Electronic Cigarettes. Why are they banned?
It's hard to understand why anyone who is aware of electronic cigarettes, and who has done some basic research on them could conclude that they should be banned, but several countries have made that exact decision. You might wonder why someone was going to ban something with so much potential to reduce the harm related to smoking, but the reasons don't really deal with much scrutiny. Here is a list of countries where electronic cigarettes are banned, and a look at the most common reasons.
Which countries have banned e-cigarettes?
Countries that have banned Vaping
The electronic cigarette is a relatively new phenomenon, so in most places the legislation must still really catch up with the technology. However, countries such as Canada, Mexico, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Hong Kong, Panama, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates have banned electronic cigarettes completely. Products are also largely regulated as doctors in Denmark, where they are technically illegal, but none have been authorized so far. Some places, such as Finland and Australia, have standards where they can technically be sold, but cannot contain nicotine. Many countries also have marketing bans on all nicotine products, which cover electronic cigarettes.
Reason One - need more studies
One of the most common reasons for banning electronic cigarettes is characterized by the situation in Brazil. The FDA report published in 2009 is believed to have been instrumental in the decision, and that it basically comes down to the fact that electronic cigarettes have not been studied in depth. This is true, and more research, of course, must be carried out with regard to the risks of electronic cigarettes. However, based on existing research, it can be concluded that vaping is much safer than smoking. This argument can be summed up very simply: we cannot say with certainty that electronic cigarettes are not safe, so we can continue to use tobacco cigarettes, which we definitely know is dangerous.
Reason Two - nicotine overdose
The Canadian e-cigarette ban was justified differently. It is argued that electronic cigarettes increase the risk of nicotine overdose. It is important to note that there is no such prohibition of smoking an excessive amount of cigarettes in a single session. There is also no ban on caffeine, which is also dangerous if consumed in excess. In fact, if you have enough of most things, overdose is quite likely, for example, water, which can cause poisoning if consumed in excessive amounts. If electronic cigarettes are used correctly (as much as you would with a cigarette), obviously there is no risk of overdose. Anything can be harmful if they are misused.
Reason Three - FDA Study
In Panama, they banned electronic cigarettes in 2009 due to a now infamous FDA study. They looked at two brands of e-cigs, with 19 cigarettes in total, and traces of diethylene glycol were found in one of them, and also some tobacco-specific nitrosamines. The FDA, however, did not mention that nitrosamines (carcinogens) are virtually unavoidable in any production of tobacco derivatives, including FDA-approved gum and patches. Diethylene glycol is also found in aspirin in ten times the amount and has not been found in subsequent tests.
The reasons cited for poor banning electronic cigarettes are particularly harmful because they essentially leave tobacco as the only option. Realistically, the legislation could be seen as overprotection, but unless accompanied by a tobacco ban this argument collapses into nothingness. Countries must support the freedom of their citizens to choose, and in no way prohibit anything with the potential to save so many lives.