The heated debate continues over e-cigarettes and vaping. As they receive more and more pressure, federal officials are still wrestling with how to regulate the rapidly growing e-cigarette market. Many are unhappy with current regulations (or lack thereof), and they are afraid that the way products are being marketed are pulling young Americans into smoking e-cigarettes.
One of the biggest issues in the debate is whether teenage use of e-cigarettes leads to conventional smoking. This issue has been intensely debated not only in the U.S., but elsewhere. And then there is the issue of safety. Are e-cigarettes really a better alternative to conventional cigarettes?
Critics emphasize the risks to adolescents. For years, America’s youth has heard endless messages about the unappealing taste, smell and health consequences of using cigarettes. Now, e-cigarette companies offer sugary vaping flavors, like Gummi Bear, Peach Green Tea, Blue Raz Cotton Candy and Frozen Lime Drop.
While the original intent might have been to offer sugary flavors that helped adults quit smoking and use a safer alternative, there are growing concerns that teenagers are now drawn to these products because of the way they are being marketed. More and more parents are worried that these products are a gateway to tobacco use, even though selling to minors is illegal.
Opponents are calling for the FDA to limit the use of flavors. Many companies, on the other hand, still support flavors and their marketing efforts. A JTI spokeswoman, Michele Maron, says that the company supports “responsible flavors” and will “continue to defend the rights of informed adults to choose legal tobacco products”. She added that the company does oppose sales to minors.
And then there is the question of whether e-cigarettes are really a better alternative to conventional cigarettes? Are they really safer for those hoping to stop smoking? A new report by the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine offers the most comprehensive analysis of existing research. The report says there is proof e-cigs are safer than traditional smoking products, but it says there is not enough proof to say they reduce the smokers’ exposure to certain chemicals.
For the businesses themselves, the ongoing debate has made it difficult at times for them to find services they need. Without payment processing, for example, it is impossible to easily accept customers’ payments. Banks are simply too hesitant to work with these businesses, due to the risks of the tobacco industry. Thankfully, as things sort themselves out, alternative lenders are offering solutions through services like an electronic cigarette merchant account.
Author Bio:Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas co-founded eMerchantBroker, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants like an electronic e-cigarette merchant account. His passions include producing music and traveling.