Up in Smoke FDA Regulations Threaten E-Cigarette Business

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In the recent past countless research studies have extolled the many harmful side affects smoking has on smokers, and non smokers alike. An estimated 8.6 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from at least one serious smoking-related illness. Cancers, breathing problems and compromised organs are just a few health related programs that can arise from smoking. Of the approximately 7,000 chemicals found in cigarettes, 69 are proven to cause cancer.

The battle of the safety of cigarettes has already been fought and won. Long time cigarette use is undeniably bad to your health. But, now, there is a new battle brewing on the smoking front. Traditional, tobacco-based cigarettes carry unquestionable health risks. But what about alternative forms of smoking?

Electronic cigarettes, or “ecigs,” are devices using liquid nicotine that is vaporized and inhaled. The vapor cigarette stimulates a tobacco smoking experience, allegedly without the many health risks associated with traditional smoking.

Arriving in the U.S. around 2008, the ecig movement is still young, but rapidly expanding. A reported 2.5 million people use ecigs in the U.S. And in 2013, just five years after their introduction in the country, the electronic cigarette market was worth $1.7 billion. In 2015, just two years later, the ecig market has jumped to $2.5 billion in annual sales.

Electronic cigarette proponents believe ecigs to be a much healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. Without tobacco and many other chemicals found in regular cigarettes, electronic cigarettes don’t carry as many health risks.

With so many regulations and new smoking bans placed on traditional cigarettes, smokers have flocked to the electronic cigarette market. Some people are actually using ecigs and vaporizers to quit smoking. One study showed smokers are 60% smokers are more likely to stop smoking with the help of electronic cigarettes than those who try to stop smoking with the help of nicotine patches or gum.

The electric cigarette market continues to boom. A New York Times articles reported more than 7,000 e-liquid flavors are available, with nearly 250 new flavors introduced every month.

However, the growing use of ecigs could soon change.

Within the next two months the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to unveil the first rules to regulate electronic cigarettes. These regulations will require warning labels and child-protected packaging on bottles of liquid nicotine used in electronic cigarettes. These new regulations are also expected to require FDA approval for most flavored nicotine e juice and e-cig devices.

The upcoming FDA guidelines are the first phase of the agency’s plans to monitor the electronic cigarette market. Because the long term effects of electronic cigarette use remains unknown, the FDA wants to limit negative effects wherever possible.

With new rules and regulations about to take place, the electronic cigarette market now faces a rocky road moving forward. Production prices are set to increase in order to meet FDA standards, and consumers will likely become more weary of the devices. It will be interesting to see how the electronic cigarette market reacts to the new focus placed on its products.

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