Analysts predict that the use of ecigs could overtake that of conventional cigarettes in as little as a decade’s time. The business grows, unregulated, at breakneck speed. Sales are doubling with each passing year and could touch $2 billion for this year.

The big players in this field know that they have a goldmine that can yield them potentially unending benefits; however, they are chary of government regulations and taxes that must inevitably follow once laws regarding the sale of ecigs can be codified and put in place. The FDA had plans to place the e-cigarette industry under the 2009 tobacco-control law and would have set things moving but for the unforseen government shutdown.

Given the nascent stage of the technology and the little research that exists on the effects of ecigs on health, we can expect a battle royale to brew between marketers on one side and activists on the other.

The industry is not wasting time and has already recruited lobbyists to educate people who matter, on the subject of e-cigarettes. This includes lawmakers, folks who sit on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House.

The way the business sees it, there is a choice between fostering the growth of a product that can help millions quit smoking or driving it underground.