journal news ban

Smoking ban in Rockland could soon include e-cigarettes

From The Journal News:

E-cigarettes may soon be prohibited anywhere in Rockland County where traditional smoking is banned.

County lawmakers held a public hearing Tuesday night to discuss whether to expand the county’s smoking restrictions to treat electronic cigarettes like traditional tobacco products. Westchester County made a similar move in June.

Legislator Aney Paul, D-Nanuet, who proposed the bill, said she’s alarmed by chemicals contained in the small, battery-powered vaporizers as well a dramatic increase in young people using e-cigarettes, or “vaping.”

“It’s dangerous for the kids,” said Paul, a nurse practitioner. “And it’s an environmental hazard.”

E-cigarettes have grown in popularity in recent years. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the number of teens who “vape” — inhaling the vapors created by heating liquid nicotine — tripled between 2013 and 2014.

Some smokers use e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking tobacco.

The bill would ban e-cigarettes in many of the areas already covered by the state’s 2003 Clean Indoor Air Act, including offices, restaurants, schools, sports facilities and county government buildings.

Violators of the ban could face $150 in fines for a first violation and $300 for each subsequent violation.

New York already bans sales of e-cigarettes to people under 18.

Katie Ruiz, a manager at Cloud99 Vapes in Nanuet, bristled at the proposed regulations, calling them “absurd.”

“They are two completely different things,” she said of the smokeless, odorless alternative to traditional lit cigarettes.

“We have people coming in every day who have been smoking for 20 or 40 years,” she said. “They’re able to quit because they vape.”

Read full story at the Journal News…

new york ecig users

NYC E-Cig Users – Last Chance to Speak Up!

What’s being proposed?  The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is proposing to amend Chapter 10 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York to: (1) reflect amendments to the Smoke-Free Air Act made by Local Law 152 of 2013 prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes in certain places; (2) facilitate enforcement of the Smoke-Free Air Act; and (3) repeal provisions that are out of date.

When and where is the Hearing? The Department will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule. The public hearing will take place at 10:00AM until 12:00PM on September 15, 2014. The hearing will be at
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Gotham Center, 42-09 28th Street, 14th Floor, Room 14-43
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132

How do I comment on the proposed rules? Anyone can comment on the proposed rules by:

Website. You can submit comments to the Department through the NYC rules Web site at http://rules.cityofnewyork.us.
Email. You can email written comments to resolutioncomments@health.nyc.gov.
• Mail. You can mail written comments to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of General Counsel, Gotham Center, 42-09 28th Street, 14th Floor, CN 31, Long Island City, New York 11101.
Fax. You can fax written comments to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of General Counsel, at (347) 396-6087.
By Speaking at the Hearing. Anyone who wants to comment on the proposed rule at the public hearing must sign up to speak. You can sign up before the hearing by calling Svetlana Burdeynik at (347) 396-6078/6116. You can also sign up in the hearing room before the hearing begins on September 15, 2014. You can speak for up to five minutes.
Is there a deadline to submit written comments? Yes, you must submit written comments by or before 5:00 p.m. on September 15, 2014.

Do you need assistance to participate in the Hearing? You must tell the Office of General Counsel if you need a reasonable accommodation of a disability at the Hearing. You must tell us if you need a sign language interpreter. You can tell us by mail at the address given above. You may also tell us by telephone at (347) 396-6078. You must tell us by September 2, 2014.

Can I review the comments made on the proposed rules? You can review the comments made online at http://rules.cityofnewyork.us/ on the proposed amendments by going to the website at http://rules.cityofnewyork.us/. All written comments and a summary of the oral comments received by DOHMH will be made available to the public within a reasonable period of time by the DOHMH Office of the General Counsel.

What authorizes the Department to make this rule? Section 1043 of the New York City Charter and sections 17-503, 17-504, 17-505, 17-506, 17-513, 17-513.3 and 17-513.4 of the New York City Administrative Code authorize the Department to make this proposed rule. This proposed rule was not included in the Department’s regulatory agenda for this fiscal year because Local Law 152 had not been enacted when the agenda was prepared.

Where can I find the Commission’s rules? The Department‘s rules are in Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York.

What rules govern the rulemaking process? The Department must meet the requirements of Section 1043 of the New York City Charter when creating or changing rules. This notice is made according to the requirements of Section 1043(b) of the City Charter.

Read the entire NYC Health Announcement here…

Capital New York: Ban on E-cigarettes takes effect today

From Capital New York:

New Yorkers are no longer allowed to smoke electronic cigarettes in any place where smoking regular cigarettes is prohibited, including bars, restaurants, offices, parks and beaches.

The amendment to the Smoke-Free Air Act, a 2002 law, takes effect today and means that electronic cigarettes are now treated the same as regular cigarettes.

The bill was one of the last signed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and was passed despite objections from some who claimed that electronic cigarettes help people quit smoking regular cigarettes.

Health commissioner Mary Bassett, a supporter of the bill, plans to travel to Wahington D.C. on Thursday to voice her support for federal oversight.

She will meet with health commissioners from other large cities and Sen. Dick Durbin to discuss how municipalities and the federal government can work together to regulate electronic cigarettes, a multi-billion dollar industry that is growing rapidly.

“E-cigarettes are unregulated and rapidly growing in popularity, despite their potential for addiction and unknown health risks,” Bassett told Capital on Monday. “New York City is proud to join other major cities in limiting the use of these products in places where conventional smoking is restricted.”

A first violation for the owner of an establishment comes with a fine of between $200 and $400. A person can be fined up to $100 for each violation.

Last month, Reuters reported that the advocacy group New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment asked the state Supreme Court to void the law, arguing the new legislation was in breach of the “one-subject rule” in both the state constitution and the city charter.

Whether that challenge is successful, there is a concerted effort among public officials to curb e-cigarette use. Local, state and federal officials have all warned that it is a dangerous product that is being marketed to children.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration proposed new rules that would for the first time allow the federal agency to regulate electronic cigarettes.

The new regulations require manufacturers of e-cigarettes to register with the F.D.A., and provide the agency with the product’s ingredients. The rules also ban the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco to anyone under 18 years old.

That is already law in New York State, but is important because it establishes a precedent for the F.D.A. to regulate the product, said Dr. Andrew Hyland, chair of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

Electronic cigarettes may not be as dangerous as regular cigarettes but that does not mean they are safe, he said, because they still emit cancer causing chemicals and could induce children to begin smoking.

“It’s a matter of a little poison versus a lot of poison,” Hyland said. “There is reason to be concerned particularly with how it is being marketed. I think the jury is still out on whether these things are good or bad for public health but those who say they are safe, that’s not the case. They may be safer when used to get off combustible cigarettes.”

Jack Burkhalter, director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Tobacco Cessation Program, recently said there are too many unknowns to accurately account for the health risks from an electronic cigarette.

“There is no one product — so it is impossible to determine whether any given e-cigarette is in fact safer than a conventional one, or safer than another brand of e-cigarette,” he said on a hospital blog.

Bassett applauded the F.D.A., saying the “proposed rule is an important first step towards protecting the next generation from a lifetime of nicotine addiction.”

“Despite posing potentially serious health risks, e-cigarettes have been accessible to youth and likely will continue to be marketed to appeal to children,” Bassett said.

Durbin, who will meet with Bassett on Thursday, blasted the F.D.A. for not going far enough. The rules do not prohibit flavored e-cigarettes, which public health experts say attract children.

“Shame on the FDA Faced with a responsibility to protect our children from an addiction to a product that can harm them, the FDA strained to create a political compromise,” Durbin said in a statement. “Prohibiting sales to kids but doing nothing to protect children from candy flavored marketing in children’s venues is an awful outcome. Parents across America lost their best ally in protecting their kids from this insidious product.”

The federal guidelines do not prohibit any state or city from taking further action, something many public health advocates would like to see.

“The most striking thing to me about these draft federal rules is, more than ever, the obligation is on state and local communities to do more work,” Hyland said. “It is going to be years before the [federal] rules get implemented … and if the tobacco manufacturers decide to sue, which they have a history of doing, we are looking at many years, which is why the state and communities have a renewed obligation.”

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who sponsored the 2011 law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, said she was pleased that the F.D.A. took this step but disappointed the agency did not go further.

“It must go further to protect young people, who are particularly vulnerable, against the potential health dangers flowing from e-cigarette use,” Rosenthal said in a statement. “Banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, such as bubble gum, cherry and chocolate and not allowing TV and radio advertisements are necessary to protect this country’s young people.”

Rosenthal is sponsoring one bill that would extend the protections of New York State’s Clean Indoor Air Act to include e-cigarettes, and another bill that would ban the sale of e-cigarette liquid.

“Since the F.D.A. does not expect its proposed regulations to take effect for at least one year, I intend to pass both my bills to ensure that New Yorkers are protected against any dangers associated with e-cigarette use,” Rosenthal said.

Read more from Capital New York

cnn fda

CNN – FDA Proposes Crackdown on E-Cigarettes

From CNN:

Hellohe Food and Drug Administration is making another attempt at regulating electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products.

On Thursday, the agency proposed rules that call for strict regulation of electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, water pipe tobacco and hookahs. Currently, only cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco come under the FDA’s regulatory authority.

When these recommendations are finalized following a 75-day public comment period, the age limit to buy the products is expected to be at least 18, although individual states could choose to set it higher.

Health warnings would also be required, and the sale of the products in vending machines would be prohibited. Initially, the only health warning required for e-cigarettes would be about the potential for addiction to nicotine.

Manufacturers would be required to register all their products and ingredients with the FDA. They would be able to market new products only after an FDA review, and they would need to provide scientific evidence before making any direct or implied claims of risk reduction associated with their product.

Companies would also no longer be allowed to give out free samples.

After the public comment period, and once the proposed rules are finalized, manufacturers will have 24 months to submit applications to allow their products to remain on the market or to submit new product applications.

E-cigarettes deliver nicotine to the user as a vapor. They are usually battery-operated and come with a replaceable cartridge that contains liquid nicotine. When heated, the liquid in the cartridge turns into a vapor that’s inhaled.

Most look like cigarettes, cigars or pipes, but some resemble pens or USB memory sticks. Because they have not been fully studied, the FDA says it’s unknown what health risks they pose, how much nicotine or other chemicals are actually being inhaled, or whether there is any benefit to using them.

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the percentage of high school students who reported ever using an e-cigarette more than doubled in one year, from 4.7% to 10% between 2011 and 2012.

As electronic cigarettes have increased in popularity, so have the number of related calls to poison control centers nationwide. According to a recent CDC report, poison control centers logged 215 calls involving e-cigarettes in February alone. Of those calls, 51% involved children.

“It’s really the wild, wild West out there,” said Margaret Hamburg, FDA commissioner. “Because e-cigarettes are increasingly in the marketplace. They’re coming in different sizes, shapes and flavors in terms of the nicotine in them, and there’s very worrisome data that show that young people in particular are starting to take up e-cigarettes, especially the flavored ones — and that might be a gateway to other harmful tobacco products.”

Hamburg said officials don’t know how many types are on the market, another reason why regulation is critical.

“We’re already conducting research and working with partners in the research community to better understand patterns of use of these e-cigarettes and to learn more about the way in which they work and the delivery of the nicotine through e-cigarettes. But until we can really regulate them, we can’t have all the information we need and we can’t take all the actions that we might want to, to be able to best address the public health issues associated with them.”

Miguel Martin, president of LogicTechnology Development — considered the second-largest electronic cigarette company in the U.S. — said he is encouraged by the FDA announcement.

“We look forward to being a part of this process and believe that science-based and responsible regulations are good for both adult consumers and responsible electronic cigarette manufacturers,” Martin said.

Logic opened its doors in 2010. The company has nine products on the market, both disposable and rechargeable, but no flavored nicotine products. Logic implemented rules a year ago similar to the ones the FDA has proposed.

“We support and have already implemented those steps to ensure that adult smokers are the audience and consumer base of our products,” Martin said. “We work with the retailers to ensure the product is sold to adult consumers of legal smoking age.”

Experts have said that e-cigarettes, if properly regulated, could help reduce the number of people who use conventional cigarettes and die of tobacco-related disease.

But a lot of unanswered questions remain, according to Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, one of 14 U.S. institutions conducting FDA-funded research on electronic cigarettes.

Nicotine is a drug, and poison experts say the concentrated liquid form used in e-cigarettes is highly toxic, even in small doses. It can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

“How concentrated is liquid nicotine? Are there impurities in it? Is it properly handled like a pesticide?” Eriksen asks. “Nicotine is a pesticide, fundamentally, and we take so many precautions about pesticides for our lawns and how to wear gloves. But what precautions do consumers take when they put the nicotine vials in? People treat it (liquid nicotine) as sugar when it’s a toxin.”

Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association, believes nicotine is highly addictive whether used in a regular cigarette or an e-cigarette.

So how safe are e-cigarettes? Hamburg said it’s buyer beware.

“We think that there’s a lot of information that needs to be understood about e-cigarettes and their use. We’re trying to help provide some of that information through research that we’re conducting,” she said.

“But we need the tools that regulation provides to be able to get critical new knowledge about e-cigarettes and to be able to put in place a framework that will protect the American public and potentially e-cigarette users, and really address the issues of what are the health consequences and what are the potential benefits.”

Hamburg believes these new rules will change the landscape.

If the FDA broadens its authority to regulate tobacco products, she said, it will make a major contribution to the health of Americans. But big changes could come slowly.

“It may be years before much regulation is imposed,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. “The lobbying at FDA and Congress will be intense.”

And some believe the FDA has already waited too long.

“It is inexcusable that it has taken the FDA and the Administration so long to act,” Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement. “This delay has had serious public health consequences as these unregulated tobacco products have been marketed using tactics and sweet flavors that appeal to kids, and their use has skyrocketed.

“The FDA and the Administration must now move as quickly as possible to finalize this rule.”

Read more from CNN….

kemp hannon ecigarettes

NY Senator Kemp Hannon Picks his Poison and Small Businesses Loses

Long Island Senator Kemp Hannon has taken it upon himself to make an all-out attack on electronic cigarettes. Not only has he partnered with Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal in banning the use of electronic cigarettes indoors, he has now made it a point to ban liquid nicotine as well. His new bill, S6939, seeks to prohibit the sale or provision of any quantity of electronic liquid. The ambiguous language of his newly introduced bill will have a detrimental effect on both the industry and the consumer. It is an unduly restrictive regulation that is based on unreliable statistics and a lack of adequate knowledge and understanding. This bill must be stopped immediately.

We encourage you to contact your local Senator and Assembly Member to express your outrage with this bill.

Tell New York Senator Kemp Hannon, we don’t need to  pass this bill

kemp hannon ecigarettes

New York Lawmaker seeks ban on e-cigarette liquids

From News12:

A state senator is calling for a ban on so-called e-liquids, the potent and often flavored liquids that are sold as refills for e-cigarettes.

State Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-6th District) is calling for the ban days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report showing that calls to poison control centers for incidents involving the substances have spiked.

The CDC says poison center calls rose 300 percent between 2010 and 2013, and many of the reported incidents involved children.

Sen. Hannon has introduced a bill banning the e-liquids because he feels that they need to be reviewed and scrutinized, more so than other tobacco or nicotine products.

Health officials say that while conventional cigarettes typically have a milligram of nicotine, an e-cigarette can have much more.

E-cigarette products are currently not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Read more from News12...

Read the entire bill here…

UPDATE:

Long Island Senator Kemp Hannon has taken it upon himself to make an all-out attack on electronic cigarettes. Not only has he partnered with Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal in banning the use of electronic cigarettes indoors, he has now made it a point to ban liquid nicotine as well. His new bill, S6939, seeks to prohibit the sale or provision of any quantity of electronic liquid. The ambiguous language of his newly introduced bill will have a detrimental effect on both the industry and the consumer. It is an unduly restrictive regulation that is based on unreliable statistics and a lack of adequate knowledge and understanding. This bill must be stopped immediately.

We encourage you to contact your local Senator and Assembly Member to express your outrage with this bill.

Tell New York Senator Kemp Hannon, we don’t need to  pass this bill

huffpo e-cigarettes

HuffPo: Liquid Death From E-Cigarettes? You’ve Got a Long Way to Go, Baby

From Huffington Post:

The latest volley in the furor over electronic cigarettes — products that heat liquid nicotine rather than burn leaf tobacco — is the new alarming data about poisoning. The National Poison Data System found that in 2013 there were 1,351 cases of poisoning from liquid nicotine. This is up 300-percent from last year, and the figures are predicted to double by next year. From The New York Times to Fox News to Forbes, there is a growing chorus of panic. According to the latter, now we know “the real risk” of e-cigarettes.

Not quite. The real issue is exposures compared with what?

According to the National Poison Data System, analgesics were the most common cause of exposures, with 322,016 in 2012, and cosmetics and personal care products came in second, with 218,269 exposures in 2012 (and amongst kids under 5, exposures caused by cosmetics and personal care product exposures is number one, with 162,2800 exposures in 2012).

Furthermore, the AAPCC reported 10,356 exposures to highly concentrated packets of laundry detergent in children 5 and under in 2013. The convenience of clean laundry is a bigger threat than accidental exposure to the liquid nicotine in e-cigarettes.

Even energy drinks with high levels of caffeine carry very similar risks. They report that last year poison centers received 3,028 reports of adverse effects from energy drinks. These, too, are unregulated by the FDA because, as the American Association of Poison Control Centers reports, “they are considered dietary supplements … and there is no limit to the amount of caffeine that can go in them.”

If, as predicted, e-cigarettes result in double the number of liquid nicotine exposures this year, they are still a very long way even from making it into the top 25.

There is broad agreement that e-cigarettes should be regulated. Packaging should be as safe as possible to minimize the risks of unintended, harmful exposures. The quality of nicotine should be carefully controlled, and toxins, carcinogens, and other contaminants minimized. Children and adolescents should be barred from purchasing this product, just like they are barred from buying alcohol and tobacco cigarettes.

But those are measures around which there is near-universal agreement. The battle is over whether regulation should effectively push them off the market. The attack on liquid nicotine is, in fact, an effort to suggest that even touching them represents a tremendous hazard and that these products have no place in our society.

We also need to ask ourselves why we don’t talk about other exposures with the same sense of alarm. The National Poison Data System report for 2012 suggests that if we want to fly into a frenzy based on incendiary data, e-cigarettes need to get in line. We would prevent more harm by launching a cosmetics-free campaign. After all, there is no great public health benefit to wearing makeup or coiffing our hair. Would there be anything lost if we banned energy drinks, which are often high in calories? We could fight poisoning and the obesity epidemic in one stroke.

If they were a purely recreational product with no potential public health benefit, we would set the bar for poisonings much lower. A child’s death is never just a statistic. But we have the potential to lose a great many current and future smokers if we take a zero-tolerance approach to these products. Some 400,000 Americans die each year from smoking-related causes. A billion deaths are predicted worldwide this century if the prevalence of smoking is not reduced.

The data on e-cigarettes is still uncertain and incomplete, but the weight of the published literature suggests that the vast majority of users are already smokers. Furthermore, e-cigarettes have already shown the potential to help people stop smoking, with the majority of studies finding that they work as well as, if not better than, things like nicotine gum and the patch.

An even better way to put the risks of e-cigarettes into perspective is to compare their risk of unintended harm to children with other public health measures that we accept in order to protect not just individual health but population health. Every year the CDC receives approximately 30,000 reports of adverse reactions to vaccines. Of these, 10 to 15 percent — between 3,000 and 4,500 cases — are considered serious, “resulting in permanent disability, hospitalization, life-threatening illnesses or death.”

We need to take a cold, hard look at the evidence now and keep our eyes trained on the data as we move forward so that we can understand the population effects of e-cigarettes. Those of us who have taken a cautious stand in support of e-cigarettes based on tobacco’s harvest of death need to be prepared to change our position based on the science. We must also be vigilant about efforts to distort data. That was the strategy of Big Tobacco. It shouldn’t be the strategy of public health.

Read more from Huffington Post:

UPDATE:

Long Island Senator Kemp Hannon has taken it upon himself to make an all-out attack on electronic cigarettes. Not only has he partnered with Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal in banning the use of electronic cigarettes indoors, he has now made it a point to ban liquid nicotine as well. His new bill, S6939, seeks to prohibit the sale or provision of any quantity of electronic liquid. The ambiguous language of his newly introduced bill will have a detrimental effect on both the industry and the consumer. It is an unduly restrictive regulation that is based on unreliable statistics and a lack of adequate knowledge and understanding. This bill must be stopped immediately.

We encourage you to contact your local Senator and Assembly Member to express your outrage with this bill.

Tell New York Senator Kemp Hannon, we don’t need to  pass this bill

examiner

5 Substances in your home more harmful than E-Cigarettes

From Examiner.com:

According the latest NPDS report which was published in 2012, there were 3,373,025 calls made nationally to poison control centers. Of those calls there were 2,275,141 human exposures and 66,440 animal exposures. 1,025,547 of those calls were for information only and 5,897 calls were confirmed as non-exposures.

The results of the report show The top five substance classes most frequently involved in all human exposures were analgesics (11.6%), cosmetics/personal care products (7.9%), household cleaning substances (7.2%), sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics (6.1%),and foreign bodies/toys/miscellaneous (4.1%). Electronic cigarette related calls were also recorded in the data gathered by the report, but the number of cases that were reported are not as severe as some news agencies are making them out to be.

Recently, there have been several news agencies reporting on the harmfulness of e-liquid, the nicotine laced liquid that is used in electronic cigarettes. On March 23, 2014, New York Times published a story that many in the electronic cigarette community feel is a blatant attack on the e-cigarette industry. The article, filled with contradictory statistics, tells about children getting sick from ingesting nicotine and even a story of one man injecting himself with nicotine in order to commit suicide. Matt Richtel, author of the article, would have his readers believe that liquid nicotine is the most dangerous substance known to man; however, the most recent report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Data System (NPDS) tells a different story.

According the latest NPDS report which was published in 2012, there were 3,373,025 calls made nationally to poison control centers. Of those calls there were 2,275,141 human exposures and 66,440 animal exposures. 1,025,547 of those calls were for information only and 5,897 calls were confirmed as non-exposures.

The results of the report show The top five substance classes most frequently involved in all human exposures were analgesics (11.6%), cosmetics/personal care products (7.9%), household cleaning substances (7.2%), sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics (6.1%),and foreign bodies/toys/miscellaneous (4.1%). Electronic cigarette related calls were also recorded in the data gathered by the report, but the number of cases that were reported are not as severe as some news agencies are making them out to be.

The total number of calls to poison control regarding electronic cigarettes was 459. Of those calls, 447 were related to the e-cigarette device and/or cartridge containing nicotine while 12 of those calls were made regarding nicotine liquid. In relation to the total number of calls that were recorded in the report this data concludes that not even 1% (.01%) of the total calls recorded were electronic cigarette related.

Also mentioned in the report is tobacco related products which many people have replaced with e-cigarettes. The number of calls reported for tobacco products was 8,200. Of those 8,200 calls, 5881 were related to cigarettes, and 1 death was recorded from exposure to cigarettes.

Still, these numbers pale in comparison to the number of analgesics, cosmetics/personal care products, household cleaning substances, sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics, and foreign bodies/toys/miscellaneous calls that are recorded in the report. The majority of calls that were made to poison control centers were related to children under the age of 5 which points out the real problem we have in America. People are not keeping harmful substances out of reach of their children.

On March 25, USA Today reported a warning that was issued by the American Association of Poison Control Centers for parents to keep liquid nicotine out of reach of children. The group has reported an increase in the number of calls regarding liquid nicotine, and says there have been 651 calls reported through March 24 of this year. There are no reports being made on the number of analgesics related calls that are being received for this year which clearly is the most major exposure America is dealing with right now.

It is clear that the electronic cigarette industry is growing as the number of people who have reported being able to quit smoking conventional cigarettes by using e-cigarettes has increased. It should therefore be no surprise that the number of reported cases of exposure to nicotine liquid have increased as well. The same could be said of any product where there is an increase in use. For example, if there was an increase in the number of people buying swimming pools, we would surely see reports of increased exposure to swimming pool water chemicals.

The bottom line is, it is great to warn parents who make it a habit of leaving harmful substances around their small children of the dangers of nicotine liquid, but to use the power and authority that news outlets have in attempt to blatantly scare consumers away from a product that has helped countless people quit smoking, is wrong. Evidence shows that a bottle of nicotine liquid poses far less of a risk to exposure compared to an analgesic product such as Tylenol, and any harmful substance can only do harm to children if parents act irresponsibly by leaving it sitting around for their children to have access to it.

Read more from Examiner.com

UPDATE:

Long Island Senator Kemp Hannon has taken it upon himself to make an all-out attack on electronic cigarettes. Not only has he partnered with Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal in banning the use of electronic cigarettes indoors, he has now made it a point to ban liquid nicotine as well. His new bill, S6939, seeks to prohibit the sale or provision of any quantity of electronic liquid. The ambiguous language of his newly introduced bill will have a detrimental effect on both the industry and the consumer. It is an unduly restrictive regulation that is based on unreliable statistics and a lack of adequate knowledge and understanding. This bill must be stopped immediately.

We encourage you to contact your local Senator and Assembly Member to express your outrage with this bill.

Tell New York Senator Kemp Hannon, we don’t need to  pass this bill

Forbes Editorial by Gilbert Ross M.D., Executive Director of the American Council on Science and Health" title="American Council on Science and Health Weighs in On NYC E-Cig Ban">forbes will drive smokers back

Forbes Editorial by Gilbert Ross M.D., Executive Director of the American Council on Science and Health

There is no reason to question why soon-to-be-former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has once again sic’d his attack dog of a Health Commissioner, Tom Farley, on another innocent victim: electronic cigarettes (e-cigs). As Edmund Hilary said, “Because it’s there” is enough of a reason, and because Bloomberg has decided the devices might possibly pollute — not the air, certainly (more about that later), but his “legacy.”

As we all know, The Mayor is responsible for all the good things that have occurred in our City over the past dozen years, including the truly marvelous (decline in smoking rates) and the borderline (the Disney-fication of Times Square). But let’s not forget all those other health miracles he tried to foist on our unsuspecting populace: the “large-sized” soda ban, the soda tax, and now this inane effort to render e-cigs obsolete before their time.

A few months ago, a rumor spread that the Mayor’s new tobacco-control program was going to illegalize e-cigs, or ban them all aside from those that contained no nicotine. Note that since supplying the addictive drug nicotine is the main point of helping addicted smokers to kick cigarettes by using e-cigs (“vaping”), allowing impotent e-cigs on the market while banning the effective ones seemed perverse to many. Thankfully, that proposal died before birth.

Or did it? A few weeks ago, a new tobacco program was sent down from on high, raising the age limit for purchasing tobacco products to a new U.S. record, twenty-one — including e-cigs of course, but otherwise avoiding them entirely. That is, until the day before Thanksgiving, when suddenly a new City Council measure was slated for discussion only a few days hence, on Dec. 4th: the plan was to ban e-cigs everywhere real ones were excluded, invoking the “Smoke-free Air Act” (another feather in the Bloombergian chapeau). A spirited hearing before the Health Committee ensued (at which I testified).

Although it seemed quite clear that vapor is not smoke, Health Commissar Farley continued to insist that he and his troopers would have trouble distinguishing vapers from smokers, so out in the cold they should all go. He also asserted that to protect innocent bystanders from toxic “second-hand vapor,” e-cigs vapors must be confined to the outdoors: “We just don’t know what’s in it,” he said. To which I responded, “Yes, we do.” At least two well-done scientific publications have evaluated the contents of e-cig vapor and have found nothing to be concerned about: not for bystanders, and highly likely not for vapers themselves.

Yet, the measure refuses to die. It will come up for a City Council vote on this Wednesday the 18th at high noon, having been rushed through the normal deliberative process, which as anyone who has worked with the NYC bureaucracy knows, usually takes about ten times the length this measure has experienced. If it passes, however, Bloomberg-Farley will not be able to look back upon this as another health benefit for our city’s smokers. Rather, they will be held to account when many ex-smokers relapse to the real thing by being forced back into proximity to the toxic, deadly cigarettes they thought they had finally escaped from.

Listen up, e-cig haters: vapor is not smoke, and the “Smoke-free Air Act” should not apply to them. This irresponsible “leadership” is fading away, but will it disappear in time to save e-cigarettes? Let’s hope so.

Gilbert Ross, M.D. is the Medical and Executive Director of the American Council on Science and Health.

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Time:

From Time:

Regulations of electronic cigarettes are expected to be a top priority for states and cities in 2014. But some of the new laws being considered — bans on use in public places like restaurants and bars, and high sin taxes — are based on the assumption that electronic cigarettes, battery powered devices that produce a nicotine vapor, are exactly like the real thing. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, the thinking goes, it must be a duck.

But it isn’t that simple, say e-cigarette makers, and if policy makers overreach, they’ll face a fight with e-cigarette smokers and manufacturers who say it’s irrational to treat electronic cigarettes like regular cigarettes, and that the laws, which might dissuade smokers from switching to a safer product, may even be bad for public health.

“I’m looking forward to federal regulation. But each state doing its own thing in absence of a federal framework, I think is a mistake,” says Miguel Martin, the president of LOGIC Technology, an electronic cigarette maker in New Jersey.

It seems like every week another city or state has a new electronic cigarette rule under consideration. Utah, North Dakota and New Jersey ban using electronic cigarettes in public places like bars and restaurants. New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles are considering similar bans. Maryland’s Prince George’s county, a suburb of Washington, has agreed to hold off on a ban pending the results of a study on the risks. Proponents of such bans say second-hand vapor might be harmful and that electronic cigarettes glamorize smoking at a time when anti-smoking advocates have largely succeeded in stigmatizing it.

Minnesota is the only state that taxes electronic cigarettes (at 95% of their wholesale price), but industry insiders say they expect electronic cigarette taxes to proliferate in 2014. Utah, Oklahoma, and Hawaii have tried and failed to impose taxes on electronic cigarettes. Lawmakers in South Carolina and Oregon have also considered electronic cigarette taxes, making them likely candidates to continue the debate next year.

The flurry of state regulation has started without any guidance from the federal government — the FDA, which missed a deadline to start the regulatory process in October, says it will announce its intention to regulate electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product in December, kicking off a regulatory process that will take months.

E-cigarette makers say the patchwork of state laws without a federal framework will result in an unintelligent approach to electronic cigarettes that could lead to unintended consequences.

LOGIC’s Martin, a former executive for tobacco giant Phillip Morris, says that absent federal regulation, state taxes would punish retailers who check ID and create incentives for people to buy electronic cigarettes over the Internet, where ID isn’t as easily verified. LOGIC prohibits sales to customers under 18. “There’s a knee jerk reaction to tax. It has cigarette in the name, ‘I don’t know what the thing is, let’s treat it like a cigarette.’ What if science turns out to show that there’s a health benefit to using e-cigarettes over cigarettes and you have a financial disincentive to use them?” he says.

Craig Weiss, the CEO of the Arizona-based manufacturer NJOY, agrees. “If you make it just as inconvenient and expensive to smoke an electronic cigarette as a Marlboro, people are going to keep smoking Marlboros. Is that really the unintended consequence they want? To keep them smoking? Because that is what they are doing and we know the consequence of that is people are going to die a painful and early death.”

In response, some advocates of regulation in the public health community say it doesn’t make sense to subject non-smokers to any kind of fine particle pollution, even though there is wide agreement that e-cigarettes are much less toxic than traditional cigarettes.

Stanton Glantz, a professor at the University of California San Francisco medical school and a leading expert on the effects of secondhand tobacco smoke, says electronic cigarette vapor still emits harmful fine particles in the air. “If you look at absolute levels of risk [of electronic cigarettes], they are pretty bad, because a cigarette is just ridiculously toxic and ridiculously polluting,” he said in a September TIME story. “If you go into a bar or casino where there is a lot of smoking, the only way to get the air that polluted outdoors is to be downwind from a large forest fire. If you say an electronic cigarette is only 10% to 20% less polluting than a massive forest fire, that’s not so good.”

State and city regulations are likely to see major push-back from the electronic cigarette industry and e-cigarette smokers, many of whom believe that electronic cigarettes have helped them quit smoking. “If states get this wrong, if they [incorrectly] tax electronic cigarettes, you are going to see a lot of litigation” from e-cigarette companies, says Christian Berkey, CEO and founder of Johnson Creek in Wisconsin, the largest producer of the liquid used in electronic cigarettes. Berkey says that electronic cigarettes have not produced any proven public health costs that justify taxing them the way regular cigarettes are taxed.

States are also likely to face challenges from grassroots protesters and some members of the public health community who’ve become excited about the prospect that electronic cigarettes could provide safer alternative to smoking that is actually popular with smokers. Roughly 1,000 people protested at the Hawaii legislature when it considered a tax on electronic cigarettes in 2012, a measure that eventually failed. And electronic cigarette smokers — many of whom call themselves “vapers”— puffed on their electronic cigarettes at a New York City council hearing to protest a public use ban in December. In a recent op-ed in the New York Times cautioning against over-regulation of electronic cigarettes, professors Amy Fairchild and James Colgrove of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public health wrote: “If e-cigarettes can reduce, even slightly, the blight of six million tobacco-related deaths a year, trying to force them out of sight is counterproductive.”

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You can fight the New York City E-Cigarette ban here…