There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes, which now seem as cool as if they were elegantly held by Audrey Hepburn, are a great tool for smokers to kick the nicotine habit.
Those who use e-cigarettes have the ability to draw down their dependence on nicotine without breathing in chemicals or smelling like the set of the television series Mad Men.
Essentially, the only evidence the battery-operated device is anything like a traditional cigarette is the small puff of vapour that smokers inhale.
Sounds pretty good — smokers can still get their oral fixation by holding the device like a regular cigarette while getting a small hit of nicotine without the harmful add-ons.
Still, there is worry that the e-cigarettes will catch on with kids. In the U.S., for example, the Food and Drug Administration is being urged to regulate the devices in the same way it regulates tobacco products. A letter signed by 40 attorneys general say e-cigarettes are being marketed to children through cartoon-like advertising and by offering candy flavours. The point that gets missed, says the letter, is that nicotine is highly addictive and e-cigarettes can deliver high doses of the potent drug.
In Canada, the worry is very similar after an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal raised concerns about hooking a new generation onto nicotine.
While it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes with nicotine in Canada, vials of nicotine can be purchased from the U.S. over the Internet — just like buying a book from Amazon.com.
Sure, Canadian border officials will seize shipments of the vials, but that’s only if they spot them.
What especially worries the journal is that e-cigs have become cool among youth, which, much like in the early days advertising decades ago, youth will more easily be sucked into nicotine addiction.
E-cigarettes must face the same regulations as a pack of du Maurier by ensuring flavoured nicotine is barred from Canada and their use is as inconvenient as if it were the real thing.
After all, it would be a shame if years of work to turn off youth from the nasty habit are thwarted by a device that, ironically, is used by many to quit smoking.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.