In the last few years, the number of persons using e-cigarettes has increased significantly. These are thought of as low-risk alternatives as compared to regular cigarettes, however, granted not as high as other cigarettes; still there are carcinogenic and toxic substances present in that electronic cigarette vapor that are of serious health concerns. The safety of e-cigarettes is unrealistically propagated that leads to significant issues, one being; it’s observed that these are sold to young persons(less than 18 years old). In many countries such as the Northern Ireland Assembly legislation has been passed empowering their departments of health to make regulations to restrict vendors to sell nicotine-containing substances including e-cigarettes to over 18 years of age. The Department of Health has imposed a fine of up to £5000 to vendors not conforming to the regulation. Moreover, a vendor or business found to be continually selling e-cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products to minors can be given Restricted Sales Oder or a Restricted Premises order by the court preventing them from selling any kind of cigarettes for up to three years.

The prohibition of selling e-cigarettes to minors is universally seen as a harm reduction strategy, but a similar consensus does not exist for another type of prohibition. Recently, a proposed (and passed) complete ban on nicotine-inhaling products including e-cigarettes in public parks in Iowa State sparked some disagreement among the public representatives. The legislators in favor of the ban advocate that e-cigarettes despite the less amount still have harmful chemicals from which people in the public places need to be protected. On the other hand, members against the ban cite research that e-cigarettes are significantly safe as compared to regular cigarettes. A section of public health experts is also of the view that if similar restrictions are applied to e-cigarettes, it will send a wrong message to people that they are equally detrimental for health. It would deter smokers from adopting this less harmful option, which could be lifesaving from them. Further insight in the matter needs to be developed by wide-ranging deliberations among public health professionals and more vigorous research.

 

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