There are dangers lurking behind FDA regulations on electronic cigarettes. This may not be news to many of you reading this, but it’s still news to some. More than that, up until now the talk has been mostly speculative. We could all see what was bound to happen if the FDA had its way with their deeming rule, but it could still generally be waved away as fear talk. At least that is what opponent of ecigarettes liked to say. Well, perhaps now they’ll take things a little more seriously.
That’s because a new report has taken a close look at FDA regulations on electronic cigarettes and come up with some strong conclusions. This new ecig study comes to us (again) from across the Atlantic Ocean, from our brothers and sisters in the United Kingdom. The Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) surveyed over 9,000 US-based electronic cigarette users that covered all 50 states and 4 of 6 US territories. It found there was a lot more potential danger in these new regulations than anyone is really giving proper credit to.
A large portion of what could be scary to the public health is how ecig users say their buying habits would change due to FDA regulations on electronic cigarettes. The supposition is that these rules would put their own favorite vaping devices off the market, and they were asked to respond about what it would do to their buying habits. The results spoke volumes. So, while it isn’t worrying that about 75% of those questioned said they would stock up on their favorite ecigs before the rules were implemented, others admitted that they would go a different route.
Black Market Dangers of FDA Regulations on Electronic Cigarettes
If these FDA regulations on electronic cigarettes really do result in Americans’ favorite brands being unavailable through normal channels, that still wouldn’t stop them. A whopping 70% said they would simply buy their ecigs and eliquid from non-licensed vendors. Yes, that would be the creation of a black market. 66% also said they would import the products they need from abroad, and a surprising 65% chimed in that they would mix their own eliquid at home. Only one in five surveyed responded that they would consider switching to an FDA approved ecigarette if their favorite product was no longer available.
This is obviously the basis of much concern. Eliquid or ejuice is a wonderful thing, but that’s when you know you are buying from a reliable source. The same goes for 2-piece electronic cigarettes, where the top brands are the route most go to ensure a good experience. If those options were no longer available, ecig users could expose themselves to unnecessary dangers. Not to mention that a full 15% of former smokers in the study answered that they would likely go back to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. We don’t have to tell you how dangerous a move that is.
Dr. Christopher Russell, who led the study over at CSUR, was understandably concerned with the results. “This research shows there is an enormous gulf between the expressed intentions of the FDA and what many e-cigarette users see as being the likely impact of the regulations. The regulators’ aims of improving the quality standards in e-cigarette production, improving the accuracy of labeling, ensuring the safety of e-cigarettes, and to reducing young people’s access to e-cigarettes are all laudable aims in themselves,” Russell explained. “However, if in the wake of these regulations, significant numbers of e-cigarette users turn to the black-market to source their preferred products, then the positive impact of the regulations will have been diminished and significant harm could be caused to those users,” warned Dr. Russell.
Pretty powerful stuff. It is scary that the now-enacted FDA regulations on electronic cigarettes could create an entirely new and unsavory market. It also helps nobody. As Dr. Russell would go on to say, “Clearly it is not in anybody’s interests to drive the population of current e-cigarette users towards the black-market.” He’s right about that too. It’s early, and as such the affect of these new regulations are still only beginning to be understood. But we need to keep an eye on things and be vigilant. The FDA may have opened up a Pandora’s box. Let’s just hope things don’t turn for the worst, and that they come to their senses quickly if they do.