Party in any Las Vegas nightclub, or most anywhere else in the city for that matter, and you’ll most likely be overcome with smoke. However, it’s now a crime now to light up, drink and eat in the same unenclosed area in Nevada bars. Bar owners claim this law hurts their business in already a down economy.
Now, a new trend is rapidly emerging that replaces tobacco cigarettes with faux ones, the battery operated kind whose nicotine can be inhaled anywhere, even in areas governed by “clean indoor air” laws.
Electronic or “E-cigarettes,” as they are called, are manufactured mostly in China, but now they are making rapid inroads in U.S. markets, and, yes, even in Las Vegas. E-Cig Technology in Las Vegas is one such distributor that even showed their cigs in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The electronic cigarette kits sell for approximately $80. Cartridges that are both refillable and replaceable are the business end of electronic cigarettes, which contain no tobacco and emit a harmless mist but no smoke. And the most popular cartridges are those that contain a variable, user dialed-in amount of nicotine, the drug craved by tobacco addicts.
The perceived advantage of e-cigarettes is that the hundreds of other harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke are not present.
Some brands resemble pens while others look almost like regular cigarettes. The main idea is to give tobacco smokers the sensation they’ve grown comfortable with- holding a cigarette between their fingers and inhaling every few seconds to achieve a nicotine high.
E-cigarettes are even packed with propylene glycol – the same chemical used in antifreeze – to simulate smoke, giving them a “lit” look.
Many habitual smokers are turning to the novel product as a way of either kicking or reducing their tobacco habit.
This is all well and good, if not for the fact that studies of e-cigarettes have never been completed in the U.S., either by private labs or by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In fact, the FDA has never even authorized e-cigarettes to be sold in the U.S., leading one FDA official to merely call them “unapproved drug device products.”
But that laissez faire attitude may change now that the U.S. Congress has passed tobacco bill legislation on June 12, giving the Food and Drug Administration for the first time authority to regulate what goes into tobacco products, demand changes and eliminate toxic substances and block the introduction of new smoking products.
Consumer groups that endorsed the new bill said that properly implementing the law can significantly reduce the 400,000 deaths and $100 billion in health care costs attributed every year to smoking.
About 45 million U.S. adults still smoke, despite years of warnings that tobacco causes lung cancer.