The New Year came and went without any announcements from the FDA about electronic cigarettes. Controversy raged over the relative safety and dangers of smoking and vaping, but that wasn’t anything new.
As 2017 progresses, however, consumers anticipate the regulation of vaping: from where one can vape to where one can buy equipment and how e liquids will be made. Let’s take a look at what a vaper can expect.
There Will Be Change
Nothing is going to stop the e cig industry from growing. Too much momentum has built up and debate in the media just draws more attention to cigalikes. On the other hand, nothing will prevent the FDA from developing strict guidelines which will probably be formalized and released before 2016. The government will enforce these regulations and consumers, in general, support this move.
Who Will Be Hit Hardest?
Changes will hit the e liquid industry hard. Small stores creating their own e juices in rooms they keep spotless but which are not certified as “clean rooms” or “labs” are likely to be given two choices: upgrade or clean out. Their businesses might continue to operate, but only if they buy bottled juice from vendors who manage to meet FDA standards. Custom blending will be a thing of the past for the non-certified.
In other words, fewer labels will be available on the commercial market. Consumers can expect to see some underground trading and flouting of regulations, while DIY juice makers will also distribute juice to their friends without a direct exchange of funds. Some of your favorite juice labels could be among them.
The problem with e liquid is that standards regarding the environment in which blending and bottling takes place are inconsistent and potentially dangerous. Uncertainties around ingredients commonly ingested but, prior to the invention of e cigs, never inhaled will have to be cleared up.
R.J. Reynolds, Altria, and other major tobacco companies will move in on the e cig industry, trying to undermine independent companies and regain some of the ground they lost when people switched over from smoking analog cigarettes to vaping.
Vuse digital e cigs showed they could impress the vaping audience and really are a very good product. The only problem here is that R.J. Reynolds doesn’t believe in vaping: they think children are too curious.
Their marketing methods also make it difficult to obtain products. Since the FDA, WHO, and thousands of consumers agree about the risks of selling electronic cigarettes, there is a chance that established tobacco companies will heavily influence the FDA.
Teenage Use, Looming Regulations and Safety
Arguments that have to do with child safety and standards of e liquid bottling are valid and reasonable. Vapers and the general public need to be aware of the science and statistics behind these ongoing debates.
There has been a huge rise in use of e cigs by teens and evidence seems to suggest that many who never even smoked before like to vape. That is also just one side of the story, though it is mentioned frequently and is a hot topic in the industry. There is also evidence that suggests smoking tobacco cigarettes is at the lowest it has ever been in the young demographic, due to the surge in vaping, and even all demographics for that matter.
There are many heated debates about the area of e-cigs and the youth. Everyone agrees that nicotine should not be sold to minors, nor accessible. (Not sure where it is accessible to minors, since every store I have ever gone into treats them like cigarettes). No one wants younger generations to get hooked and addicted to a drug like nicotine, that’s common sense.
The question is, would it be preferable to have them vape over smoking cigarettes? (since we all know, teenagers will find a way to get either one, as the laws never stopped them from buying cigarettes).
And so, if the increased teenage use also means a decline in teenagers smoking cigarettes, some may argue that they would prefer the lesser of two evils, which is presumably vaping (of course some of that is theoretical, as long term scientific analysis is being done to determine the long term effects of vaping). Others argue teenagers just shouldn’t use nicotine, and yet others will point out there are nicotine free options.
Whatever the consensus is (not that there can be just one that is agreed upon), the relationship of youths and electronic cigarettes is often a foundational aspect of which proposed regulations are hinged. Some would say this is a smear campaign to distract from the actual benefits of vapor cigarettes, and rekindle some of the lost tobacco revenue, as some more positive factors are not often highlighted in numerous major articles. Others agree in taking every precaution possible to keep teens away from nicotine.
Not that teenage use is not an important issue, but there are other aspects to be considered, yet keeping e-cigs out of the hands of teens is one of the biggest points that is revealed during meetings in various states when proposing regulations. Some have a problem with this because, were it to be found that vaping was better, in long term effects, versus smoking, potentially by a large margin, stringent regulations on vapor products could effectually push teens (and adults) back to cigarettes.
Agendas And Propaganda? Or Looking Out For The Public’s Best Interest?
Because there are many agendas at hand, and there are numerous differing views, there are many hot topics, including the loss of cigarette tax revenue, the threat to small businesses with too much regulation, the effect of e-cigs on youth (and adults), whether the youth are attracted to vaping, or if it is still the same percentage that would have smoked anyways, if vaping is better for people’s long term health, what the side effects of second hand vapor are, whether are e-cigs effective for quitting smoking etc.
Of course organizations are affected in huge ways with revenue from all angles. Obviously e-cigs have lowered cigarette revenue and tax. They are also less costly to maintain, and so they save individuals money.
Vaping advocates hone in on those areas, along with how they claim it is a boon for the economy, for individuals (not so much for Big Tobacco corporations, nor institutions who used the tax revenue from cigarettes), in how it saves individuals money, creates jobs, fills empty retail spaces, and could potentially have many more benefits.
I suspect, however, that smokers and ex-smokers will make their voices heard more loudly than ever in 2015, given that they get boosted by support from other established groups. This has had to have had an impact on how regulations have been slow, since proponents oppose some of the suspected ramifications of some regulations (like massive tax hikes and sales restrictions), and as time goes on, there is a growing contingent of vapers.
For example, advocates for heart and lung health strongly support any product or movement that will improve the lives of individuals suffering from smoking-related illnesses. Their point of view is also valid: vaping has saved many lives.
Where quit-smoking methods like patches and nicotine gum failed, e cigs did the trick. Numerous vapers only ever try disposable pens or rechargeable ones using tobacco and menthol cartomizers because they are accustomed to those flavors.
Adopting eGo and tank systems and vaping custard-style e liquid never crosses their minds because they see vaping as a means to an end, not a hobby. Countless shoppers buy a few disposables or one rechargeable system and stop within a few months.
Still, consumers can expect to see a lot of debate focusing on dessert and fruit e liquids which opponents claim could attract interest from non-smokers of all ages. Then there are many vapers who say it is the dessert type flavors, and anything other than traditional menthol and tobacco, that they enjoy about vaping as an alternative to their smoking habit.
There will be more scientific and medical studies connecting vaping to all kinds of trends, weight loss and eating disorders among them.
As you can see, there are nearly endless angles for discussion, and at the same time, the industry is growing at a tremendous rate, and that includes the actual vapor products themselves, both in the flavoring side, along with the devices that heat the flavors into vapor.
With the release of numerous high-watt box mods and sub-ohm tank systems in early 2016, beginner and intermediate vapers might think they are expected to progress or that the devices they currently prefer will become obsolete. Actually, cigalikes, eGos, and EVOD-style systems will remain. They are easy to use, affordable, and compact; familiar even in some communities at large.
Most people prefer to hold a small pen-style vaporizer like a cigalike or, at most, an eGo-style device because it feels more natural. They generally prefer not to refill liquid because of the mess and hassle, so there are bound to be more pre-filled cartomizer-type products on the market in both categories.