Electronic cigarette makers and makers of other new tobacco products are bearing accusations of targeting the youth and creating a whole new generation of addicts.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden said that he is worried about children getting hooked on the new types of cigarettes. These young children would be troubled by this possible lifetime addiction.
Could Undermine Anti-Tobacco Efforts
New tobacco products and electronic cigarette makers and the products they offer are presenting a serious threat to the gains from anti-smoking efforts. The numbers of smokers in high school students and adults have decreased by 16% and 19% respectively.
According to CDC, there is one in every 12 senior high school students who smoke little cigars at present. Little cigars are similar in shape, size and even in color to the traditional cigarettes, but are loosely regulated.
A recent report from CDC showed about 7% of students from grades 6-12 in 2012, who used ecigarettes. This rate is greater than the doubled rate for 2011. According to a few studies, vapors produced by these electronic cigarettes potentially have hazardous chemicals.
Loopholes In Regulations
Little cigars and electronic cigarette makers are able to get around the law because of the loophole in federal laws. Frieden stated that this dodging enables these manufacturers to target children.
Little cigars are slightly bigger than traditional cigarettes so they are levied at lower tax rates and could be sold at lower prices of about $0.7 each. Conventional cigarettes are taxed higher so a pack costs at least $5 to over $11 like in New York.
Cigarettes are sold in packs of 20s while little cigars are retailed in 1-2 pieces so they are more affordable for kids, stated Frieden.
The lack of restrictions also enables ecigarettes and little cigars to be sold in flavors that are effectively enticing to children like Fruits and Gummi Bears.
The FDA has previously said that it will regulate ecigarettes as regular cigarettes, but its new rules are not yet announced.
Ecig manufacturers have even touted the health values of their products. They claim that their products can help smokers reduce and wean off tobacco consumption like approved nicotine replacements.
CEO and founder of Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association or TVECA Ray Story said that there is no bigger killer than traditional tobacco and ecigarettes are obviously less harmful than them.
Frieden opposed by saying that electronic cigarettes could lead more people to become addicted to nicotine. These kids could later use real cigarettes.
Makers of ecigs also advertise in venues and activities where teens are commonly flocking to like malls, sporting events and televisions.
Pushing The FDA
Politicians and lawmakers are likewise making their own moves to urge the FDA on its ecig regulation timeline. They claim that ecig companies are using the same tactics that tobacco firms once used to promote their products like celebrity endorsements and animations.
Story stated that FDA regulations are also welcomed by the industry as they also do not wish ecigarettes to be accessed by the youth.
Tobacco Is A Major Killer
According to Frieden, tobacco claims over 440,000 American lives each year and remains the top health challenge to authorities.
Apart from being the major cause of deaths, tobacco is also regarded as the cause of other health issues in society that are getting worse with time. Tobacco smoking leads to other health threats like bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, new flu strains such as H7N9 in China, food borne diseases and low rates of HPV vaccine acceptance.
The government shutdown last month further made it difficult for CDC to tackle the problems. The shutdown that lasted for two weeks caused a very serious impact. The shutdown, Frieden said, was among the most frightening incidents in the country ever since H1N1 pandemic flu outbreak in 2009.
About 10,000 employees from the CDC were laid off. His staff was still able to respond to certain emergencies despite this shutdown. Save on V2 Cigs with our Best V2 Cigs Coupons!