As millions of people worldwide continue to switch to electronic cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking, it is the responsibility of e-cigarette business owners, manufacturers and sellers to educate themselves on the best ways to produce and sell reliable e-cig products as well as to educate their customers. In fact, while still largely unregulated, the domestic market grows, further reinforcing the need for e-cig business owners to take the initiative to responsibly market and distribute their products to the masses. “At the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), a non-profit trade association dedicating to helping and informing e-cig business owners, we provide guidelines for members so that the industry operates in a sensible manner,” said Cynthia Cabrera, SFATA Executive Director. “Our organization encourages e-cig brands to implement marketing campaigns geared solely toward adults respecting established smoking bans and encouraging the production of reliable and innovative products that consumers can rely on.”
While learning about e-cigarettes, it is important to understand how vastly different they are from traditional cigarettes. In fact, although they look similar and almost possess the same name, they are extremely different. One is an electronic device that produces no combustion, no smoke and instead releases almost odor-free vaporized liquid. In addition, e-cigarettes do not contain combustible tobacco or the nearly 4,000 toxic chemicals found in traditional cigarettes that are known to cause serious health risks.
Most consumers are using e-cigs as a nicotine delivery system, but an often-overlooked fact is that most brands offer e-cigarettes with zero nicotine, containing .primarily food flavorings, vegetable glycerin and/or propylene glycol – similar to hookah machines.
With the popularity of e-cigarettes, more e-cig brands have entered the market and products are readily available at local retail shops and gas stations across America. But with more popularity, comes more scrutiny and the uninformed. Lou Maiellano, e-cigarette expert and advocate, suggests why and how business owners can best educate themselves on the industry and then turn around and promote that same education to others. “…I believe that it is critical for retailers and distributors to consider the challenges facing the [e-cig] product and product category and find ways to get smarter and to get involved,” Maiellano said.
Consumers and business owners should understand that the e-cigarette industry is complex and fairly new. When you hear someone say that e-cigarettes are just as harmful or bad for users as traditional cigarettes, direct them to the scientific research. “A study was just released by Professor Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health, confirming that chemicals in e-cigarettes pose no health concern for users or bystanders,” Maiellano noted. “This is the first definitive study of e-cigarette chemistry and it finds that there are no health concerns based on generally accepted exposure limits.”
The study conducted by Professor Igor Burstyn revealed the levels of contaminants e-cigarette users are exposed to are insignificant, far below levels that would pose any health risk. With this in mind, it is important that e-cigarette advocates position this information in the best manner possible. “No one has to make health claims, everyone should focus on the amazing research readily available” Cabrera explained.
Overall, it is important to educate the public using facts and scientific research; if electronic cigarette users and sellers do just that, the electronic cigarette industry will have a much better chance to thrive and exist responsibly.