Possible Ban on E-Cigarette Tanks for Public Health Safety


Big Tobacco, a massive tobacco cigarette company is pushing for a ban on e-cig tanks due to concerns for public health. Reynolds American recently submitted a document to the FDA explaining their concern and asking the FDA to promote their requested ban. To be more specific, the document is 119 pages and the content is strictly related to health concerns in regards to open-system electronic cigarettes. The company feels these open-system ecigs are harmful to the health of their fellow Americans. Although this may be just a ploy to earn a few extra bucks, the FDA has agreed to look at the document and consider its claims. It is likely that we will here all about studies being made in the future.

With Reynolds American producing an income profit of $1.2 million dollars, most of which came tobacco cigarettes, it seems a bit strange that the company would try to add to their profit by claiming health concerns. On top of this, studies have shown that 5 million deaths that occur each year are related solely to tobacco cigarette use. So, on what grounds do these major tobacco companies have to say that electronic cigarettes, which consists primarily of water vapour, are concerning to public health?

According to Spokesman David Howard, “These [open-system e-cigs] are highly subject to adulteration and tampering, they are manufactured largely overseas in facilities that would fall outside regulatory inspection and oversight”. All right, that is actually a fairly good point but it is definitely pushing the boundaries of what the FDA handles. Maybe Howard has forgotten, but any product that is shipped here (and really any product in general) that is to be consumed by the public is first tested and approved. The FDA would not allow a product that has been tampered with to be dispersed to the public by any means. Howard also made the ever-common claim that the e-liquids are advertised in flavours that could attract youth.

This statement has been used and over – used so many times, it’s kind of getting out of hand. Several studies have already been made to prove that these fruity flavours have no effect on youth interest, so Howard’s claim is invalid here. Howard also stated that the packaging that e-cigarettes come in is not child proof, making it harmful to little ones. That is a very hypocritical statement on Howard’s part considering all tobacco cigarettes today are sold in easy to open, cardboard cartridges that don’t even have a seal to keep them closed. They are easily accessible to children.

It seems more like the company is fearful that they will lose money due to these new electronic cigarettes and making a claim for public safety seemed like a way to get their customers back. In fact, Gregory Conley (president of the AVA) made this fear even more evident during his speech to the FDA. Conley pointed out that, “Recent market reports show that while sales of open system e-cigarette products and e-liquid are booming, sales of closed-system cigarette lookalikes have stagnated”.

Reynolds, a tobacco cigarette company, is taking notice of the recent increase in e-cigarette cig-a-likes and is joining the market. Maybe this will boost their profits. Reynolds’ new Vuse electronic cigarette is a closed-system electronic cigarette that provides customers with several different levels of nicotine content.

According to Susan Cameron, Reynolds Executive, “people are putting a lot of things other than nicotine into these pipes (referring to open-system e-cigarettes)”. She makes a strong point. The closed system e-cigarettes may be better for public health as it can also avoid illicit drug use, but is this decision going to help Reynolds earn a profit or are they simply trying to push the tobacco-sponsored electronic cigarettes forward into the e-cig market?


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