If you read the worldwide press you might get the impression that all electronic cigarette manufacturers and retailers are wholeheartedly against any form of regulation and any medical trials. The industry has been painted as the devil incarnate and unfortunately the voices of doom are so loud that very often the facts about electronic cigarettes are not heard and not appreciated.
It would also be very easy to get the impression that electronic cigarettes are in some way a “wild West market” in that there are no regulations, they are not covered by any laws and it is basically just a free for all. The reality is very different because the industry is still covered by standard product quality laws, sales regulations, etc. The introduction of light touch regulation could actually be a godsend for many in the electric cigarette industry and now we will tell you why.
Low quality products cast a dark shadow
Over the last few months there has been a lot of focus upon “low quality” electronic cigarettes currently on the market. In many ways these low quality products have cast a very dark shadow over the rest of the sector leading to a form of guilt by association. The fact is that leading, reliable and responsible electronic cigarette manufacturers and retailers spend a lot of money constantly testing their products and developing their ranges.
There have been instances of some of these low grade products containing an array of unexpected materials which has caught the attention of the worldwide mass media. Unfortunately, the more reliable and high quality product manufacturers and retailers have not always had the chance to reply to these accusations and, as we suggested above, have suffered from a form of guilt by association. The introduction of new regulations, new restrictions and quality control testing will filter out the low quality products from the market and leave only the best products available to the consumer.
Confidence is the key
Confidence is the key with any new retail market and with speculation continuing to focus upon low quality products, the confidence in electronic cigarettes is maybe not as high as it should be. Light touch regulation will cast a brighter light over the sector itself and give consumers the confidence to know that these products are regularly tested and manufactured to the highest quality. Indeed, the introduction of medical trials in the future is something which no responsible electronic cigarette manufacturer or retailer would argue against. Everyone wants to see a level playing field, to see rumours and untruths tackled and ultimately the offer of a quality product.
Over the next few weeks and months we could see some major shifts on the regulatory front which will answer many of the questions potential electronic cigarette users have on their minds. It will be the same facts and figures which the electronic cigarette industry has been highlighting but coming from an unconnected third party it will obviously carry more weight. The European Parliament recently decided against introducing further restrictions for electronic cigarettes, to the cheer of electronic cigarette users, and we await with anticipation the forthcoming announcement from the Food and Drug Administration in America.
It is to the benefit of all parties to see low-grade, low quality and potentially dangerous electronic cigarettes eliminated from the industry. It will also allow responsible electronic cigarette manufacturers and retailers to highlight the significant investment in the manufacturing and testing of their products on an ongoing basis. Those involved in the electronic cigarette industry have only been asking for a level playing field where reasoned and balanced debates can be carried out without undue influence from biased third parties. Sometimes the real story from the electronic cigarette industry goes unheard because of the deafening cries from those with a very different agenda. Perhaps, once the regulatory issue has been addressed, we can then have a reasoned and balanced debate about the pros and cons of electronic cigarettes?Mark Benson
Mark Benson is a contributing author for Spinfuel eMagazine. His continuing columns will bring a level headed approach to the dynamics involved in realizing a positive future for the e-cigarette industry. For more information on electronic cigarettes and the various products available please visit the OKCigs website.