In January 2014, researchers from the National Cancer Institute reported the identification of 466 e-cigarette brands and 7,764 flavors, estimating that 10 new brands and 240 new flavors have entered the market each month in the last two years. The industry is booming, with no sign of slowing down.
E-cigarettes are marketed to be healthier than traditional cigarettes in that, rather than burning tobacco, the product heats nicotine-laced liquid into a vapor that the consumer then inhales. Due to the products rapid growth in popularity, health policy advocates are calling for further research to understand the full extent of both the benefits and concerns surrounding e-cigarettes.
“There’s this really rapid growth happening,” said Frank Chaloupka, director of the Health Policy Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of several of Monday’s studies. “They are becoming available all over the place, they are being marketed aggressively, and they are cheap compared to normal cigarettes. But in terms of policy, there’s been very little done to control [the market] to this point.”
In April, the Food and Drug Administration announced it would begin regulating e-cigarettes. If the regulations currently being pushed for by anti-smoking advocates succeed, consumers would experience a ban on the sale to minors, a ban on the distribution of free samples, and a new requirement to include health warning labels on the product. However, to take action requires further study.
Read more here- “Booming E-Cigarette Market in Need of Greater Oversight, Studies Say,” (Brady Dennis, The Washington Post)