Traverse City Record-Eagle

Other Views

May 7, 2014

Another View: E-cigarette regulation long overdue

The growth of the electronic cigarettes industry is remarkable, but its appeal is no mystery. E-cigarettes are loopholes to America’s smoking regulations.

Increasing numbers of electronic-cigarette smokers often are immune from the rules tobacco smokers face. Most laws against smoking in public are aimed at tobacco. E-cigarettes were largely unknown when those laws were enacted — and the marketing strategies put that to good use.

E-cigarettes enable users to inhale nicotine through battery-operated devices. Vapor rather than smoke is the result — and the new industry encourages consumers to take advantage in bars, restaurants and other places where tobacco smoking is prohibited.

The “freedom” the e-cigarette promotes is alluring, but it also is troubling. Because the cigarettes aren’t subject to the same regulations as tobacco products, children in increasing numbers are attracted to them — and 17 states, including Michigan, don’t bar their sale to minors.

It is right that the Food and Drug Administration finally involved itself in regulating e-cigarettes. The FDA’s decision last week was remarkably late. E-cigarettes’ popularity has been impossible to ignore in the past few years. But at least the federal agency finally has come to recognize the risks they pose.

E-cigarettes are promoted as safe alternatives to traditional cigarettes, but that’s only a contention. As bad as tobacco cigarettes might be for the users’ health, their contents are known, thanks to federal regulations.

There is no such required information about E-cigarettes. The nicotine vapors the users inhale purportedly are less harmful than tobacco smoke, but there is no definitive proof that’s the case.

That’s especially a problem for minors. E-cigarette use has doubled for middle and high school students from 2011 to 2012. It’s one thing for adults to use the product. With questions about its safety, children’s e-cigarette use is alarming.

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House