The US electronic-cigarette industry has tripled sales due to the help of TV ads, NASCAR sponsorships, and products giveaways, which has led to a $1.5 billion industry. However, the Food and Drug Administration may threaten this success. The FDA is set to decide whether to lump e-cigarettes in with the conventional $90 billion U.S. tobacco market. This ruling could set up greater restrictions on the product, advertising, flavorings and online sales. Greater restrictions could harm e-cigarette companies because it would diminish the notion that e-cigarettes are a healthy substitute for tobacco product. E-cigarettes could experience to restrictions like banned TV advertisements and severed ties with NASCAR. Another restriction that e-cigarette companies could face is not being able to hand out samples. The potential restrictions e-cigarette companies could face might lead to a decline in its market.
Another problem the industry faces is the alarming number of children getting hooked on nicotine. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that the share of U.S students in middle school and high school who use e-cigarettes doubled to 10% in 2012 from 4.7% in 2011. In comparison, regular cigarettes use by adolescents has declined from 8.3% in 2010 from 11.9% in 2004. With the lack of information about the healthiness of e-cigarettes, government officials are trying to gather more information in order to better make decisions on controlling e-cigarettes.
With the growth of society being health conscious, the implications of the FDA could affect e-cigarettes’ advertising and the healthy substitute for tobacco products. It will be interesting to see how FDA rules and how these potential restriction affects the e-cigarette market.