The Journal of the American Medical Association recently followed a group of public high schoolers. These ninth graders, from ten different public high schools,had either used e-cigarettes but not smoked tobacco, or they had never consumed tobacco in any form. Six months after the initial study, it was discovered that nearly one-third of the e-cig users reported they had smoked tobacco; this was compared to 8.1 percent of the students who had never used an e-cigarette.
This study stops short of blaming e-cigarettes for causing the younger generation to take up smoking. However, it strongly raises the possibility. While there are legitimate differences of opinion concerning the relative health risks of e-cigarettes versus smoking, some feel that calling for regulations based on the study’s findings is preposterous logic.
The basis of an article recently posted by The Baltimore Sun was that e-cigarettes cause teens to smoke cigarettes – a belief that is entirely unfounded. If regulations are put into place, they would put obstacles in front of adults. Adults who are doing their best to quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes.
The Sun went on to say that there is no debate. Teens should not vape. The regulations in place at local, state and soon-to-be federal levels forbid it unconditionally. The piece also argues, without basis, that the state of Maryland should regulate e-cigarettes products in the same way that cigarettes are. Why? The fear is that allowing adults to use e-cigarettes, even in areas where teens are not allowed, will lead youth to start vaping.
In truth, the teens who are likely to try e-cigarettes are the same teens that are already at risk of trying smoking. According to a landmark government report released in August, the United Kingdom’s Public Health England discovered that “there is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers”.
Those who choose to vape nicotine also have the option of not using nicotine in their e-cig. In addition, electronic cigarettes have had positive financial effects for the customers who purchase them. Users have reported savings of $100 a month in switching from cigarettes to e-cigs.
It would seem that the debate over the health risks of e-cigarettes and their impact on youth is a debate that is far from over. This has not hindered the prediction that the global electronic cigarette industry will exhibit a growth of over 22.36% from 2015 to 2025. A total market value of $50 billion by 2025, according to BIS Research.
In the midst of these disputes, many e-cig merchants are still experiencing difficulty in their ability to process payments. Many are only able to accept cash. E-cig merchant accounts have become a go-to option for e-cig merchants. As the debate continues, the hope is that regulations will be put in place based on science and reality. The idea that two very different products are equally harmful to adults is also harmful for the merchants who are trying to supply a safer option.