Electronic cigarette companies vehemently protested the FDA’s desire to regulate their products in the same vigorous way as pharmaceutical drugs. E-cigarette campaigners were against the idea because they believe that this smoking alternative should be regulated in the same manner as traditional cigarettes. In December 2010, they got their wish as a federal court ruling stated that electronic cigarettes were to be regulated like tobacco products rather than under the stricter medical regulations.
The FDA decided not to appeal this decision which also stated that e-cigarettes were not drugs or devices unless they were marketed for therapeutic purposes specifically. E-cigarettes are seen as healthy substitutes for tobacco cigarettes and are battery powered. Liquid nicotine derived from tobacco is transformed into a vapor which is inhaled by a smoker.
Originally, the FDA wanted electronic cigarettes to be regulated in the same manner as nicotine patches and other products which relied on ‘drug delivery’ systems. However, various e-cigarette manufacturers protested with the discord led by Sottera Inc., otherwise known as Njoy in the electronic cigarette industry.They claimed that because nicotine vapor is released instead of smoke, it is essentially a tobacco product in a healthier form and could not be considered as a drug. Their protest came after the FDA wrote warnings to various companies stating that electronic cigarettes were being marketed illegally.
Yet certain groups such as Tobacco-Free Kids are unhappy with the ruling. They believe that organizations can add nicotine to a variety of products without having to worry about the stringent regulation that was once a feature of all non-tobacco products which had nicotine added.These groups point out that there are ingredients in electronic cigarettes which can still be toxic to humans. It is also their opinion that e-cigarettes will be attractive to kids who will use them as a stepping stone on the road to smoking tobacco cigarettes.
They are of the opinion that electronic cigarettes have not been proven to be safe for their use and better regulation and testing is needed.E-cigarette companies have hit back by pointing out that their products don’t contain the carcinogens associated with tobacco cigarettes.
Certain organizations also believe that the FDA is trying to assist tobacco companies by seeking such strict regulations to be placed on this alternative. However, they are delighted with the federal court ruling. Had the FDA been successful in their plan, e-cigarettes would have had warnings placed on them which would make this form of smoking less attractive.Above all, these warnings would have been based on supposition rather than hard evidence. Scientific teams continue to research the effects of electronic cigarettes but thus far, their findings suggest that this form of smoking is a much healthier option than traditional tobacco cigarettes.