September 19, 2014 • Volume 24, Issue 33
Can the electronic devices curb tobacco use?
By Jane Friedman


Jessica Tryon (AP Photo/Chattanooga Tmes Free Press/Dan Henry)
Store manager Jessica Tryon puffs an e-cigarette at Sweet Creek Vapors in East Ridge, Tenn. At least 3 million Americans now use the electronic devices, which deliver nicotine in a vapor but do not burn tobacco. (AP Photo/Chattanooga Tmes Free Press/Dan Henry)

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.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Smoking and the Tobacco Industry
May 10, 2019  E-Cigarette Dilemma
Sep. 19, 2014  E-Cigarettes
Dec. 10, 2004  Tobacco Industry Updated
Nov. 12, 1999  Closing In on Tobacco
Dec. 01, 1995  Teens and Tobacco
Sep. 30, 1994  Regulating Tobacco
Dec. 04, 1992  Crackdown on Smoking
Sep. 21, 1990  Tobacco Industry: on the Defensive, but Still Strong
Mar. 24, 1989  Who Smokes, Who Starts—and Why
Oct. 05, 1984  Tobacco Under Siege
Jan. 21, 1977  Anti-Smoking Campaign
Nov. 24, 1967  Regulation of the Cigarette Industry
Nov. 14, 1962  Smoking and Health
Consumer Protection and Product Liability