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Electronic Cigarettes Are Catching On: Will New Laws Be Far Behind?
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Electronic Cigarettes Are Catching On: Will New Laws Be Far Behind?

Five years ago, the electronic cigarette came onto the market, offering a solution to smokers who were being told that they were allowed to light up in fewer and fewer places. In addition to allowing smokers to still be part of the social scene without having to step outside, the e cigs were supposed to be a method that would help many quit the habit completely. Expensive and strange at that time, there were few American takers for the new Chinese created item, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly three percent of all American adult smokers have at least tried an electronic cigarette by 2010, nearly three times as many as the year before.

Annual sales for these e-cigs are huge, with estimates putting the total sales between $250 to $500 million dollars in these first five years and experts expect the market to explode, growing to quadruple its current level by 2014. Currently, twenty million individual cartridges and ten million disposables are sold around the US each week in various locations including convenience stores, the internet and through catalog sales.

While they are seeing better numbers countrywide, the concentration of electronic cigarette users are largely in the Southern states, with over thirty percent of habitual users located there.

The Food and Drug Administration stops short of calling them healthier than traditional cigarettes and is admonishing advertisers from making that claim on their web sites. In addition, marketers can not use the claim that the devices can be used to stop smoking. In sharp contrast, the American Association of Public Health Physicians have issued statements defended electronic cigarettes and are claiming that the annual death toll caused solely by smoking could drop from more than 400,000 as it currently stands to less than four thousand people per year.

Healthy or not, there are a number of states that are looking to enact new bills to deal with the rising use of these devices. Hawaii and Vermont both had bills that would not only ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors but would also enact huge taxes (Hawaii) or levy fines and jail time for certain types of sales (Vermont). Both states faced such fervent opposition that they dropped the secondary parts of the bills, leaving only the restriction of sales to minors. Two other states also have proposed legislation with New Jersey proposing to band the use of the devices in public or in private cars if there are children under sixteen riding in them. Alabama wants to ban the use of e-cigs in any place where smoking is not allowed.


Street Talk

Just quit! Good article Amie

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

An interesting article to say the least and something to think about ... are they evil or life saving devices?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

A friend of mine said that she HATES hers, because it tastes so terrible!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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