Since it hit the market, sales have tripled each year since. Last year it reached $500 million; this year they are predicting $1 billion dollars in sales. Put simply, an e-cig is an alternative to conventional cigarette smoking, where the smoker, or vaper, inhales from an electronic device that vaporizes a liquid solution into an aerosol mist. The mist is sweet-smelling and not harmful to those nearby. The electronic cigarette contains nicotine, just as smoking cessation patches and gum do. Every bar around here lets you use them inside, and just about every restaurant we have encountered has had no problem with it, Dan said.
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Electronic cigarettes: No smoking, but lots of fuming
Critics worry that the devices and the components of their associated vapor are “untried, untested and unknown,” in the words of Stella Bialous, president of the San Francisco consulting firm Tobacco Policy International. In the California Senate, lawmakers recently approved a bill that would ban vaping from every place smoking is already prohibited. The measure awaits discussion in the Assembly. UCLA has already taken that step, outlawing e-cigarettes on April 22, the same day it shut out their smoky cousins. The laws would prevent vapers like 30-year-old Alexis, a Vapor Spot customer who did not want to share her last name because her family doesn’t know she ever smoked, from inhaling in her acting classes.
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E-cig sellers jockey for market position before FDA issues regulations
In early July, the FDA said that it would issue proposed rules on unspecified “tobacco products” in October. Those products are widely assumed to be e-cigarettes, which a 2010 court decision allows the agency to regulate. The FDA declined to comment on the timing or contents of its planned “deeming regulations” for e-cigs, which are gaining popularity because they are perceived as being less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
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