Democrats introduce bill to ‘protect children’ from electronic cigarettes

BY Elizabeth Harrington Follow LizWFB
February 26, 2014 3 05 pm

Senate Democrats introduced legislation on Wednesday that would ban marketing electronic cigarettes to teens.

Despite their admission that the health implications of electronic cigarettes are not yet clear, Senators Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), Tom Harkin (D., Iowa), Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), and Edward Markey (D., Mass.) introduced the bill to protect children from the smoking simulators.

The Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act would authorize the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to determine what constitutes marketing e cigarettes to children, and would allow the FTC to work with states attorneys general to enforce the ban.

We cannot risk undoing decades of progress in reducing youth smoking by allowing e cigarette makers to target our kids, Boxer said in a statement. This bill will help protect our children from an industry that profits from addiction.

In a statement, Durbin decried fruit and candy flavors and glossy celebrity ads, while Harkin said electronic cigarettes advertising is Joe Camel all over again.

The statements were toned down from previous comments that accused actors and actresses who smoked e cigarettes at the Golden Globes of killing their fans.

Electronic cigarettes simulate smoking by using water vapor, nicotine, and other additives. A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study found nine contaminants in the water vapor of an electronic cigarette versus 11,000 in a tobacco cigarette.

Boxer s office said there is no way of knowing whether e cigarettes are harmful or not.

The health implications of using electronic cigarettes are not yet clear, and the Food and Drug Administration has warned that consumers of e cigarette products currently have no way of knowing if e cigarettes are safe for their intended use, or how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, the press release said.

The Democrats insist that electronic cigarettes are a gateway to actual cigarette smoking, though the product has become a popular method current smokers use to attempt to quit.

Many advertisements, such as this blu eCigs spot featuring Stephen Dorff, market electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool.

According to Dr. Michael Siegel, a physician and professor at Boston University s School of Public Health, electronic cigarettes are one of the most effective ways to stop smoking, aside from quitting cold turkey.

The thing about electronic cigarettes is they replace all the other aspects of smoking, Siegel told the Washington Free Beacon last fall. They look like cigarettes, they feel like cigarettes, you hold them, you see the vapor, there s a throat hit that you get. You can associate the same feelings with smoking.

Siegel says the government is intent on regulating on of the greatest innovations he has seen.

Here is an innovation that really adds something and instead of responding and saying, Wow this is an innovation that we didn t have, the medical community, scientific community is saying this is a danger, We have to get rid of these things, he said.

The Office of Management and Budget is currently reviewing a proposed rule from the FDA that would give the agency regulatory power over electronic cigarettes.

The FDA wants to require companies to register and pay fees, list the ingredients in their products, obtain prior approval for new products and restrict online sales, according to Reuters.

Harkin said the proposed legislation prohibiting marketing to children would complement the FDA s efforts and ultimately help prevent e cigarette manufacturers from targeting our children.

Minn. bills would treat e-cigarettes similar to standard smokes for regulatory purposes

ST. PAUL, Minn. Both sides in a debate over electronic cigarettes conceded Wednesday there’s scant scientific evidence about the health effects of the devices, but that might not stop efforts in the Minnesota Legislature to regulate them like traditional tobacco products.

A series of bills to keep tabs on the new «vaping» fad have been introduced, and one got its first airing in the House Health and Human Services Committee. It would explicitly bar e cigarettes in schools and give municipalities greater power to set sales parameters. A vote wasn’t planned before evening.

«We do know enough to know that risks are here, we just don’t know what they are,» said the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Laurie Halverson of Eagan.

About 200 shops have applied for licenses to sell the battery powered devices in Minnesota, with 80 percent of the requests coming in the last year, said Cap O’Rourke of the Independent Vapor Retailers of Minnesota.

The thin, cylindrical devices heat a liquid nicotine solution. Users inhale a vapor but they don’t emit the chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes. That’s so much the case that the committee’s chairwoman twice warned audience members suspected of «stealth vaping» in the hearing room to knock it off.

Industry officials argue e cigarettes pose a lower health risk than standard cigarettes and are often used as a transition tool for smokers looking to quit.

Still, public health advocates are worried. They fear e cigarettes are being marketed to children as a gateway to nicotine addiction, noting the fruity or candy flavored liquids and devices featuring cartoon characters on the stem.

«They are clever. They are attractive. They are a drug delivery system,» said Pat McKone, a tobacco control advocate at the American Lung Association in Minnesota. «The jury is out on e cigarettes, way out.»

State Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger said the inconsistent nature of the liquid concoctions being used to fuel the vapors is troubling. «There’s no way to tell what concentrations are being used,» he said.

The Food and Drug Administration is conducting studies on e cigarettes but has given no indication when findings will be ready. Republicans on the Minnesota committee suggested those urging regulations haven’t made a convincing case.

«I am concerned this is moving too fast without any scientific basis behind it,» said Rep. Nick Zerwas, R Elk River.

But Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL Rochester, said waiting for a conclusive verdict could subject others to involuntary exposure to the emissions in the meantime.

«Nobody is arguing we have the mountains of data that we have with tobacco,» Liebling said. «Nobody here is asking to ban these devices. No one is saying adults can’t use these devices in their homes, in their streets, in their friend’s houses.»

Another bill before the Legislature would classify e cigarettes under the state’s indoor air act, meaning they couldn’t be used in public buildings, restaurants or other establishments.


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  3. is, A. D. Laugesen, M. Eissenberg, T. (May 2011). "Electronic nicotine delivery systems a research agenda". Tobacco control 20 (3) 243 8. doi 10.1136/tc.2010.042168. PMC 3215262. PMID 21415064. "Electronic Cigarettes (e Cigarettes)". FDA. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2014. a b c d WHO. "Elec

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