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E-Cigarette Law Around the World

Posted June 19th, 2013 in News by Steve

The increasing popularity and rapidly decreasing price of e-cigarettes has made for stiff competition between tobacco-based products and electronic cigarettes throughout the world. The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, a trade group that follows the market and studies the number of e-cigarettes sold each year, estimates that the United States market has already exceeded 5 million users and is expected to continue to increase. The law, however, has lagged behind somewhat when it comes to the monitoring and supervision of these products.

Electronic cigarettes are used in the place of tobacco-based products to greatly reduce the amount of toxins that are ingested by a person. A battery-powered heating element vapourises a flavoured liquid that is encased in a plastic chamber. The experience is similar to that of a traditional tobacco cigarette. There is a wide choice for e-cigarette users: they can choose nicotine and non-nicotine flavours for their enjoyment. Electronic cigarette users who wish to use the product to gradually reduce their tobacco habit can choose to regulate levels of nicotine to taper off to a manageable level.

E-cigarette law around the world

There is a drive from many sides to regulate e-cigarettes for a number of reasons. Some special interest groups seek to ban the product, claiming that it is a danger, while others want to regulate it for market control. Rob Ragan of Vapor Kings, a United States based company, sees the entrance of the big tobacco corporations in to the electronic cigarette market as a sign that the industry has accepted the e-cigarette as both serious competition and as the future. The United States Congress and State legislatures are seeing an increase in the lobbying by Big Tobacco to lay the heavy hand of the law on local and internet markets.

E-cigarette laws in Australia

At this moment, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has not yet approved the e-cigarette. Airports, restaurants, hotels and offices are considering their options in regard to the social acceptance of e-cigarettes. The situation is considered complex and Commonwealth, State and territory legislatures have not settled on the legal and regulatory consequences.

There have been conflicting theories and studies that seem to fit the various viewpoints promoted by different interests. Those who have been solidly against the use of e-cigarettes base their argument on the unknown dangers of this relatively new product. Those who argue the opposite point to the well-known dangers of tobacco cigarette smoke and argue that e-cigarettes are infinitely less harmful. The scientific research that has come out in the last few years favours the argument that electronic cigarettes are an effective tool to quit smoking and that they do not have any negative health consequences. It seems that the law will have to wait for more scientific evidence to emerge before it can finally make a decision on what to do about electronic cigarettes.

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