With the debate about the ‘medicinal benefits’ of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) becoming more complicated by the year, many governmental institutions still struggle with determining the ‘right’ way to impose regulations on the popular smoking cessation product.
This ‘struggle’ is currently a dilemma of lawmakers, retailers and the electronic cigarette companies themselves who need a clear idea about what regulations to follow. Organizations like the U.S. Food and Drug Administrative (FDA) lead the forefront of the ‘end’ of the debate to e-cigarette regulations.
A conclusive decision
Many, in fact, are waiting for the FDA to make a conclusive decision on the matter. Will their Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) place e-cigarettes under the same regulations as conventional tobacco cigarettes? That particular move will effectively ‘ban all e-cigarette flavors, including nicotine, and greatly limit the distribution, advertising and innovations of e-cigarettes as a product.’
The FDA could also decide to ‘recognize e-cigarette’s potential to improve public health, as it provides a nicotine delivery system that can help people cease smoking over time.’
Even now, no one knows what the FDA may decide when it comes to regulating electronic cigarettes within the United States. Though, the FDA has given some ‘clues’ to what their final word about the situation might become.
CTP director Mitch Zeller mentioned earlier this year that ‘any tobacco regulations proposed on his watch have to be supported by science and benefit public health at the same time.’
In order for the FDA to make lasting regulations, their decisions must be ‘based on the strongest possible science,’ he mentioned in July of this year. That can essentially strengthen the legal precedent of these products, their decisions and change the current tobacco marketplace.
Thanks to statements like the aforementioned, it appears that the science behind e-cigs might be the deciding factor in regards to the potential regulation of electronic cigarettes in the United States.
It also might stand as a basis for e-cig regulation in other places around the world, including Europe, where the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) currently faces difficulties in deciding the ‘medicinal value’ of e-cigarettes as a product for smoking cessation.
Science might be a factor
Science might be the ‘deciding factor’ in regards to the regulation of electronic cigarettes around the world, and especially stands to greatly benefit the electronic cigarette industry as a result.
Though, conclusive results about e-cigarettes and their potential long-term health effects don’t exist at this time. Earlier studies about the ‘lasting effects of e-cigarette vapor,’ however, have shown that they’re considered less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes. Despite that, the electronic cigarette industry still needs more information from such studies to get conclusive evidence for supporting that fact.
The medical community, however, has increasingly embraced electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool.
This includes notable surgeons, doctors and representatives of the current medical industry. Many of these supporters have actually spoken against tobacco-based products like combustible tobacco cigarettes, though ‘greatly’ support electronic cigarettes as an acceptable smoking cessation tool for chronically smoking adults.
This indicates that many detractors of tobacco smoking support electronic cigarettes as a safer smoking cessation tool.
According to one of these supporters, Dr. Michael Siegel, electronic cigarettes are ‘the first smoking cessation tool that addresses the pharmacological and behavioral aspects of chronically smoking.’ They effectively address the physical, behavioral and even social aspects of smoking addiction, essentially helping adults gradually become less reliant on conventional cigarettes.
The end to the current debate about the regulation of electronic cigarettes is essentially in the hands of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Due to that, no one knows if their decision will likely influence the decisions of similar institutions in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.