Healthcare Bodies Apprehensive about Rising Popularity of E-cigarettes


Published Date : Jan 06, 2016

E-cigarettes are nothing new to the world nowadays. These battery-operated devices, which emit vaporized nicotine or other flavored solutions, were marketed as safer alternative to conventional cigarettes as they purged the other harmful chemicals that a tobacco-based cigarette produced. It is widely known that tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 different chemicals, many of which are very harmful for human health. When e-cigarettes first came to the market, they came with the promise of cutting-out on a majority of these chemicals, with supplying only nicotine to the blood stream – apparently mitigating much of the harm caused by conventional cigarettes.

The popularity of these cigarettes has significantly surged in the past few years. In the U.S., the use of e-cigarettes has so heavily increased that it surpassed the use of regular cigarettes in 2014. The aggressive advertising and marketing strategies employed by e-cigarette manufacturers is a major factor that has impacted the overall uptake and continuously rising popularity of these products. While at one point researchers are not completely clear about the supposedly safer nature of e-cigarettes, the constantly rising volumes of funds being poured into the advertising of e-cigarettes has started to worry governments and healthcare bodies across the globe.

A recent research undertaken by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that e-cigarette companies are reaching nearly seven out of 10 middle-school and high-school students in the U.S. through advertisements that employ themes of rebellion, independence, and sex that pegged the earlier generations to conventional cigarettes. According to the study, spending on advertisements for e-cigarettes has also significantly increased in the past few years, from nearly US$6.4 mn in 2011 to over US$115 mn in 2014.

The study says that the aggressive marketing strategy employed by e-cigarette manufacturers could aid in reversing the progress made through decades of hard work for preventing the use of tobacco among young people. The agency suggests tighter control on the sales of e-cigarettes to reduce its access to minors.

Though it is believed that e-cigs are less harmful than regular cigarettes, their overall risks are still being studied on a larger scale these days as the popularity of these cigarettes rises at an alarming speed. One of the most feared possibility behind the use of e-cigarettes is that the user might have a higher risk of becoming a smoker of regular cigarettes in the long run.

With healthcare bodies becoming increasingly weary of the rising popularity of e-cigarettes, one can expect some strict measures to curb their access to younger people in the near future. Whether governments take the matter in-hand and lays down legislations regarding the same remains to be seen.