Vaping has proved to be a popular alternative for those of us who want to try and quit smoking or want to try an alternative product that is perceived to be a slightly safer option than traditional tobacco products.
Such has been the popularity of vaping, especially amongst the younger generation who have seemingly skipped the traditional smoking cigarettes route, that it has virtually been an explosion in sales of vaping products.
Regulatory bodies have struggled to keep up with the pace of this shift towards a range of products where it is still not known what the long-term impact will be on our health, but that is changing, with 2020 seeing an introduction of tighter regulations.
The United States House of Representatives, for example, has recently approved a bill to put forward to the senate that proposes a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes as well as other flavored tobacco products.
Stemming the flow
The thinking behind this proposed change to the regulations is based on what is viewed as an alarming increase in the number of teenagers who have taken to vaping in large numbers.
It is estimated that at least a quarter of high school students are regular users of e-cigarette products, especially flavored products, and that is prompting government officials to fear that a new generation of smokers might become hooked on nicotine.
Congress has already approved a law that increased the minimum age to buy all tobacco and vaping products to 21 on a nationwide basis and its the flavors that are the basis of current attention.
Masking the potential harm
When you are presented with a range of flavors that include bubblegum and strawberry it easy to see the appeal amongst the younger generation whose attention would be more focused on finding a favorite taste rather than being concerned about nicotine or the effects of vaping on their long-term health.
Vape products with flavors are hugely popular but the bottom line is that there is still not enough research data around to prove how effective they are in helping smokers to quit, or what impact they might have on long-term health.
Smoking flavored tobacco products tend to have the effect of masking the harshness of nicotine and the argument for tighter regulation is centered around the likelihood that a number of smokers wouldn’t use these products without flavor enhancements.
A long battle ahead
As you might expect, the vaping industry is not going to take the proposed legislative changes lying down and plenty of lobbying is underway to win the argument on both sides.
Those looking to restrict or ban these flavored e-cigarettes point out that the combination of slick advertising and popular flavor combinations are all designed to appeal to a younger generation and get them hooked on these products.
Lobbying groups in favor of keeping these products on the shelves argue that millions of people rely on vaping products to help them quit smoking and that a ban would be damaging.
Tighter regulations are being proposed and 2020 could see some fundamental changes imposed on the vaping industry. Watch this space.