The worldwide market for e-cigs and vaporizers continues to grow under scrutiny from lawmakers
Electronic cigarettes have been publicized as a safe alternative to conventional smoking since their break into the mainstream in 2014. However, a steady inflow of scientific research from both local and independent sources have convinced a growing number of state officials to clamp down on the industry citing public health concerns.
In October, New York joined ten other states in prohibiting the use of e-cigs and vaporizers from public spaces, including office buildings, parks and restaurants. In a statement, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo asserted that while vaping is marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking, there are very real risks for long-term users and those around them that must be addressed for the safety of all New Yorkers.
Vape enthusiasts and retailers have criticized the ban as unnecessary, arguing that users are already disinclined and don’t vape indoors. Users are generally unwilling to be seen as obnoxious, and instead look to vaping as an effective method to quit smoking cigarettes. A study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health seems to affirm their consensus.
The Global Vape Market is well on course to being worth over $32 billion by 2021; in many countries, vape products are sold and widely regarded as Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) devices with appreciable medical value. The UK currently leads the world in proactive THR promotion with an effective anti-tobacco campaign that has sent smoking rates plummeting to its lowest levels on record.
Although its long-term effects on the human body are not yet fully known, vaping is by and large considered less harmful due to its vapor-based method of nicotine delivery. Until studies can definitively show that vaporizers and e-cigs are every bit as detrimental as tobacco smoke inhalation, there is little standing in the way of this fast-paced and exciting new phenomenon.
Authoritative sources have published reports indicating that the usage and byproducts of vaporizers and e-cigs are not harmless. The Center for Evironmental Health found that the majority of vape products they’d tested contained high levels of carcinogens like acetaldehyde and formaldehyde. A study by the New York State Department of Health also showed that e-cigarettes are not an FDA-approved smoking cessation product, and that various approved nicotine replacement therapies and oral medications are already in circulation.
The use of vape products, e-cigs, hookahs and conventional cigarettes are already prohibited in most public spaces in several states. Lawmakers have incorporated the ban into a variety of comprehensive Clean Air, Clean Indoors and Public Safety packages, citing the overall health and well-being of all citizens as their top priority.
The presence of nicotine in vapes is a public concern for various community organizations and activist groups, who see the hobby as a gateway toward lifetime addictions to dangerous substances. Further setbacks in the industry include numerous losses in challenges filed in State Courts of Appeal, which consistently rule the inclusion of e-cigarettes in public smoking bans as valid.
A Lasting Phenomenon
Still, under increasing government regulation and public scrutiny, the Global Vape Market is a rapidly growing multi-billion dollar industry. In New York State, almost five times as many high school students use vaporizers and e-cigarettes instead of conventional cigarettes, with more than half of them believing nondaily vape and cigalike use is harmless. Retailers, hobbyists and enthusiasts continue to turn to vape products in a commitment to stop smoking cigarettes, and the legalization of marijuana in many states has proved to be a boon for the industry.