E-cigarettes are much easier for minors to acquire than you might otherwise believe.
Smoking, chewing, patches, e-cigarettes (or “vaping”) - It seems as though each generation has their own way of getting nicotine into the body. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it is estimated that 16 million American children can legally purchase e-cigarettes.
Wow is that surprising, and it is because there seems to be at least 10 states that have yet to explicitly ban e-cigarettes sales to minors. I have heard people talk about the fact that the e-cigarettes only emit water into the air, however the CDC has found toxic chemicals including heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds being emitted from these e-cigarettes. These are products that not only should our children be avoiding, but they are products that need to be regulated.
This debate had come up in the House Energy and Commerce Committee back in November, where the congressman sent a letter where “they expressed concerns about proposed FDA rules requiring new tobacco products to undergo premarket approval - a potentially costly and lengthy process.” They had concerns with the grandfather date of Feb 15, 2007, stating that it “will impede innovation and impose unnecessary regulatory burdens on both the FDA and regulated industries.” The e-vapor, or e-cigarettes, were not out before the cut off date of 2/15/2007.
The American Vaping Association’s president Gregory Conley stated that the above regulations would cost small and medium size businesses, and potentially close thousands of businesses. Thus leaving the only players in the vaping world being the big tobacco companies with Wall Street money. He did go on to say that he supports a ban on sales to minors.
I think that we not only need to do more research, and regulation, on e-cigarettes, but that we also must consider that it is a way of getting nicotine into the body, and thus it should be regulated like traditional cigarettes. States need to look at their laws regarding this issue, and look out for minors who don’t know what they are putting into their bodies simply because they think it looks cool. We need more data on the long term effects of e-cigarettes on the human body, and the effects of secondhand exposure from them. There are some states that have already passed laws banning e-cigarette use indoors as well as at private sites, restaurants, and bars.