E-cigarettes / by kevin murray

My first real experience with e-cigarettes was going to a restaurant in which I saw a man 'light' up his e-cigarette and he began puffing on it as if he was in some sort of ecstasy.  He 'smoked' one and then he began vaping another.  I sort of sat in amazement watching him because we were in a non-smoking restaurant but nobody bothered him in any way.  Right then and there, I thought, with America in a totalitarian non-smoking attitude against cigarettes which seemingly prohibits smoking anywhere, anytime, at anyplace attitude policed by the Nanny state, that e-cigarettes are going to be absolutely HUGE.


As reported by CNBC, a top tobacco analyst projects sales of $1.7 Billion in the United States this year for e-cigarettes which an absolutely phenomenal growth rate considering that e-cigarettes weren't first introduced to the United States until 2007.  Additionally, cigarette ads have been banned in the USA since 1970, but e-cigarettes are not subject to that ban, so radio and television advertising has been allowed and utilized for e-cigarettes.  Also, e-cigarette sales are not subject to the "Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement" because they are not tobacco products, and neither are they therefore taxed as tobacco products.


The only real false step the e-cigarette industry has made is allowing their product to be labeled as a cigarette as that connotation brings some positives in the sense of name recognition, but that is largely outweighed by thehuge negatives such as cancer, dirtiness, disease, toxicity, and the like which cannot at this time be directly applicable to e-cigarettes.  E-cigarettes are a mixture of water, glycogen, chemicals, and often nicotine; and do not have tobacco, tar, or emit carbon monoxide in its mixture.


While the FDA is in the process of regulating the e-cigarette industry, one should expect some give and take, adjustments to their rulings, and length litigation to also take place.  The tobacco industry showed its moxie by coming to terms with their class-action lawsuits by settling their differences with anational legislated agreement which set the ground rules for their continuing business practices and in consequence the tobacco industry committed to paying a minimum of $206 billion over twenty-five years as part of their settlement.  With big tobacco on the cusp of a product with massive potential in both sales and in profits, and with each of the big tobacco players having already purchased an e-cigarette manufacturer and/or in the process of coming out with their own e-cigarette, one should expect a spirited debate between these companies and the FDA.


For better or for worst, e-cigarettes are staged to be a big player in the vice area of human desires.  While critics may rail against e-cigarettes, the Royal College of Physicians stated:

"Electronic cigarettes and other nicotine-containing devices offer massive potential to improve public health, by providing smokers with a much safer alternative to tobacco."  The choice of engaging with cigarettes or e-cigarettes, or foregoing them altogether is up to the individual.  The fact that a new product has come out that reasonably appears to be both cheaper and safer, while providing the smoker with something that gives him satisfaction is the type of choice adults should be able to make without government prohibition.