A legal challenge has been announced recently against Tobacco Products Directive of EU by the electronic cigarette brand, Totally Wicked. Along with it a plan to regulate electronic cigarettes as a medicine in the UK has been announced by MHRA, a Directive of UK, which is expected to start functioning from 2016. At present only general product safety regulations have regulated electronic cigarettes.
A report authored by Peter Hajek has been published by the Journal of Addiction, after 100 experts and scientists had filed petitions with the WHO to grant greater regulation to the electronic cigarette industry, argued that any such regulation can cause large scale damage to health. A fierce debate has been induced about the future of e cigs after the release of this news.
Thus the Wild West electronic industry, the so-called wild, is attracting of both welcome and unwelcome attention. The bad being the attention of government regulators and the good being the attention of large corporate investors. The electronic cigarette industry has shown a rapid growth after its introduction to the market in 2005. Now more than 20% of adult smokers have tried an e cigarette at some point, and the trend continues to grow.
Public Health England has submitted a governmental report in May suggesting that electronic cigarette smoking offers much lesser risk than tobacco cigarettes, due to inclusion of nicotine in very low quantity compare to conventional cigarettes. However they are still concerned about the presence of the small amounts of carcinogenic substances in electronic cigarettes. A report about damage to lungs due to the use of electronic cigarettes was also submitted by the University of Athens.
Moreover a research, which shows that atleast 1.1% of non-smokers have tried electronic cigarettes, has compelled several health experts to express their concern about electronic cigarettes being attractive to young people and enticing them in to the world of smoking.
Some of the leading companies in the electronic cigarette industry have also shown their concern on the lack of regulation as several controversial marketing campaigns have considerably endangered and criticized the reputation of their business. The reports about the danger of electronic cigarettes recently published have ignited a spark in local markets who have also been affected by the reputation of the technology used in electronic cigarettes.
On the contrary though, large institutional investors are attracted towards the electronic cigarette industry due to enormous possibilities and profitability available. They have recognized the potential benefits of investing in the electronic cigarette industry along with the risk of ignoring it even though these cigarettes were developed and sold separately from tobacco companies since the very beginning.
The emergence of coffee shop “vape” stores in various parts of the city of London along with the whole country have provided a space for youngsters to assemble after work and socialise with each other while vaping their electronic cigarettes. The 50 per cent increase this year has increased further the number of high street shops that stock electronic cigarettes by up to 600, which is a clear sign of a probable bright future for the industry, which is still uncertain.
It is clear when compared to tobacco based products, e cigs are much healthier and should be promoted as such. For now some governments swing one way, while others are taking a wait and see approach. As always we hope common sense prevails.
Author: Kevin Ewbank
Avid vaper & co-founder of SmokShop