The American Consumer Institute Releases a Study on the Health Impact of E-Cigarettes and their Regulations

Authors Express Concerns Regarding the Impact on Public Health

WASHINGTON – Today, the American Consumer Institute released a new report – “Are E-Cigarette Regulations Jeopardizing the Public Health?” – that reviews the evidence from policy and health studies, as well as the impact of recent legislative and regulatory decisions to curtail, ban and tax e-cigarette products.

In merely a decade, e-cigarettes have gone from fringe novelties to mainstream products used by millions of Americans. In response to rising teen use and a rash of vaping deaths, many policymakers have been openly hostile to e-cigarettes, casting them as dangerous gateways to tobacco smoking, and imposing burdensome taxes, regulations and outright bans meant to mitigate this perceived public health threat.

This report debunks common misunderstandings about e-cigarettes and highlights its untapped potential to mitigate the harm done by combustible tobacco products. The findings of this report include:

  • There is overwhelming evidence that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than combustible cigarettes;
  • They constitute one of the most common and effective cessation aids available to smokers;
  • Some empirical evidence finds underage vaping by nonsmokers to be infrequent, which supports the correlation between the rise in vaping and the decline smoking, although government-sponsored health advertisements may actually be heightening teen curiosity and increasing use; and
  • Overzealous or poorly designed restrictions on vaping, combined with misleading information about e-cigarettes’ true health risks, are deterring smokers from pursuing a potentially life-saving alternative.

Too often, policymakers act without carefully weighing the costs and benefits of their actions. While some targeted regulatory actions to discourage non-smoking teens from taking up vaping are justified and no nicotine product is totally safe, the demonization of e-cigarettes in the U.S. is counterproductive. Knee-jerk opposition to these products, often fueled by misleading information, curbs their use as a smoking cessation aid by millions of adults. The report finds that the potential public health benefits from e-cigarettes are substantial and could prolong the lives of millions of consumers, but only if e-cigarettes were part of  a tobacco harm reduction strategy.

The report is available online.

The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational and research institute. For more information visit www.TheAmericanConsumer.Org