Regulating electronic cigarettes is going to be a major issue, according to some legal experts. First, there are issues with which agency is going to be regulating the industry in the first place. Second, there are questions of whether or not e-cigs will be taxed at the same rate as cigarettes – in some states, the question is part of various bills that have been introduced. Some bills are also being introduced that would restrict electronic cigarettes from being used in any place where traditional, tobacco cigarettes are barred.
Are the Commercials Misleading?
The television commercials show happy people enjoying their vapor emitting e-cigs in places where a tobacco cigarette is banned. They stand near a no smoking sign, gleefully vaping away. They are in public places such as bars and other places. But, according to potential new laws, e-cigs are going to be treated the same as a tobacco cigarette and will be banned from public places as well. The US Department of Transportation banned the use of e-cigs on airplanes already and more bans are likely to come in the near future.
Electronic cigarettes do not have the same odors that cigarettes have, which is what so many people take offense too. There are no carcinogens that are released in the vapor that is released from the e-cigs.
Trying to Keep Children Away from E-cigs and Smoking
New rules are also likely to be pushed to keep kids from using e-cigs. Currently, the law says that you have to be 18 years old to buy tobacco products, but those laws do not necessarily address the use of electronic cigarettes. Most of the manufacturers prevent people under 18 from even entering their website. But, there are other places that sell e-cigs, and the new rules might affect them most of all. Walmart, which started selling the e-cigs only recently, will keep them behind the same counter that the tobacco products are sold and will only sell them to people who are 18 or older according to the policy.
Most gas stations and convenience stores that are selling disposable e-cigs will also follow the same policy for children.
Critics worry about the various candy or sweet type flavors for the e-cigs, which are likely to lure children.
Will You Lose a Job Because You Vape?
Certain companies and industries are not hiring people if they are smokers. Those include hospitals and other medical positions because they feel that their employees are supposed to serve as examples to the patients who come to them. Other job types and industries may also start restricting people who vape from being hired as well. But, it might be tougher for the potential employers to tell who is vaping because electronic cigarettes do not leave behind a smell like cigarettes do.
Fighting Against the Laws and Regulations
If you visit the e-cig forums and message boards, you will see dozens of petitions to keep certain laws from being enacted. There are thousands of supporters for these actions, but there are just as many agencies and others who are trying to push for more of them. It comes down to some very simple reasons for the major controversies. First, the tobacco industry does not want electronic cigarettes to be sold without facing the taxes and the numerous laws that keep their own products expensive and restricted.
Powerful lobby groups might try to push the bans through- meaning that it might come down to a political fight. There are a number of potential battle ground cities and states that might define the rules and the laws.
Will Health Reports and Studies Play a Role in this Battle?
Currently, there are a number of studies that have conflicting information. People might choose to vape rather than smoke because of information they read or because the opinion of some friends. There are other industry reports that say that the e-cigs might not be any safer than tobacco cigarettes. There are some that say they are. There may never be a definitive ruling on their safety, which may make some rules either easier or harder to put into place.
For some people, as long as children are kept from getting the electronic cigarettes, they will adopt a live and let live policy. Others will set more stringent standards because they are convinced they know what is right for everyone else.
One site, a forum for vapers, has warned that the e-cigs might soon be banned and is encouraging people to stock up on their e-cigs, replacement parts and cartridges while they are still able. That is unlikely to happen.