2 Alternatives To Tobacco And Medicine In E-Cig Regulation

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2014-05-03 15:51:21

In every country that has grappled with how to classify electronic cigarettes, two options have always been seen as the only ones. One is to look at e-cigs as tobacco products and the other is to regard them as pharmaceutical products. Both of these options are not a good fit for these new products but the authorities seem determined to regard them as one or the other. Well, to add a twist to that debate, here are two additional ways that should be considered as better than those on the table.

Foods And Beverages

Strictly speaking, electronic cigarettes are not eaten nor are they drank so one may not immediately see how they can qualify to be classified as a food or a beverage. That aside, many look at the degree of harm present in these devices as equal to that present in coffee or French fries.

As for the nicotine in e-liquid, it isn’t that much of a strange product. It can be extracted from eggplants as well as potatoes. With that in mind, it becomes a little clearer why these products should be regulated under foods and beverages. Add to that the fact that other ingredients in e-liquid are approved for use in household consumables and it becomes very plain that they would not be misplaced if they were looked at as a food or beverage.

As a food or beverage, makers of electronic liquid would be prevailed upon to adhere to all the standards governing the making of other drinks meant for human consumption. This is not to say that they are not already doing this, they are doing so, but out of their own volition rather than by regulatory framework.


Now that sounds wild, doesn’t it? You do not vaporize your deodorant and neither do you inhale your lip gloss, or do you? Again, on closer examination, the categorization in this group isn’t far-fetched.

Most cosmetics don’t fall under the category of medical products yet some of their functions border on pharmacological use. That could also be said of electronic cigarettes. The zero-nicotine e-juice can be seen as recreational while those vaping while they are under medication can be seen as using it for a pseudo-pharmaceutical purpose.

The regulations governing cosmetic products would therefore fit in nicely with the reality of e-cigs, probably with a few amendments to make them an exact fit.

Putting it together...

Electronic cigarettes are a totally new product and the right thing to do would be to come up with a regulatory framework that is specifically designed for them rather than trying to squeeze them into the umbrella of an existing framework.

However, regulators seem to be unwilling to go the distance in coming up with a new law. This may be because of “laziness” or a lack of sufficient knowledge upon which to rely in that policy formulation.

If they can’t come up with a new framework, they might as well look for products that are close to what e-cigs are (not an easy feat) instead of forcing them to be tobacco products or medicines (which they are not).


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