We wrote about expected regulation of e-cigarettes long ago. As a lawyer who deals with defective or dangerous products, I expected some federal oversight, but it took the federal government five years to address the issue.
Interestingly, over 30 states now ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. On the state level tobacco companies are advocating to stop the sale to minors, while thier lobbyist argue the sale of the nicotine products should not be considered the same as cigarettes. This would exempt the manufacturers from paying excise taxes and exempt the e-cigarettes from the same restrictions on sales and advertising of other tobacco products. More than 10 states defined the cigarettes as “vapor products.” or alternative products.
Public health groups say this is straight out of big tobacco’s playbook, distracting the public with loud calls to protect kids while skirting further regulation. Erica Sward of the American Lung Association calls it “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”
It is reasonable we have standard regulations across the country for these nicotine delivery devices and the regulations should be enacted sooner, rather than later.