Can Legislators Continue To Ignore Mainstream Science Regarding E-Cigs?
Despite the seemingly irrepressible belief of the effectiveness of e-cigs as a viable smoking cessation method from the mainstream scientific community, legislators continue to regulate in Europe and the United States. Heavily.
The long-term effects of vaping, despite being hugely popular in modern society, are still largely unknown, as science hasnâ€™t had sufficient time to properly monitor e-cig users.
Various academic and scientific studies into e-cigs and vaping have found that e-cigs are far healthier than regular cigarettes and are helping more people quit than any other method.
Public Health England, a highly regarding UK-based health organisation, found that e-cigs are 95% safer than regular cigarettes, and sparked a debate as to whether the NHS should prescribe e-cigs to smokers looking to quit.
And it doesnâ€™t stop there. The Royal College of Physicians called for doctors to give e-cigs to smokers hoping to quit, adding that theyâ€™re likely very beneficial to UK public health.
But despite this evidence, EU and US legislators appear determined to halt the rise of e-cigs by conducting harsh and demanding regulations. The most common preconception lawmakers use to justify e-cig regulation is that vaping serves as a gateway to cigarettes and normalises smoking. However, the report from the Royal College of Physicians has already disproven these theories.
Another aspect pinned on the vaping community is the supposed attractiveness of e-liquid. E-liquid is available from several e-cigarette retailers and has limitless flavours. It has been alleged that these flavours appeal to smokers due to their sweet and tangy flavours.
Interestingly, it is planned that menthol cigarettes will be banned in the UK from the year 2020 for the same reason; their appeal to young smokers.
The EUâ€™s Tobacco Products Directive came into the fray on May 20, which has begun the long process of implementing EU changes. Brexit has thrown its application in the UK into the air, and it is currently unclear what is going to happen once Article 50 is triggered and the divorce process begins.
In the US, the regulations are much more known and clearer. There have already been signs of damage to businesses and the industry as the FDAâ€™s harsh changes suffocate the vaping community, and have even given a boost to smoking.
Several US political figures have spoken up against the regulation, and Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson has pressed the FDA for greater clarity on their rules and actions.
Recently, Tennessee 1st District state representative Jon Lundberg criticised the laws in many states which are applying for new tax on e-cigs, calling them a â€œpositive thingâ€.
There is actually evidence that the e-cig legislation in the US is sending people back to smoking. A study in to teen tobacco use found that rising the legal vaping age to 21 caused a sharp increase in teenage smoking.
All of the evidence from mainstream science evokes the question: why are lawmakers doing this so rashly? It appears that the UK is currently in an odd place at the moment due to Brexit negotiations, so itâ€™s likely that e-cigs and the Tobacco Products Directive are the last thing on Theresa Mayâ€™s mind.
The US is at an all out war with e-cigs, despite the support of several political figures. Is the move to stifle e-cigs aiming to protect the health of young people? Even if the regulations are ill advised? We can only see what happens in politics.