What the e cigarette Industry Tries to Convey to the Public May Become a Legal Boomerang
What message does the e cigarette community want to project to expand, yet avoid or minimize legal complications?
The keyword is community, as it includes not only the business elements of e cigarettes —e cigarette manufacturers, e cigarette distributors, e cigarette suppliers, e cigarette sellers— but also the e cigarette consumers and future consumers.
As the theory behind the e cigarette expands to include e-cigars and e-pipes, the initial messages about the e cigarette should be consistent. Once one member of the e cigarette community says one thing, while another says something contradictory, the governmental legislative and enforcement communities are provided different evidentiary elements to pursue.
Any inconsistency in the messages sent by any responsible member of the e cigarette community to the general public generates avenues that government regulations might pursue.
E cigarette is one Airline Passenger’s Choice
Even an action by an e cigarette user on an airline flight generated negative publicity for the e cigarette. Although the actions of the passenger subsequent to his being requested to extinguish the e cigarette were the reason for his “eviction” from the airplane, people tend to recall only the passenger’s presumed attitude toward being told to extinguish the e cigarette.
Currently, the trend of the airline industry is prohibiting the use of e cigarettes on flights, just as it limits cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Given the closed environment and the necessity of recirculating air, it is doubtful that the airline industry would reverse the decision on e cigarette usage on flights.
Is the e cigarette community as a whole responsible for the actions of one passenger? No. Will this incident have a negative impact on the e cigarette community? Possibly, as it brings to the forefront the use of e cigarettes is restricted smoking areas, not just on an airliner.
Be aware of what is advertised, even if the advertiser is a competitor
One of the major arguments used by e cigarette manufactures is that no smoke is emitted, just a vapor. Based on this issue, any legislation which references smoke would theoretically not be applicable to e cigarettes’ use and e cigarette manufacturers.
However, by virtue of some e cigarette manufacturers’ advertising, this plus for e cigarettes appears to be negated. One e cigarette manufacturer is Green Smoke. Either an e cigarette is vapor producer, not smoke, or the e cigarette is a smoker, immaterial of the environmental impact the advertiser is attempting to convey. The e cigarette industry cannot be both.
By including smoke in advertising, whether it is actual smoking, or a sensation of smoking, or a simulation of smoking, or whatever a manufacturer wants to advertise, the product (namely e cigarette) may come under smoking bans —bans that the e cigarette industry seems to want to avoid.
Do e cigarettes emit smoke or a vapor? Many people not familiar with the distinction between smoke and vapor do not distinguish, nor would want there to be any distinction. Any appearance of smoking is enough.
What are the reasons for smoking bans and/or limitations? Do e cigarettes overcome them?
One of the most publicized reasons for smoking bans is second hand smoke. Since e cigarettes emit vapor instead of smoke, is there second hand vapor?
Another concern of the public, which eventually influences the legal process, is what the vapor emitted by e cigarette usage and what that vapor actually contains. If e cigarette vapor does not contain any traces of nicotine, then releasing test results that prove that might minimize restrictions on e cigarettes, as the environment would not be polluted by nicotine.
Smell emitted by burning tobacco or smoke from the user also generates negative comments. If there is no smoke, does the vapor have any odor? If e cigarettes generate any odor, then what might be pleasing to one person might be unpleasant to another. To minimize legal intervention, no odor in the vapor is be preferable
While the law limits additives in cigarettes to menthol, e cigarettes have no such restrictions. Although many might think additives enhance the vapor of e cigarettes, if such additives when added emit an aroma, albeit pleasant to many, it becomes an odor to others.
Certainly advertising serves the need of the e cigarette community to advance usage of its products. However, what might appear to be an innocuous advertising statement might become the club that governmental agencies trying to control the e cigarette industry need. It only takes one word to make a huge change in tenuous balance of the legal skirmish between the e cigarette manufacturers, e cigarette users, and the governmental intervention which a court might uphold.