FDA Commissioner: Tobacco Companies Need to Stop Kids From Vaping
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said this week that tobacco companies need to speed up their efforts to stop kids from using e-cigarettes.
Companies are struggling with the question of whether to allow employees to use e-cigarettes in the workplace, according to The Wall Street Journal. Employers want to encourage workers to quit smoking regular cigarettes, but are unsure about the benefits of letting employees use e-cigarettes, or “vape,” in the office.
Major corporations are taking a variety of approaches to e-cigarettes. Exxon Mobil allows vaping in smoking areas. CVS Caremark does not allow employees to use regular or e-cigarettes at its corporate campuses. While Starbucks bans e-cigarettes for both employees and customers, McDonald’s allows them. UPS requires employees who use e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes to pay higher health insurance premiums.
While 24 states and the District of Columbia ban workplace smoking, only New Jersey, Utah and North Dakota have added e-cigarettes to the laws, the article notes. Most of the 100 cities that ban e-cigarettes where regular cigarettes are already banned have not addressed the issue of vaping in the workplace.
The issue is complicated by the debate over the safety of e-cigarettes. While scientists largely agree that e-cigarettes produce fewer toxins than regular cigarettes, many public health officials and advocacy groups say secondhand vapor from the devices is a pollutant, and its health effects are not known.
The Food and Drug Administration may release recommendations about possible restrictions on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes in the next few weeks.