A Review of the History, Pharmacology, and Legal Regulation of Vaporizers and Vape Products

The SciTech Lawyer 16(4), 28 (2020).

5 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2021

See all articles by David Khey

David Khey

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Chase Edwards

University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Department of Economics and Finance

Hayden Griffin

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Date Written: July 1, 2020

Abstract

Vaping has gained incredible popularity in the United States and in the United Kingdom over the last decade. Likely, this is due to the confluence of certain conditions that, together, bolstered an environment conducive for explosive growth. These conditions include the long existence of vaporizer technology, the growth of the legal cannabis industry, the continued marketing efforts of the tobacco industry, intense marketing campaigns of alternative and safer nicotine delivery systems, and youth culture in a hyper-connected broadband/Internet era. Tangentially, emerging “gray market” industries that are largely unregulated or under-regulated have also contributed to a broader vape culture. This includes the manufacture of alternative cannabis products, such as cannabidiol (CBD), that have expanded wildly since the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. While the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the U.K. Home Office continue to create clear and comprehensive guidelines, a regulatory vacuum continues to exist in both countries allowing products to flourish in stores and online. Facets of the legal/illegal cannabis and CBD markets continue to exploit the broadening vape culture. In all, the following products are available in vape form: cannabis oil and other concentrates (e.g., wax, butter, “shatter,” or butane-extracted compounds—all containing THC), CBD and “cannabis alternatives,” nicotine and nicotine/ tobacco alternatives, and essential oils (or “herbal vape” products that can include “flavor” combinations such as jasmine, lime, and patchouli; orange, frankincense, and ylangylang; fennel, thyme, and vanilla). The following sections describe this emerging vaping trend in these ways: its history, the known and unknown pharmacology (including toxicity), legal considerations, and regulatory concerns. It does so while focusing on both the products of consumption (e.g., the vape “juice,” salts, or organic matter) as well as the devices used to produce the aerosol for their consumption.

Keywords: vaping, regulation, cannabis, public health, administrative law, FDA

JEL Classification: I18, I28, K32

Suggested Citation

Khey, David and Edwards, Chase and Griffin, Hayden, A Review of the History, Pharmacology, and Legal Regulation of Vaporizers and Vape Products (July 1, 2020). The SciTech Lawyer 16(4), 28 (2020)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3786265

David Khey

University of Louisiana at Lafayette ( email )

Lafayette, LA 70504
United States

Chase Edwards (Contact Author)

University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Lafayette, LA 70504
United States

Hayden Griffin

University of Alabama at Birmingham ( email )

Birmingham, AL 35294-4460
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
14
Abstract Views
126
PlumX Metrics