Some say new ban on e-cigarette sales to minors will actually help tobacco industry.
According to statistics from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 2,600 kids will try their first cigarette today, and 600 will become daily cigarette smokers. These shocking numbers, along with a release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying 2.5 million middle-and high-school aged students used e-cigarettes in 2014, come as a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18 has just gone into effect.
The CDC released a statement in which Director Dr. Tom Frieden said, “We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age. Adolescence is a critical time for brain development. Nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use.”
Most are praising the new regulations, but some vapor shop owners are concerned about the new rules. A large number of e-cigarette sellers had already refused to sell to minors, and view the FDA’s move as positive, but feel the regulations may go a little too far.
In addition to the ban on sales for those under the age of 18, the new regulations also prevent vapor retailers from giving samples or sharing information about vapor products and devices, and restrict them from creating their own products. Some believe the complicated and expensive cost of the regulations are going to force many local vapor shops to close their doors, leading to major players monopolizing the field.
Adding to the confusion, there is no clear-cut study that can prove or disprove the claim that e-cigarettes can assist in quitting smoking combustible conventional cigarettes. A CDC report in 2015 said electronic smoking devices could be beneficial if smokers stopped using conventional cigarettes completely when using the vapor, but the agency also warned that e-cigarettes are not only harmless water vapor.
The CDC continued to say the aerosol contained in the e-cigarettes could also contain nicotine, as well as other cancer-causing agents.
Still, many see the regulations as potentially eliminating the competition for tobacco products, and stifling the innovative initiatives that could lead to safer e-cigarettes and smoking cession aids.