The e-cigarette movement has been growing as of late, with vapers expanding the subculture surrounding the devices and modifications. Health professionals are taking notice, and the American Heart Association is issuing new policy guidelines. The easiest policy recommendation is banning the sale of the devices to minors.

Other recommendations, if implemented, will set the industry back. The AHA wants regulations put into place that strictly regulate the marketing of e-cigarettes and a ban of flavorings.

The American Heart Association (AHA) wants governments to use current smoke-free laws to get the job done. Dr. Elliott Antman, president of the AHA released a statement urging action. “They should be included in smoke-free laws. An important reason for this is it’s not clear if the vapor from electronic cigarettes is safe. We do know that nicotine can have harmful effects not only on the user of an electronic cigarette, but also those who are exposed to high concentrations of nicotine in the vapors if they are in an enclosed space.”

The e-cigarette industry is hitting back, saying their products offer a great health benefit. E-cigarette manufacturers point to the fact if a person switches from conventional cigarettes and they can drastically cut back their smoking habit. This ignores the modding community that takes the devices and modifies the output of nicotine.

Researchers have pointed out the rise of e-cigarettes and the vaper community has drastically altered the landscape of the tobacco-control. Scientists are pointing to the uptick in nicotine use, and say it leads to re-normalizing smoking behavior.

Studies are being commissioned to see how their use impacts cardiovascular health and stroke risk. It seems like a ban on the sale to minors will be easy to get. Expect pushback from the industry when it comes to marketing and flavorings. The tobacco industry is looking for any foothold it can retain, and this looks like its final stand.

The new AHA policy statement was published in the journal Circulation.


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