NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

E-Cigarette Regulations Are Counterproductive

November 14, 2014

The Food and Drug Administration's proposed expansion of regulatory power to include e-cigarettes could endanger Americans' health, argues Michael Marlow, professor of economics at California Polytechnic State University. 

What's the problem with regulating e-cigarettes? Unlike traditional tobacco products, e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco. Instead, they contain a nicotine vapor, making them much safer than traditional cigarettes. Consider:

  • According to the American Medical Association, the lack of tobacco makes e-cigarette vapor far less dangerous than secondhand smoke from traditional tobacco cigarettes.
  • E-cigarettes can help smokers quit; between 7 and 20 percent of smokers have been successful in using e-cigarettes to quit their smoking habit.

According to Marlow, the FDA intends to prevent manufacturers from marketing e-cigarettes as safer than traditional tobacco products, and health regulations prevent manufacturers from telling consumers that their products lack tobacco. Rather than improving health, e-cigarette regulations threaten it; e-cigarettes a much safer form of nicotine intake than traditional cigarettes, and they offers current smokers a way to quit smoking tobacco. Marlow notes that there are 32 million smokers who say they want to quit smoking.

Source: Michael Marlow, "FDA Regulatory Expansion Jeopardizes Public Health," Heartland Institute, November 10, 2014.


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