Elders used to say that when something is forbidden, the more it will appear attractive to those it is prohibited from. Perhaps, the elders are correct in this assumption, particularly in the issue of electronic cigarette popularity.
Electronic cigarettes are devices powered by batteries to activate its atomizer that will turn the e-liquid into vapor. These products have been very popular to smokers who want to wean from their smoking habits. According to many vapers or users of electronic cigarettes, these devices actually helped them to steer clear from tobacco. Alarmed by this electronic cigarette popularity, health experts and regulators individually implemented regulations one after the other.
Electronic Cigarette Popularity In California
In the state of California alone, city governments were struggling to find ways to cease this electronic cigarette popularity by controlling its sale and use. In Duarte, for example, there was a recently passed ordinance that involves suspension of shops vending electronic cigarettes, smoking and tobacco paraphernalia. In the previous 18 months, the number of smoke shops in the city doubled in number. Furthermore, city officials also said that in the recent months, inquiries have been pouring about shops specializing in vapor cigarette sales. According to the community development director of Duarte, Craig Hensley, their foremost concern is to ensure proper regulation if electronic cigarette popularity continues to increase. Duarte will concentrate on zoning issues whereby shops might be located close top schools. California State law bans the sale of these devices to buyers below the legal age of 18.
In Southern California, retailers have been popping up over the region in the past 1.5 years; most of them are located in Orange County. In the city of Monrovia, about six inquiries were received by the government regarding electronic cigarette license and one store has already been issued with it.
Last month of June, there were two shops that opened in Pasadena. Benjamin Ocampo owns The Vape Supply Company located in North Hill Avenue, Pasadena. According to him, the shop is operating to give customers an atmosphere similar to that of a lounge, with walls colored light brown, with long and wooden bar and booth-like seating. At the juice bar, customers can avail various types of devices. In this store, the staff said that the most commonly bought flavor is watermelon mint.
One 30-year old ex-smoker, now a vaper from Pasadena is Marco Malfitano. He said that the electronic devices certainly helped him quit tobacco smoking and he now vapes almost everywhere. He also added that some establishments, restaurants and local bars are ‘vape-friendly’ because they know about what electronic cigarettes are. There are also others that ask him to exit from the establishment due to their no-smoking policy. He would try to explain that it is not smoke from tobacco that he produces, but vapors from electronic cigarettes.
State Law To Regulate Electronic Cigarettes
Electronic cigarette popularity has also triggered state-wide argument. Senate majority leader Senator Ellen M. Corbett has introduced a bill to regulate these products as tobacco products too. Thus, they will likewise receive the same policies in areas and zones where smoking is not allowed.
Corbett referred to a study in UC Riverside which found out that the vapor from these devices contained concentrations of metals like iron, silver and aluminum that are the same or greater than those found in tobacco smoke. These metal concentrations are believed to cause diseases and breathing problems to people.
Other states and countries like New Jersey, Panama and Brazil have previously banned the products. New Jersey was the first state to prohibit the devices.
Some people however, differ. A tobacco control specialist, Dr. Michael Siegel from Boston University on School for Public Health has advocated the smoke-free legislation in Massachusetts and California. Although additional studies are needed, past research already confirmed the safety of electronic cigarettes over traditional smokes. There is no second hand smoke from these products because no combustion of tobacco is present.
What adversaries of electronic cigarette popularity contend is that even if there is no tobacco, the products have vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, which when heated to generate vapor actually contain low formaldehyde levels. According to Dr. Siegel, in his personal view of public regulations, the government can intervene if there are strong evidences that will confirm that something is indeed producing harm to the public. The government’s act of banning the products without supporting evidence on exposure damages is not justifiable.