The electronic, or e-cigarette, phenomenon is under a major new attack from the federal government. The idea that “vaping,” the term for smoking e-cigarettes, is less dangerous when compared to traditional cigarettes is a part of the cultural phenomenon driving increased consumption of the reusable smoking devices.
As Dr. Raja Flores, Chairman of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System, explains, even though vaping does not require burning a product in order to inhale it, there are aerosols in e-cigarettes that are equally as dangerous when it comes to the risk of causing cancer.
But even with this information, vaping among teenagers has continued to increase at dramatic speeds. A report published this year declared that e-cigarettes are now the most popular type of tobacco product amongst middle and high school students.
To combat what commissioner Scott Gottlieb earlier this fall called an “epidemic,” the FDA has just announced plans designed to curtail the number of e-cigarettes that are sold in stores as well as access to them for teens. In addition to requiring stricter age verification for the sale of electronic smoking products, the FDA will also restrict retail shops and gas stations from selling any flavors other than tobacco, mint and menthol.
The tobacco industry is, predictably, not pleased with the latest announcements—as USA today reports, a spokesperson for the tobacco lobby has said he assumes there will be lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the limitations to come.
More details are expected from the FDA in coming weeks.