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Electronic cigarettes should be treated like tobacco, court ruling says

Electronic cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes could be showing up on more convenience-store shelves soon. That’s because an appeals court ruled Wednesday that electronic cigarettes should be treated like tobacco products when it comes to Food and Drug Administration oversight.

As this report says: “The decision is a setback for the FDA and other public-health organizations, which had argued that e-cigarettes should be regulated like nicotine-replacement gum or patches. They also have warned that e-cigarettes contain dangerous chemicals and are being marketed to children.”

Still, the devices are becoming more popular, this Chicago Tribune article reports. And this Healthy Skeptic column in the Los Angeles Times says: “Some people use them as a way to quit smoking real cigarettes. Unlike gum or patches, the devices mimic the sensation of smoking while providing the nicotine rush. Other people use them to get their cigarette fix in places where smoking is not allowed.”

So what’s inside e-cigs besides nicotine? This Los Angeles Times article reports on the additives the FDA found in testing 19 types of e-cigs. Still, the devices are popular with some.

E-cigs may ignite a new battle in the nation’s war on smoking. Slate.com’s story “Vapor war: Our irrational hostility toward electronic cigarettes” frames the issue this way: “It’s vaporized nicotine, a.k.a. ‘vaping.’ It isn’t quite tobacco, and it isn’t quite smoking. Should we ban it, since it’s sort of like smoking? Or should we tolerate it, since it’s different in important respects? Does the war on smoking require total victory, or can we accept a peace deal that lets the industry, in some form, escape?”

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