It’s been more than 10 years since former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pioneered the indoor smoking ban, but before leaving office in December he implemented a similar ban on electronic cigarettes. While the FDA has yet to regulate the sale and use of e-cigarettes, states including Utah, New Jersey and North Dakota have joined New York City in enforcing their own regulations with cities like Los Angeles and Chicago hoping to following suit. Little research has been conducted on the adverse health effects and possible benefits of e-cigarettes, and research efforts are further impeded by the wide variety of products available on the market and their lack of standardization.
This lack of e-cigarette regulation makes it difficult to study health effects due to differing amounts of nicotine and other chemicals delivered between brands and cartridge types. The American Association for Cancer Research (AARC) also found that e-cigarettes were used to supplement as opposed to substitute traditional cigarette smoking, making its effects difficult to isolate.
Few studies have been conducted regarding e-cigarette emissions, secondhand “smoke”, and air quality. One of the few studies found “no apparent risk to human health” from electronic cigarette emissions (linked below), while others offer conflicting information surrounding “passive vaping” (linked below). For anyone interested, I've linked to more resources below.
How can we learn from the regulation issues surrounding this new technology and apply it to the standardization and regulation of future healthcare innovations? Are there particular e-cigarette regulation initiatives with which you have experience, or current initiatives which you think could be applied to e-cigarette regulation?