The electronic cigarette industry and the Food and Drugs Administration of the United States have been debating whether e cigarettes need to be regulated as tobacco products or not for quite a long time now. Ever since e cigs were officially launched in the United States five years ago, the FDA and the electric cigarette industry have been having conflicting issues of interest with regards to the final resolution pertaining to the regulatory practices. As of now, the FDA has not ruled electric cigarettes as tobacco devices, yet talks on this matter are ongoing, with no concrete resolution as yet.

FDA and electronic cigarette 

As per the president of the Cancer Action Network, which in turn is linked with the American Cancer Society, “While e cigs have not yet been proven as cigarette cessation devices, some e cig manufacturers are marketing them as an effective cessation device, which is incorrect. As electric cigarettes closely resemble regular cigarettes and are available in several delicious flavors, the fact remains that they can easily attract young smoking enthusiasts to start making use of the at an early age. In fact, as e cigs are similar in appearance and taste to regular cigarettes, they can prompt kids to start smoking regular cigarettes as well.”

 

As per the study conducted by the Center of Disease Control, the awareness with special regards to e cigs has increased several folds in the last two years. As compared to the year 2010, the awareness with special regards to electric cigarettes increased by a whooping 18% in the year 2013. In fact, the total number of e cig users too increased several folds in the past one year- the increase was pegged at 6.2%. In the year 2008 till the year 2010, the FDA realized that e cigs were drugs or devices that were unapproved and hence, companies such as Sottera were not permitted to import them from other countries and sell then in the United States.

 

The idea of the FDA was to regulate e cigs under the 2009 Tobacco Control Act, but after losing the case against Sottera, they decided too stop the legal battle altogether. The Department of Health and Human Services needs to be actively involved in a bid to determine whether nicotine replacement products such as gums, patches etc. can actually be considered as nicotine replacement therapies or not. This rule is also applicable in the case of an e cig. A certain section of the society was in favor of e cigs to be included in the nicotine replacement therapy category, owing to which, further steps are stated to take place sometime in the month of April 2013.

 

The Smoke-free Alternatives consumer advocates were inclined towards initiating a ban on the sale and manufacture of e cigs and related products by proposing a White House Petition to be signed in favor of this move. At the present moment, only twenty eight thousand signatures have been received and the White House petition requires at least 100,000 to respond to any such issue.