Tobacco Bans May Lead to E-Cigarette Boom
Recently, the state of Georgia enacted a ban on the use of “all tobacco products” on university campuses. It will take effect in the autumn 2014, just in time for the new school year , also CVS announced they will no longer carry tobacco products in their stores... but there’s a catch.
In many states, including Georgia, e-cigarettes aren’t considered a “tobacco product” -- which makes sense, since there’s some nicotine in vapor cigarettes, but no tar or other toxic tobacco chemicals. This suggests that college students who smoke cigarettes might be forced to switch to the healthier alternative.
Retailers in Georgia are voluntarily making the change. CVS, the pharmacy retail chain, has announced that its stores will stop selling tobacco products in the autumn of 2014. With “vaping lounges” gaining in popularity and more e-cigarette businesses
appearing, this isn’t a case of Big Brother’s pressure on smokers to stop altogether but more of a shift in smoking culture.
Of course, people want to be healthier but continue to enjoy their indulgences, and e-cigarettes offer that combination. Complete with a broad range of flavors
to suit any palate, but without many of the unnecessary risks associated with traditional cigarettes, the e-cig business is probably going to explode in Georgia.
This should be no surprise, considering the growing popularity of “smoking” vapor instead of burning tobacco across the U.S. in recent years. CVS has spoken up about its commitment to helping people live healthier lives and adds that “Removing tobacco will help grow the company’s business of working with doctors, hospitals, and other care providers to improve customers’ health.”
It’s expected that other popular pharmacy chains such as Rite Aid might follow in the footsteps of CVS. Legally in Georgia, drugstores can offer products which are dubbed “smoking alternative or cessation,” and e-cigarettes fit neatly into that category.
Many people find them “more enjoyable” than other options, such as nicotine gum, and some use them as a way to transition to nonsmoker status. CVS has stated that it’s looking forward to long-term revenue and a better brand by ditching the sale of cigarettes, and it has no plans to stop selling healthier e-cigarettes
in CVS outlets.
Currently, 31 school campuses across Georgia will experience the impact of the smoking ban this fall. The Peach State’s colleges will be joining more than 800 institutions around the country that have imposed their own zero-smoking policy. What’s strange is that, as of spring 2014, this will also include e-cigarettes in Georgia, but that may change.
It’s also rumored that CVS may change gears and include e-cigs in the company’s tobacco product ban, but the rumor may be more attributable to outside pressure than the company’s own plans with regard to the issue.
Some people see CVS bowing to the pressure as a hit to the e-cig industry, but it might just be a move to appease everyone. To be accurate, e-cigarettes contain no tobacco
and instead utilize “juices” that are essentially flavored liquids.
In some instances, these liquids contain zero nicotine and in others whatever nicotine is present exists at levels that are substantially lower than in traditional cigarettes. There’s no smoke and no burning with e-cigarettes, because an atomizer heats up the juices and transforms them into a vapor, not smoke.
Retailers such as CVS could opt to sell the liquid
alone, and not the actual e-cigarettes, which would be a compromise that might possibly satisfy everyone. Many e-smokers have a device of choice and definitely have taste preferences, which means all they require is a store that offers a broad selection of juices and flavors to suit their taste.
Whether weaning themselves of cigarettes or simply taking advantage of the healthier alternative, e-smokers in Georgia should enjoy an easier time come autumn when they choose to indulge their habit.
An alternative, not a swap
The e-cigarette industry in Georgia is poised to be in a prime position. It will be able to showcase the fact that it offers a nicotine-free (or at least lower nicotine) alternative during a significant transitional period. E-cigarettes aren’t just a swap for cigarettes or a substitution, but a move in a healthier direction for smokers and those around them.
Traditional cigarettes with tar, nicotine, and actual smoke cause 500,000 deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that another 42,000 people die annually from secondhand smoke.
Vaping has been compared to nicotine patches by members of the medical community and touted as a great way to stop smoking for those who will.
Many regard CVS’s move away from tobacco products is a smart one from a business standpoint, since the company seeks to align itself with healthier lifestyles. After all, it is a pharmacy.
However, CVS is also placing itself in a great position to profit handsomely by offering vaping products as an alternative for beleaguered tobacco smokers. Another option for entrepreneurs and small businesses would be to offer vaping lounges
close to college campuses, which would enable students to transition away from cigarettes or offer a healthier location to gather.
E-cigarettes are the new college staple
There’s no denying that many people pick up smoking
in high school or college; peer pressure and addiction are undeniably real. While it would have been best for addicted smokers never to have lit up in the first place, the next best thing is to enjoy a potential quitting tool that’s already much safer, such as e-cigarettes.
For people who don’t struggle with addiction, e-smoking is a great way to enjoy college life the way it should be: surrounded by great friends in a vaping lounge as a way to decompress between cramming sessions and mid-terms.
While the nation as a whole shifts toward a healthier lifestyle, it makes sense that e-cigarettes would play their role in the process. They can eliminate the necessity to grab a pack of traditional smokes and expose yourself and everyone around you to harmful toxins.
Instead, vaping has completely altered the game -- not just on college campuses but in every other facet of life. Being able to enjoy a harmless e-cigarette without bothering those around you (or endangering their health) is something you don’t need a college degree to appreciate.