E-cig market value exceeds $1 billion, continues to grow

ANDREA RICKETTI
STAFF WRITER

A series of studies has shown that smoking cigarettes leads to lung cancer, heart disease and many other health problems. Even though Americans are aware of the health problems that accompany cigarettes, they have a hard time kicking the habit. As a result, electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, have been introduced into the market. They aim to help people wean off smoking. This industry has boomed, and, as a result, it currently holds a market value of $1 billion.
The electronic cigarette works by using an electronic inhaler, which is used to simulate and substitute tobacco smoking. It generally uses a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution. These e-cigs vary from containing a miniscule amount of nicotine to none at all. Their appearance typically mimics the aesthetics of a real cigarette or cigar. As of 2013, the American Association of Public Health Physicians is uncertain of the benefits and risks of electronic cigarette use. It has been agreed, however, that they are likely safer than smoking tobacco.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified the e-cigs as a drug delivery device, and as a result, they were regulated before they were sold in America. The classification was rebutted in court and was eventually overruled by Judge Richard J. Leon, who stated that “the devices should be regulated as tobacco products rather than drug or medical products.” This mandated that the FDA stops inhibiting the importation of the e-cigs from China. The product is now regulated as a tobacco product as opposed to a drug or medical device.
The sales of these e-cigs have been momentous in the United States. As a result, a plethora of companies are looking to expand their target markets abroad. However, European countries have a different view of the e-cigs than the majority of Americans. The European Union, which is comprised of 28 countries, updated its laws in 2012. The new updates introduced tougher restrictions on the use and sale of e-cigs. The European Parliament voted Oct. 8 to regulate the marketing and advertising of the e-cigarettes the same way tobacco products are regulated. As a result, the sales of these e-cigarettes would be prohibited to children under the age of 18 in the European Union and would require health labels on the packaging.
Even though the electronic cigarettes have made waves in America, they are being watched and regulated in other countries.

Contact the writer:
andrea.ricketti@scranton.edu

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