An interesting battle is taking place between a group of companies and the FDA over E-cigarettes. Never heard of them? These are battery-powered tubes that turn nicotine-laced liquid into a vapor mist. The marketers say their items are safer than cigarettes because there no toxins and some consumers seem to love them as they try to quit smoking. They even have a club (look here or watch the video). The cost is $40 to $120 for a starter kit, and then pay smaller amounts for liquid refills, according to The Wall Street Journal.
However, as the paper notes, the FDA is fighting to regulate the products as drug-delivery devices, similar to the way nicotine gums, patches or other nicotine-replacement products are regulated. Of course, this would subject e-cigarettes to lengthy and expensive trials to prove they are safe and effective. "There are a lot of reasons to believe logically that e-cigarettes offer a safer profile, but I want data that demonstrates safety," Thomas Eissenberg, a psychology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies nicotine addiction, tells the paper.
Not surprisingly, the companies argue the products are recreational alternatives to cigarettes, not devices to help people give up their nicotine habits. As we know, clinical trials are expensive. Hence, their argument. But if they lose the battle with the FDA, vaping will live on. "Ninety percent of everyone who vapes is so glad to be off cigarettes that they would buy it in the drug market." David Dettloff, 48, owner of FreedomSmokeUSA, tells the Journal.
How do these work? When a user sucks on an e-cigarette, an atomizer turns the liquid inside into a vapor, which is why fans call themselves vapors. As the paper notes, E-cigarettes typically contain a solution of propylene glycol - the same chemical used to make artificial smoke in theaters and arenas - water, nicotine and flavorings such as espresso and strawberry. The amount of nicotine varies. But what do you think?
Should E-Cigarettes Be Regulated As Drug-Delivery Devices?
- Yes (72%, 78 Votes)
- No (28%, 31 Votes)
Total Voters: 109