ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES GO FROM VAGUE CURIOSITY TO MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS AS VAPING CATCHES ON February 14 2014
When electronic cigarettes made their debut in the United States just a few years ago, they generated some curiosity, mostly from skeptical smokers.
The devices quickly stirred up debate about whether they were appropriate for the workplace and other public places, and even whether they had replaced the sinister chemicals of cigarettes with unknown but equally harmful ingredients.
Unless you know of someone who uses e-cigarettes — or use them yourself — you probably are under the impression that they have been banished to that dustbin of newfangled products that promise miraculous results for the consumer.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
In the past five years, the e-cigarette industry has grown exponentially in the United States into a $1.7 billion moneymaker. Millions of users who have tried the battery-powered devices — which deliver liquid nicotine without any of the harmful chemicals — have converted over to them, many sharing compelling testimonials of how the devices helped them to once and for all beat a lifelong habit.
Sales of e-cigarettes have seen such tremendous growth, some business forecasters predict that in a matter of 10 years, the e-cigarette industry will have surpassed the behemoth tobacco industry.
Yet, against this backdrop, little is known about the effects of e-cigarettes to users and those around them. And five years after they landed in stores, e-cigarettes remain free of federal government regulation, and widely, with few exceptions, unencumbered by state laws.
After decades of aggressive anti-smoking policies and campaigns, e-cigarettes still struggle to gain a positive public image, the perception about e-cigarettes at best uninformed.
Meanwhile, public health officials increasingly are calling on government agencies and state legislatures to fast-track restrictions on a product that, many of them say, has not been completely cleared by empirical research.
ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES GO FROM VAGUE CURIOSITY TO MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS AS VAPING CATCHES ON, Joe Hermitt, Pennlive.com