Banning E-Cigs For Users Under 18
Banning E-Cigs For Users Under 18
Contrary to what some might believe, the UK smoking ban does not actually apply to E-cigarettes… though potential users under the age of 18 are soon to be banned from using them in light of a new law announced by the government in January.
According to this law, it would be illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy electronic cigarettes (or for anyone selling the devices to sell them to anyone in this age bracket). Government officials also said that they plan to make it illegal for adults to buy the devices for younger users.
Of course, this ban hasn’t come as much of a surprise… and to be completely honest, it was probably a law that needed to be passed. Proponents of E-cig legislation generally seem to agree that there are two basic reasons for why electronic cigarettes should be closely legislated.
First of all, they say that there is not sufficient evidence to show that they are, in fact, as safe as E-cig manufacturers claim them to be. And second, they claim that they may ‘normalize’ the idea of smoking in the eyes of young people. The United Kingdom is actually currently enjoying the lowest smoking rates of all time… and the major idea driving E-cig opposition seems to be that people are afraid that the devices could cause young people to be more likely to smoke the real thing.
Of course, many would call this a stretch… and perhaps this is rightfully so. Keeping nicotine products out of the hands of those under the age of 18 is perfectly understandable, and even a good idea. But to go as far as to suggest that E-cigs should be regulated as harshly as cigarettes just because they are similar to cigarettes is an idea that is a bit harder to swallow.
The fact remains that nicotine is an addictive substance… but it is also a fact that E-cigs are safer, cleaner, and much less dangerous than cigarettes. In fact, there has not really been any solid evidence to support the fact that E-cigs are dangerous at all. Some health professionals have even said that E-cigs may end up saving millions of lives by becoming a suitable alternative to regular cigarettes.
Of course, electronic cigarettes cannot technically be advertised as a nicotine replacement product at this point… though that does not keep millions of ex-smokers from buying electronic cigarette products every year as an alternative to tobacco products.
In the end, banning E-cig use among those under the age of 18 seems to be a healthy and thoughtful move… and even though it is pretty safe to say that E-cigs are a far cry from traditional cigarettes, the fact remains that they do contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance. Keeping kids away from nicotine is definitely a good idea, on many different levels. In fact, many E-cig manufacturers openly support this ban.
E-cigs have definitely been causing legal waves in the UK, though similar discussians have been going on all around the world. Some countries have even passed harsh restrictions on them. France, for example, has issued a ban on E-cigs that mirrors their existing ban on tobacco-filled cigarettes. Australia is another country with strict laws against the devices. Since E-cigs have not yet been approved in Australia, they are completely banned at this point.
The vast majority of countries, however, are not going to such legal extremes. Many countries allow vaping, and most of them do not even have strict rules passed to govern E-cig sale or usage. In the US, for example, the advertisement, sale, and usage of E-cigs is completely legal on a federal level, though there are a few states who have passed a few restrictions further of their own on the devices.