States Making Decisions About E-Cigarettes as They Await FDA Regulations

A number of states are making their own decisions about regulating e-cigarettes, as they await the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rules about the devices. Four states have included e-cigarettes in indoor smoking bans, and more are considering following suit.

States are weighing questions including who should be able to use e-cigarettes, how they should be taxed, whether they should be subject to indoor smoking bans and whether they are tobacco products, The Washington Post reports.

Utah, North Dakota, Arkansas and New Jersey, as well as the District of Columbia, already include e-cigarettes in indoor smoking bans. California, Connecticut and Massachusetts are considering similar legislation. Nine states classify e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. California has restricted online advertising for e-cigarettes.

Seven states have passed laws that define the devices as something other than tobacco products, such as an “alternative nicotine product” or a “vapor product.”

Health advocacy groups including the American Lung Association want e-cigarettes to be classified as tobacco products. They say the devices, which use flavored vapors, are marketed toward children. E-cigarette makers want the devices to be seen as a safer alternative to cigarettes, which can be used to quit smoking altogether.

“Our goal as an industry is to distinguish ourselves from cigarettes, and there’s a very important reason that we want to be defined at the state level not as a tobacco product,” Eric Criss, President and Chief Executive of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Group, told the newspaper. “We believe the product is a good alternative, and the goal should be to move people down the risk ladder from cigarettes.”

The attorneys general of 41 states recently asked the FDA to issue regulations for e-cigarettes by the end of October. They said they want to ensure e-cigarette companies do not continue to sell or advertise to minors.

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    November 4, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Dear Carolyn, I applaud your efforts to quit the most addictive drug around. Becoming un-addicted to nicotine may well be the most difficult thing you ever do. As a trained tobacco cessation facilitator, I am going to encourage you, as I do all of those I work with, to dig a little deeper and quit for good- the manufacturers of these products have you right where they want you, still addicted and raking in the profits out of your pocketbook. You ask what is the difference between an e-cigarette and the patch and gum? Plenty. Patches/gum are meant to be used short term. Two years of using an e-cigarette doesn’t sound like a cessation aid to me, in fact, the research that’s coming out is not showing that e-cigs are helping more people to quit. Another difference between e-cigs and patches? The vapor. Yes, there is considerably less formaldehyde,acetaldehyde and acrolein in e cig vapor than cigarette smoke but there is actually more nickel and chromium in vapor. All the the chemicals I just mentioned are classified as carcinogens. The main chemical in vapor is propylene glycol, the major ingredient in antifreeze. Do we really need years of research to figure out that can’t be good for the lungs? The source of this information is the German Cancer Research Center. I will fight till my dying day to keep the air I breathe free of chemicals from other people’s devices, be it cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems)- an apt acronym if you ask me.

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    Carolyn Moore

    November 1, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    I use e cigarettes and have for almost two years now. I began my research into them over two years ago when I decided I needed to and wanted to quit smoking and all the other things didn’t work. Chantix made me have psychotic symptoms, the patch and the gum didn’t work. I tried counseling with the other methods and added exercise and a healthy diet and support from friends and family. The e cigarettes have worked and now I can’t stand regular cigarettes and it has been close to two years since I quit. I know I still am using the nicotine, the addictive substance that made it hard to quit in the first place, but presently I have so many other health issues and other emotional difficulties going on that giving up the nicotine was just too much to bear. I have, however, given up all the bad ingredients such as tar that cause cancer and I do feel so much better now. What is the difference between an e cigarette and the patch or gum which are also nicotine substitutes. There is a lot of political involvement in this controversy, plus someone is going to lose a lot of money and tax revenue from tobacco and then some people are really so anal about smoking that they just go way overboard. In all fairness to those of us that smoke and really want to quit and just have too hard of a time doing so, maybe everyone out there could be open-minded. No one ever seems to balk about alcohol this way and it causes a lot of deaths, a lot for teenagers also. A lot of people like to drink so they don’t want to bring up that subject do they?

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    October 30, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Ok so no one wants kids using the devices. Ok lets follow the logic of protecting kids so they absolutely can’t go wrong. Kids get their hands on alcohol, so lets start prohibition, they get their hands on drugs, so no more drugs for anyone, regular cigarettes have to go as well, and also a lot of otc cough and cold products they take to get high, gasoline is gone so no huffing gas. guns, gone we all know what can happen there. I could think up lots of other but I think you get the picture. Just be reasonable about the EVILS of e cigarettes, there really aren’t a lot of negatives.

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    Fr. Jack Kearney

    October 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Classifying electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product makes as much sense as classifying a Prius as an electric horse. If The American Lung Association is so concerned about children, why did they kill legislation in Rhode Island that would have banned sales of ecigs to minors? If they really care about children and smokers they would use science rather than politics and contributions from Big Pharma to guide their policy. Ecigs are proven to be relatively safe and a very effective way to help smokers quit, are not marketed to children, and should be handed out to smokers as one of the tools for smoking cessation.

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