A new trend spreading across the United States might soon find itself regulated by the federal government. The market for ecigarettes or vapor cigarettes has being steadily growing since 2006, from a couple of thousand users to an industry that reached nearly $2 billion in sales last year.
E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution that creates a vapor for users to inhale. The products are popular among smokers because the nicotine-infused vapor resembles the same qualities of cigarette smoke, but doesn’t produce the harsh chemicals, tar or odor caused by regular cigarettes. People use the products as an alternative to smoking or to cut down or kick the habit altogether.
With the creation of the new product came a new industry that is now being examined for potential federal regulations. The Food and Drug Administration is currently soliciting public input into whether the government should regulate the industry, and if so, how. The public comment period is scheduled to end Aug. 8.
In April of this year, the FDA proposed a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18, and warning labels on products. Because e-cigarettes contain a nicotine concentration, the FDA is looking to require manufacturers to disclose their products’ ingredients.