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- September 19, 2014
Can the electronic devices curb tobacco use?
  • Overview
  • Current Situation
  • Chronology
  • Pro/Con
  • More...
Featured Report

Electronic cigarettes have become hugely popular in the United States since their U.S. introduction in 2007. The devices, which currently are not regulated by the federal government, deliver nicotine, the addictive substance in conventional cigarettes, through a vapor, without burned tobacco's toxic tar and smoke. Advocates say e-cigarettes could free users from addiction to deadly cigarettes. About 42 million American adults smoke tobacco, and half of the heaviest users will die prematurely. But critics say e-cigarettes will entice many more Americans, including teenagers, to become hooked on tobacco. E-cigarette makers include not only small companies but also major tobacco companies such as Lorillard and Altria, which see the devices as a promising business opportunity as sales of conventional cigarettes soften. The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing more than 82,000 public comments on a proposal to regulate e-cigarettes, but it could be years before the rules go into effect.

Federal Regulations

The FDA is reviewing thousands of comments on its proposal to regulate e-cigarettes.

Local, State Regulations

Cities and states are adopting laws governing e-cigarette sales and use.

FDA Studies

The agency is researching how limiting nicotine levels affects addiction.

1900s–1940sSmoking becomes popular. By the 1940s, more than half of men and a third of women are smoking, with deadly effect.
1964–1984In the mid '60s, 42 percent of adult Americans are smokers. The surgeon general warns of the dangers of smoking.
1990s–2000The share of American adults who smoke falls from 26 percent to 23 percent.
2001-PresentEighteen percent of American adults smoke. Electronic cigarettes, which deliver nicotine as heated vapor rather than smoke, appear on the U.S. market.

Should flavored e-cigarettes be banned?


Matthew L. Myers
President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.


Amy L. Fairchild , David Sweanor
Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University; and. Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Ottawa.
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