Vapes Aren’t Tobacco Products

Vapes Aren’t Tobacco Products

A recent article written for Nicotine & Tobacco Research has raised the issue that e-cigarettes and e-liquids are often considered to be tobacco products.

In this post we will be delving in to why this view is not only incorrect but could also be damaging to the way vaping is viewed by the public.

Why Are Vapes Often Classified as Tobacco Products?

The main reason that e-cigarettes and e-liquids are considered by some to be tobacco products is that some e-liquids contain nicotine, which is found in tobacco leaves.

In the US the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled that this makes all e-cigarettes and e-liquids tobacco products. The US are one of the leading markets in the vape industry, therefore it is not hard to see how this terminology has made it’s way across the pond.

How Should We Classify E-Cigarettes?

The article raises the interesting point that if e-cigarettes and e liquids are classified as tobacco products based on the fact that they contain nicotine, then surely the same goes for other nicotine replacement therapies such as gum and patches.

A way that the author suggests a distinction could be made is that e-cigarettes could instead be labelled as ‘nicotine containing products’, although it is acknowledged that this label would not be altogether accurate in the case of e liquids containing no nicotine or vape devices that have not yet been filled with e liquid. However, this label is a lot less misleading that the label of ‘tobacco product’.

This is a similar way to how we are now labelling these products here in the UK. All vape related products in the UK must be attached with a label warning that the product contains nicotine which is an addictive substance. These labels are required on devices and e liquids alike, even e liquids containing no nicotine.

Why is it Important to Make This Distinction?

Applying the label of ‘tobacco product’ to these items is wildly misleading to those who are as yet uninformed about e-cigarettes, and lumping stop smoking aids in with cigarettes and tobacco could negatively affect the way people view these products.

Seeing the words tobacco product associated so closely with something that most people use as a way to give up tobacco use attaches the wrong connotations and could lead people to falsely believe that the e liquids contain tobacco, which many people automatically associate with negative health issues and horrible things like carbon monoxide and tar, none of which re present in e-cigarettes or e-liquids.

The article concludes that from a scientific and consumer point of view it is important that the term ‘tobacco product’ is reserved for products that actually contain tobacco.

A distinction needs to be made between actual tobacco products like cigarettes, and the nicotine containing products that are intended to hep people stop using tobacco products, such as vape devices and nicotine replacement therapies.

To read more about vaping news check out our other posts on the Evapo Blog. 

Sources

https://academic.oup.com/ntr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ntr/nty130/5041976

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