The increase in demand for electronic cigarettes around the world has sparked a new crisis in the sector. Leading companies in the industry have stepped up their lobbying efforts against steps to expand electronic cigarette bans in the US.
Lobby wars started for electronic cigarettes in the US
Steps are being taken to ban electronic cigarettes and reduce the interest of young people in the USA,at the same time, leading companies in the sector began to increase lobbying activities.
US Food and Drug Administration Officer Norman Sharpless, who met with Donald Trump at the Oval Office, gave the message that after the deaths allegedly caused by electronic cigarettes in the country, steps will be taken on the bans.
Trump said that electronic cigarettes are a new problem especially for children, that his administration will ban electronic cigarettes, and that he will put strong laws to protect innocent children, including his 13-year-old son, Barron.
“Mysterious disease that cost the lives of six people”
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between June 28 and August 20, 153 people who smoke electronic cigarettes in 16 states across the country suffered from a medically unexplained lung condition.
Later, it was announced that 6 people lost their lives due to 450 similar cases seen in 33 states.
Symptoms include respiratory failure, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting, whether the electronic cigarette device itself or the substances put into it is not yet known.
Mysterious lung disease in the US took another life
Real threat to young people
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) statistics, approximately 2,500 young people under the age of 18 meet every day in the country, and more than a thousand boys in this age category try smoking smokeless (heated) tobacco for the first time.
It is estimated that more than 2 million middle and high school students use electronic cigarettes and other electronic nicotine products.
According to data from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of adolescents using nicotine products in the US increased by 36 percent last year.
The spread of electronic cigarette devices is estimated to be effective in this increase.
On the other hand, The World Health Organization, describes electronic cigarettes as a “current and real threat”, a new market strategy based on the message of “harm reduction” by the tobacco sector.
Sector continues to grow
The value of the global electronic cigarette market was announced as $ 11 billion in 2018. The average tax revenue for a state is estimated at $ 32 million.
One of the most important factors in young people’s tendency towards electronic cigarettes is the introduction of cigarette.
According to the American Cancer Society’s Action Network, aromas make the harsh taste of tobacco and make electronic cigarettes more attractive to young people.
What do electronic cigarette manufacturers say?
Anti-cigarette campaigners argue that such devices are not as innocent as they appear and accustomed young people to smoking, while electronic cigarette manufacturers claim that the prohibition decision will lead consumers to more harmful normal cigarette consumption and will bring out the black market in this area.
According to US media reports, the Steam Technologies Association spent $ 78,000 for lobbying this year against a ban in California.
Altria, one of the world’s largest tobacco producers, has spent $ 100,000, and Reynolds American, who sells Vuse Alto e-cigarettes, has spent $ 240,000.
Altria, the investor of the Juul brand, which controls about three quarters of its electronic cigarettes in the US, gave $ 70,000 for social media and email campaigns only in spring.