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E-Cigarette - the Hidden Danger

Essay by   •  April 10, 2017  •  Research Paper  •  1,271 Words (6 Pages)  •  534 Views

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Zeyu Zang

ESL 118 Tracy

Essay 2, Draft 2

March 6, 2017

Word account: 1205

E-cigarette: the Hidden Danger

An electronic cigarette(e-cigarette) is a device that use e-liquid to create a vapor that the smoker inhales. E-liquid is a flavored liquid which contains nicotine and many other chemicals such as aminonaphthalene and acetone, both of which are harmful to people’s health. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Admission (FDA) has finalized a rule that e-cigarette will be regulated like traditional cigarette to improve public health. The policy requires health warnings on advertisements and product package and prohibits selling e-cigarettes to young people under 18. (O’Donnell & Ungar, 2016, para.2). Before, e-cigarettes were often advertised as a safe way to quit smoking and little health issues related to e-cigarette were mentioned in advertisement. There were also no restrictions about where these advertisements could appear so teenagers could often see these advertisements and start smoking. After the policy, the companies need to contain possible health problems of smoking e-cigarette in the advertisement and deliver the advertisement only to adults. Webpages often viewed by teenagers are prohibited to display any e-cigarette advertisements. It is reasonable to impose regulations on online advertisements of e-cigarette because the advertisements of e-cigarette now are misleading and too widespread.

There opponents of the policy claim that the new policy is unfair because they see e-cigarette as something good for cigarette smokers. E-cigarette is often advertised as an efficient way to give up smoking. Admittedly, there is a study suggesting that e-cigarette can be thought as an effective to help people quit smoking (Reinberg, 2014, para 1). From that study, smokers who wanted to quit smoking are 60% more likely to succeed if they use e-cigarette compared with those who use anti-smoking nicotine patch or gum. This study shows the effectiveness of e-cigarette with specific data 60% and seems convincing. However, it ignores a key point in quitting smoking: smokers’ motivation to quit smoking. Smokers with higher motivations are more likely to quit smoking. There is research showing a relation between using e-cigarette to quit smoking and the motivation to quit smoking (Palllav, Pebbles, Melissa A, Crissy T. &Thaddeus A). From that research, smokers who try e-cigarette as a way to quit smoking have higher average motivation to quit. Therefore, it may be not the e-cigarette that helps people quit but people’s strong willpower to quit smoking. Under the regulation by FDI, all the explicit claim and implicit claims such as “alternative to cigarette” or “smoke e-cigarette instead” and many other variant slogans such as “Why quit” and “Don’t quit” will be prohibited (Ramaurthi, Gall, Ayoub & Jackler, 2016, p.4). People will then be not misguided by these attracting sayings in the advertisements.

The regulations by FDI on advertisement is necessary because many e-cigarette advertisements now are misleading. On one hand, harmful effects are never included in e-cigarette advertisements. Advertisements only say people can get same even better feeling by smoking e-cigarette than cigarette, but they never show the amount of nicotine or other harmful chemicals such as aminonaphthalene and acetone (the Ecig Alternative, 2014). It contains nicotine which is an addictive substance and the main physical reason people cannot give up smoking. Nicotine is harmful to people’s health. Exposure to nicotine during pregnancy can cause problems such as low birth weights, even sudden infant death syndrome. It is also bad for adults, causing issues such as cognitive and behavioral impairments. Aminonaphthalene can cause cancer while acetone can cause kidney and liver damage. All these safety issues are often ignored in the advertisement (Amanda, Ollie &Donna, 2015). Under regulation, there will be warnings on the online advertisements so people get to know the information and facts about e-cigarette. There is research showing that the warnings can significantly reduce adults’ intent to purchase e-cigarette (Sanders, Schleicher, Fortmann & Henriksen, 2015, p.2022). Therefore, the regulation will be effective in reducing e-cigarette smokers. On the other hand, even though some advertisements include information about nicotine, they may not provide the accurate data. A 2014 study showed that the amount of nicotine in e-liquid is significantly different from the amount listed on advertisements (American Lung Association, 2016). This kind of situation happens because the regulations on e-cigarette before was loose. Fortunately, after the new policy and regulation, all the information on package and advertisement need to be accurate and correct and FDI will test each product to make sure the information provided in consistent with the product itself. Thus, it is reasonable to regulate it like traditional-cigarette so that there would be more restrictions on advertisement. The new regulations on advertisement stop e-cigarette companies’ misleading advertisement and give people a more objective view of e-cigarette. The rules can reduce e-cigarette smokers in some extent because people may be frightened by the harmful effects of e-cigarette after knowing them from advertisements.

The new policy not only give people a better understanding of e-cigarette, but also stop e-cigarette being too widespread. The new rule blocks teenagers’ access to both e-cigarette products and advertisements and thus protect them from the health issues from e-cigarette. There were too many advertisements on Internet before the new regulations. Nearly 70% of U.S. middle and high school students have seen advertisements for e-cigarette (American Health Line, 2016, para 1). A lot of advertisements can be seen on music or entertainment site where a large percent of audience are teenagers (Amanda, Ollie &Donna, 2015). The overwhelming advertisements by e-cigarette lead to more young smokers. They are vulnerable to start and continue using further nicotine-related products such as tobacco. Also, there are often price promotions and discounts to make the e-cigarette more attractive to teenagers. It is well known that price has a great influence on the use of tobacco. Low price can attract people with less financial resources (Amanda, Ollie &Donna, 2015). Teenagers are often lack of finance and the low price in advertisements may attract them starting smoking. In these two ways, teenagers are very likely to try the e-cigarettes and get addicted. However, with the new regulations, all these issues will be solved because these advertisements will only appear on adult website and teenagers will less likely to see them. Also, the e-cigarette can no longer be purchased by teenagers under 18 both online and retail. In all, teenagers are protected and prevented from e-cigarette by these new regulations.

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