Regulations Surrounding Electronic Cigarettes

The regulations and guidelines surrounding e-cigs have changed some since they first hit the market. Some of the laws that apply to this device vary by location as this is a product that is manufactured and sold around the world. The products were first developed and sold overseas in 2002 and didn’t branch out to U.S. sales until 2006.

Whether it is the sales, distribution or use, you may find variances in rules you read, especially if you are looking at a website that is from another part of the world. There are some basic guidelines you can read about to find out what may affect you.

  • One of the main laws that applies to this device is that you must be 18 to purchase it. Whether companies can truly follow up on verifying this when an order is placed online is hard to say. The efforts to make companies do their best to confirm if the purchaser is over 18 continue as the debate about health concerns in relation to this product remain unknown.
  • Last year the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, made a public announcement that it intends to regulate these smokeless devices in the same manner that it regulates standard tobacco. One of the main focuses would be the need to have a more watchful eye when it comes to delivery of the product. The intention was to begin to treat this shipment in the same manner as drug products that are delivered.
  • Although standard tobacco cigarette smoking was banned from airplanes in 1987, e-cigs were not regulated for flight until recently. Although the ban is still in the works, the Department of Transportation has set the plan for the ban in motion. In fact, many airlines are already treating the ban as though it has already gone into effect and are informing customers ahead of time not to expect to be able to use their smokeless devices during flight or in airports. Although the devices themselves are not set to be banned at this time, the use of them will be.
  • Different states currently have different regulations in regards to use of these devices. Some of it even comes down to individual organizations, for instance if a restaurant will allow its customers to use these for vaping after dinner or if a workplace will allow employees to vape during work hours. Currently many areas are still more lax when it comes to allowing smokeless devices. However, some areas also are trying to treat electronic cigarettes just like standard tobacco ones. New York, for instance, is trying to create a statewide ban for the sale and use of these devices. While some areas have bans based on the county, as with parts of the state of Washington. As of right now, New Jersey is reportedly including electronic devices in their smoking ban.
  • Presently on the FDA’s website the organization urges users to realize that clinical studies based on the smokeless devices have not yet been obtained by the organization. This means that there is no real way to be able to report on the safety of these products, one way or the other. What this actually means is that there is no way to report or know if e-cigarettes can be deemed “safe” for their intended use. There is also no definite way to determine the levels of potentially hazardous chemicals contained. Finally it is also difficult to determine the levels of nicotine that are being inhaled during the use of one of these products.
  • In the works and moving forward, there are several areas in which certain organizations are pushing to see more research or work done in relation to these products. For one thing, there is strong urging to test these devices for safety. Part of this push is due to the fact that there are many users who switch to these after quitting standard tobacco cigarettes believing that there is no potential health risk. Some organizations also want to see the FDA regulate these devices by treating them in the same manner as other standard nicotine products. There is also an outcry in an effort to try to squash the ability for manufacturers of these products to market them on social network sites. Finally there is also a great deal of urging to get these devices and their use banned in the workplace and other indoor environments. In other words, some organizations feel these smokeless devices should be treated in the same manner as tobacco products.

What the future of regulations and banning will be is hard to say. Much of this could be determined once more tests are done to determine the safety of the products. Once there is a clearer understanding, it will be easier to make decisions surrounding the e-cig.

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