The e-Cigarette is Prohibited in Many Places
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — the national regulatory authority — has published guidelines on how companies should evaluate their e-cigarettes and associated products by 2021.
But does this legislative proposal come a little too late?
Dennis Herrera, one of the co-authors of the law, commented on the matter, noting that such assessments should have been conducted before the products were launched.
The FDA has now been invited to investigate the effects of e-cigarettes in studies. However, critics have been outspoken on the matter, because such a law could make it much harder for people who want to get rid of their nicotine addiction.
Are e-cigarettes dangerous to teenagers?Activists who have united against vaping criticise companies for targeting young people by offering products with tasty flavours.
And indeed, according to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of adolescents claiming to have consumed tobacco products increased by 36% from 2017 to 2018. This is mostly due to an increase in the consumption of e-cigarettes.
According to experts, some e-cigarettes are very attractive to young people, because they look chic and are available in a wide variety of colours and designs. They can be used discreetly, as they do not leave an unpleasant odour, and the liquids are available in many flavours, such as fruit or caramel, which seem to have a strong appeal amongst teenagers. They are also easy to get hold of and are much cheaper than conventional cigarettes.
In 2018, San Francisco was the first city in the United States to ban the sale of flavoured tobacco products and liquids, with the use of evaporators prohibited on playgrounds.
Juul, one of the largest and most popular producers of evaporators, is particularly troubled by this, criticising the measure by stating that while the state bans the consumption of e-cigarettes, it still allows real tobacco cigarettes to be available in stores, even though they are responsible for more than 480,000 American deaths per year.
Where is vaping allowed? — The legal situation in GermanyIn Germany, many smokers have turned to vaping as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Thanks to the e-cigarette, many smokers — even seasoned ones — have reduced their tobacco consumption or even stopped it altogether.
While the classic tobacco cigarette is considered to be outdated, the e-cigarette is on the rise. However, it is not clear where vaping is allowed and where it is not. There is still a widespread opinion that vaping does not do harm to anyone, and does not cause any odour issues. The law is clear in this case: the vaporisation of a cigarette is not covered by the non-smoking protection law, stated in a decision of the Higher Administrative Court.
How does it look in reality? Sometimes a former smoker’s life can be made really difficult, because in many offices vaping is prohibited, and steamers are referred to smoking areas. The steamers often feel discriminated and misunderstood as they are trying to get away from smoking but there are no separate areas for them.
Although the law does not provide regulation, many institutions and companies (such as Deutsche Bahn and other public transport facilities) are now incorporating the vaping ban into their house rules. At airports and also on aircrafts, consumption of e-cigarettes is prohibited.
For the steamer who switched from the tobacco cigarette, the current situation could be frustrating, as many have favoured e-cigarettes because they felt they could vape everywhere without being disturbed.
The health effects of electronic cigarettes are still unclear, as there are no sustainable long-term studies. The current situation is likely to continue until it is finally determined whether the e-cigarette is really as harmful as critics say. However, it raises the question of just how the critics would react if it turns out that e-cigarettes really are far less harmful than classic tobacco cigarettes.
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