Introduction of Topic
Electronic cigarettes have exploded into mainstream popular culture in the last several years. As of 2011, approximately 1 in 5 adult smokers have tried e-cigarettes at some point in their lives (CDC, 2013). Even more concerning, in 2012 6.8% of US students in the 6-12th safer than traditional cigarettes (Morrison, 2013), but concerns remain regarding their use by children and whether or not e-cigarettes actually help people quit smoking, or are just another rebranded tobacco product.
With approximately $2 Billion in yearly sales at risk there are many stakeholders in this of e-cigarettes will decrease access for the millions of current smokers looking for a safer alternative or a way to quit smoking all together.
Introduction of Organizations
National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), a prominent stakeholder in the debate, recently came forth with a position statement against the widespread arette sales will curb availability of these products, thus restricting their access by children and adolescents.
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA) recently the number of retailers allowed to 1/3 or less to prevent industry interests [from] having a majority vote” (CASAA, 2013a)
Electronic cigarettes are a hot topic right now because there is both potential to help and potential to do harm, as well a lot of money on the line. However, since electronic cigarettes are so new to the market, there is insufficient evidence to support either side conclusively. NACCHO takes a more conservative approach with their position statement and urges strict regulation of electronic cigarettes until further evidence of their safety and efficacy as a smoking alternative can be presented, as well as a precautionary measure against abuse by minors. CASAA, in their grass-roots fight for smoke-free alternatives, is concerned about restricting smokers from being able to use a product that is a potentially safe alternative to traditional cigarettes. Overall, NACCHO’s position statement is better organized and has a stronger base of evidence while CASAA’s position statement has an air of defensiveness to it and the evidence presented is not well supported; however, CASAA’s position currently has legislation its side. More evidence is needed to effectively conclude to what extent electronic cigarettes should be regulated, but until then, we can consider the position statements presented by these two organizations. References
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013, February 28). About one in five U.S. adult cigarette smokers have tried an electronic cigarette [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0228_electronic_cigarettes.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Notes from the field: Electronic cigarette use among middle and high school students - United States, 2011-2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report (MMWR). 62(35); 729-730.
Horne, L. (2013, October 24). Telephone interview.