For Vaping, Regulation Will Bring Much-Needed Innovation

The vape has been a wonderful tool for quitting smoking – but has also attracted the ire of regulators. According to an initial Federal Trade Commission report on the effects of vape sales in the USA, the tools have driven up underage smoking and given rise to a largely unregulated industry. With that in mind, new efforts have sought to control how vapes are sold and in what quantity. While this may seem like a bad thing, it will actually help to create a more level and legal landscape for vapes, which will encourage innovation and ensure safe and high quality products are widespread. 

Starting with the flavors

One of the attractions of the vape market has been the sheer variety in flavors in vape juice. This can range from nicotine to nicotine-free oils, with flavors coming from the fruity, to the cool, right through to some vapes that are actually designed to taste like conventional cigarettes. This has been a point of contention; according to a Gallup poll, the majority of Americans want to see more regulation in this area, in order to bring flavors into line and have a general idea of what can and can’t be produced. This is likely to be a good thing; those producers that are creating unregulated and potentially dangerous flavor combinations and oils will be pushed into making their business more legally viable, which means more safe and high quality products on the market.

Increasing clarity

This wave of regulation is increasing the clarity of what can and can’t be sold in the USA. One of the biggest debates has been between conventional vapes, associated with the plumes of water vapor created from the oil burning process, with products such as the Juul, which are vaporless and have, according to the FDA, been associated with underage smoking – simply put, it’s easier to hide than the more obvious effects of vapor sticks. As CNBC highlights, the banning of Juul and similar products for sale in the USA means a more clear line between what’s legal or not, and, potentially, safer products. Vaporless vape pens have been associated with health concerns.

Better levels of advice

The downside of vaping is that some people end up smoking far more than they would have without. The act of smoking a cigarette requires an outside space, a lighter, and often a wash of the hands; by contrast, vapes can be puffed along all day in a hygienic manner, as the plumes of vapor are harmless and can be dissipated indoors without causing damage or setting off fire alarms. However, this has led to an outbreak of lung injury, according to the CDC. Too much vaping is, of course, damaging, and will replace natural air with vapor in the lungs at a higher rate than is safe. Once again, regulation leads to awareness, and this will help to safeguard health.

All in all, regulation seems like a challenge for vapes – but it’s anything but. It will provide a solid regulatory landscape in which manufacturers and start to prosper.

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