Are E-Cigarettes Really Helping Smokers Quit? (Part 1)

Are E-Cigarettes Really Helping Smokers Quit? (Part 1)
The e-cigarette trend is taking the whole world by storm, offering a nicotine-free alternative to tobacco smoking. Question is, does it help smokers quit?

The e-cigarette business is an emerging industry, already gaining massive popularity among smokers and nonsmokers alike. Smokers are grabbing the chance to quit tobacco smoking and switch to a seemingly less harmful alternative. Non-smokers, on the other hand, are eager to try this tobacco-free smoke. Despite the growing success of the e-cigarette, its true effectiveness remains a big debate among health experts.

According to some health professionals, there is a risk that promoting e-cigarettes can actually promote tobacco use, re-normalizing it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently released its set of regulations that govern electronic cigarettes. The U.S. Congress has given the FDA the power to regulate all tobacco products back in 2009 through the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Act.

Before we discuss what the FDA has to say about the future of the e-cigarette business and how it will be regulated from this point forward, many concerned citizens have a particularly distinct opinion about e-cigarette products. According to Matthew Myers, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president, FDA’s failure to act sooner has given the e-cigarette market plenty of time to grow and gain more followers. He even added that people are not necessarily using e-cigarette products with the intent of quitting, but rather to maintain their smoking habits.

The problem that both medical health experts and the FDA are facing is that it is hard to decide whether smoking an e-cigarette harmful or beneficial because it is a fairly new innovation. Although these products have been around since 1963, the popularity surged within the past ten years or so. There are now over 250 varieties available in the market and the term they now use instead of smoking is “vaping”.

As a matter of fact, while the FDA are struggling to build and organize a tobacco regulation division, the “vaping” industry’s sales really took off, earning approximately $2 billion last year. The average e-cigarette sells from anywhere between $10 to $120, which depends on the designated number of charges it can provide.

The recent FDA proposal reflects the desire of the agency to place e-cigarettes under its tobacco authority, which means these products will be placed under the Tobacco products category. This is actually quite confusing as an e-cigarette does not contain any tobacco at all, but rather only nicotine that is taken from tobacco.

By classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products, e-cigs can have a better chance of remaining on the market. There’s always a catch, however, and according to the FDA proposal, e-cigarettes that were already offered in the market on or before February 15, 2007 can continue selling their products to consumers. Products that existed only after the date can still continue selling but they need to obtain permission from the FDA. The approval would depend on whether the products are more or less equivalent to the early models in terms of specifications or characteristics.

Read the second part of this article at and find out more information on whether e-cigarettes are able to help smokers put an end to tobacco use.