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Should E-Cigarettes- Be Regulated as a Drug in the United States?
E-cigerettes are not currently regulated in the United States, but with the growing popularity of the nicotine-supplying vapor devices, there is a growing outcry for the FDA to step in and regulate e-cig sales and consumption. The FDA should regulate e-cigarettes like any other habit forming, nicotine containing drug.
E-cigerettes certainly have their benefits. One researcher, Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, reviewed over 80 studies of nicotine-emitting electronic devices, and concluded that "Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use" (2014).
That said, however, there are plenty of reasons to believe that the electronic cigarettes still need to be regulated by the FDA. First and foremost, when the devices are sold as a smoking cessation program, they make medical claims which can, and in fact much, be regulated and authenticated by the FDA. Furthermore, the devices are such a new technology that the long term risks, or benefits of using the devices is unknown. And lastly, there is evidence to suggest that some individuals are buying and using the e-cigs recreationally.
At the end of the day, electronic cigarettes are a recreational drug, and should be regulated just like other nicotine containing products and alcohol, for the long-term safety of the American public.
Benefits of E-Cigarettes May Outweigh Harms, Study Finds. (2014, July 31). Retrieved February 3, 2015, from http://consumer.healthday.com/cancer-information-5/smoking-cessation-news-628/benefits-of-e-cigarettes-may-outweigh-harms-study-finds-690268.html
E-cigarettes as medical or recreational devices - is there room for both? (2013, February 22). Retrieved February 3, 2015, from https://smokles.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/e-cigarettes-as-medicine-or-recreational-devices-is-there-room-for-both/
Woener, A. (2014, September 25). E-Cigarettes: The Side Effects Nobody Talks About. Retrieved February 3, 2015, from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/25/e-cigarettes-the-side-effects-nobody-talks-about.html
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