A $2 billion market, sultry Jenny McCarthy ads, lounges dedicated to “vaping.”
Members of the Atlanta AHCJ chapter heard about these and other e-cigarette trends on May 21 from Michael Eriksen, Sc.D., dean of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, and Sonya Collins, an Atlanta freelancer who won a 2013 Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism for her article on e-cigarettes.
Their riveting talk touched on the rapid growth and youthful appeal of e-cigarettes.
Collins spoke about her experience in interviewing users at a vaping lounge. Many have started on e-cigarettes to quit their tobacco habit, she said.
Eriksen, who is leading research at Georgia State on the e-cigarette phenomenon, discussed the lack of regulation on these nicotine-laden products. E-cigarettes are less damaging to health than regular cigarettes, but the long-term effects are unknown, he said.
Big Tobacco has entered the market, Eriksen noted, and the billion-dollar industry is expected to grow exponentially. He foresees eventual regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes.
Studying the trend has been a fascinating experience, said Eriksen, who is a former director of the Office on Smoking and Health at the CDC.