E- Cigarettes have been in the eye of storm since its introduction into the market, but its popularity has not diminished. Many people consider e-cigarettes to be a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, but FDA -USA has not yet approved its usage, because debates are still going on about the potential addiction and abuse of nicotine and related products. There are talks about the FDA banning the sale of electronic cigarettes because they are not yet proven to be safe. FDA is in the process of reviewing various e-cigarettes, e-pipes and e-cigars and has banned the entry of these products into the country. The health agency of Canada has also banned the importation and sale of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are basically a Chinese invention and the first ones were manufactured by a company named Ruyan in 2004. E-cigarette users inhale through a mouthpiece and the flow of air triggers a sensor which switches on a small heater which is powered by battery. The heater’s role is to vaporize the liquid nicotine in a small cartridge. Cartridges without nicotine are also available in the market. Propylene glycol or PEG present in the cartridge is also vaporized and the user gets the sensation that he is smoking tobacco. This is an effect created by the puff of hot gas. The cloud of PEG vapour resembles smoke when exhaled and this vapour dissipated instantly. Based on the content of nicotine, refill cartridges vary in price. Los Angeles city has recently banned the use of e-cigarettes within their city limits citing various reasons like rising popularity of electronic cigarettes amongst youngsters as many young and uninitiated people are using it as a gateway to smoking. There are also potential hazards caused from exposure to the second hand vapour from e-cigarettes and the other chemicals present in the cartridges.
Second-hand aerosols are also exhaled by people who engage in ‘vaping’ or usage of e-cigarettes. There are also reports about carcinogens being found in e-cigarette aerosol which has ultra-fine particles. The Food and Drug Administration is about to implement a rule which states that companies will have to register and pay a fees, list out the contents in their products, gain approval for their new products and curb or restrict the sale of e-cigarettes by online means particularly to children.
The companies selling these e-cigarettes on the contrary claim that these moves by FDA will hurt the smokers who are trying to quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes. They also believe that companies should be exempted from the full scope of the regulations, since it will prevent innovation and damage small businesses. Wales in UK are also close on the heels of banning the usage of e-cigarettes in public places. The European Union has also decided to strike a deal in order to curb the increasing market of electronic cigarettes and they plan to enforce EU-wide ban on this device. Refillable cigarettes will be banned in EU if any three of its countries have decided on their prohibition.