Anti-smoking activists are pushing Jordan Creek Town Center managers to evict a kiosk selling “electronic cigarettes.”
The battery-operated devices contain no tobacco, and they don’t emit smoke, but activists worry they will lure young people into inhaling noxious fumes.
It offers small white-and-tan devices that look like cigarettes. Instead of tobacco smoke, they give off a heated vapor containing nicotine, which is the most addictive part of cigarettes.
Apparently, these devices come in flavors such as chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and mint. There is concern that this will increase appeal among minors, although the vendor claims not to sell to minors.
These devices are apparently unregulated.
"The FDA is concerned about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the public,” says Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs.
The agency is concerned that
* e-cigarettes can increase nicotine addiction among young people and may lead kids to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death
* the products may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans
* because clinical studies about the safety and efficacy of these products for their intended use have not been submitted to FDA, consumers currently have no way of knowing 1) whether e-cigarettes are safe for their intended use, or 2) about what types or concentrations of potentially harmful chemicals or what dose of nicotine they are inhaling when they use these products.
So… should such devices be offered for sale without government regulation? Where is the line drawn between an individual’s responsibility for safety and a government’s interest in protecting the public?