E-cigarettes Floats in a State of Legal Uncertainty

E-cigarettes Floats in a State of Legal Uncertainty

03/4/2011

The electronic cigarette, when based within the legal framework, is not a cigarette, or a nicotine substitute that can assist in quitting smoking.

It is a battery-powered tube that looks like a standard cigarette, both in appearance and shape. Instead of tobacco leaves, it contains a battery-operated heating element that transforms a refillable liquid chemical into a vapor mist.

The vapor mist is inhaled into the lungs like a conventional cigarette. Depending on the brand or flavor purchased, the refillable liquid may or may not have nicotine and tobacco essence trace amounts.

Because the vapor mist is directly inhaled into the lungs, only little amounts of second-hand vapor is created.

USA Today reported that since the device became available in the US in 2006, over 1 million Americans claim to have used it in their quest to quit smoking.

According to Chris Ray, a resident of Schaumburg and owner of an Internet site that sells e-cigarettes and accessories called cigtechs.com, he has been smoke-free for 2 years because of this device.

Ray’s personal success with the e-cigarette has led him to put up an Internet company in order for him to sell the devices. Despite his claim of using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, however, he cannot say whether these devices can help a smoker quit.

He said, “If we say use these to stop smoking, which means it’s a nicotine replacement therapy and then the Food and Drug Administration wants to regulate us.” Ray also said, “At this point, all I can say is they are an alternative to smoking.”

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com