After years of struggle, it appears that the public image of vaping is finally changing. Often falsely compared to smoking, in Alaska at least, there is no longer any confusion. The state recently removed the e-cigarette from the list of tobacco products.
This decision marks a significant turning in the vaping world. Finally, the lack of any evidence that vaping is harmful has been recognized. Up until recently, Alaskan e-cigarette sellers were subject to the same regulations as tobacco sellers.
The first of many victories for vaping enthusiasts
Vaping advocates are surely happy about this news. It seems people are finally accepting the e-cigarette as a healthy alterative product to cigarettes. More importantly, the e-cigarette is no longer placed in the same box as tobacco. It should be noted that the Alaskan House Rules Committee finally had to face the evidence.
A report issued last April pointed out that only smoke from tobacco-heating devices is toxic. Of course, vaping devices neither contain nor heat up any tobacco. Nonetheless, the e-cigarette has been subject to the same regulations as traditional cigarettes. It is, for example, illegal to vape in closed public places, despite the total lack of evidence that second-hand vaping is dangerous.
Once heavily criticized, e-cigarettes are finally starting to be seen as a legitimate alternative to smoking. Gabrielle LeDoux, chair of the Alaskan Committee, admits that “it can play a role” in the fight against tobacco addiction. Vaping advocates now hope that other states will follow Alaska’s example and start encouraging the use of the e-cigarette as a legitimate and safe alternative to smoking.
In the USA, much like in Europe, the electronic cigarette remains at the centre of various controversies. Between vaping enthusiasts, anti-tobacco advocates, and those who fear the vape, who will have the last word? Let’s hope that everyone will rally around the scientific evidence and see the light.
Victoria has been an e-cigarette enthusiast since the first mechanical models. She brings her legal expertise of e-cigarette legislation in France and around the world.