictory. Each website, article and study seems to yell out louder than its predecessor, arguing vehemently either for or against the e-cigarette device.

So what do the official organizations say about it anyway?

What the WHO and FDA say about e-cigarettes

As far as the United States goes, there are pretty much just two main concrete seals of approval a product needs to quell a large part of the dubiousness surrounding it. One is the World Health Organization. The other is FDA classification and approval.

Sounds straightforward, right? But in the case of e-cigs, it is anything but.

The WHO flat-out stated that e-cigarettes are detrimental to health and issued a statement advising smokers not to use this device. It has even gone so far as to voice concern that the accessibility and the gadget-allure of this nicotine device could increase the number of nicotine dependents in the world.

Whereas the FDA approved of this device and allowed it to be opened for marketing under drug and medicine division. Later, it repealed its own classification, agreeing with a law order that e-cigarettes should come under tobacco products division. This ended in the FDA stating its making a new set of regulations, specifically for e-cigarettes. Yikes.

And as for the other countries

In just Europe alone, the regulatory rules for e-cigs is ridiculous, ranging from places where there are practically zero rules concerning their manufacture and marketing, to places where they are actively considered as illegal as class A narcotics and just as dangerous to human health.

Even within the countries where they are approved, their categorization varies widely, with some countries and states filing them as a medicinal product and listing e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to smoking, while others list them as harmful with deeply carcinogenic impacts.

Like the British Medical Association report, where they are vague on the benefits of e-cigs in terms of quitting smoking and have stated their inability to form a conclusion from their studies, while hinting that it may be better to consider alternatives like nicotine gums and patches instead.

So why are they all so contradictory anyway?

The product is usually marketed as a healthier alternative to conventional smoking, and some studies do show the tobacco consumption is less with e-cigarette than normal cigarettes. However, e-liquids, which are used to refill the e-cigarette are showing up in studies to be highly dangerous.

It is hard to regulate one without the other. And trying to find the balance between the e-cigarette device and the e-liquid refill liquid nicotine, while also taking into account the new data produced by continuous lab studies, makes the whole legal and regulation process murky and difficult to devise a standardized framework to follow in the manufacture and marketing of e-cigarettes.

Public still enthralled regardless

However, despite the heavy layer of controversy over the e-cigarette phenomenon, the general public fascination and love of this product seems to be unabashed. In the USA, over ninety percent of regular smokers have admitted to trying an e-cig at least once, and even non-smokers are giving it a try due to the hype around it.

The regulation of this device is necessary, and considering the present cloud, it is necessary fast. And the sooner the many important regulatory boards find common points to agree on about e-cigarettes, the better.



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