By Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) More than 16 million children in the United States can buy electronic cigarettes legally, even though the devices are not safe for them, a new government report says.
The report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also found that hundreds of millions of Americans are not protected from indoor exposure to secondhand e cigarette aerosol.
This “aerosol is not harmless water vapor it can contain nicotine and other toxins,” Brian King, senior scientific advisor in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said in an agency news release.
Forty states forbid the sale of e cigarettes to minors, but 10 states and the District of Columbia do permit such sales. That means that more than 16 million youngsters 17 and younger can legally purchase the devices in those states, the researchers determined.
The latest data show that 4.5 percent of all high school students and 1.1 percent of all middle school students in the United States had used e cigarettes within the past 30 days, according to the report.
“We know e cigarettes are not safe for youth,” Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said in the news release.
While e cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) “may have the potential to benefit established adult smokers if used as a complete substitute for all smoked tobacco products, ENDS should not be used by youth and adult non tobacco users because of the harmful effects of nicotine and other risk exposures, as well as the risk for progression to other forms of tobacco use,” McAfee said.
Secondhand emissions from e cigarettes are another issue. Twenty six states and the District of Columbia ban smoking in restaurants, workplaces and bars, but only three of those states New Jersey, North Dakota and Utah also prohibit indoor use of e cigarettes, the report said.
That means that more than 300 million Americans, including 70 million children, are exposed to either secondhand smoke from cigarettes or aerosol from e cigarettes, according to the study in the Dec. 11 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the CDC.
“Exposure to nicotine can harm adolescent brain development and can be toxic to fetuses. The standard for protecting the health of children and bystanders should be clean air, free of toxic secondhand smoke as well as ENDS aerosol,” King said.
E cigarettes are marketed as a way to help people stop smoking, but there is no proof they actually improve smokers’ chances of long term quitting, the CDC said. Proven methods including counseling and medications.
Lawstuff australia – know your rights – – topics – cigarettes
It is against the law for anyone to sell cigarettes to you if you are under 18. This includes herbs and other things that are smoked, even if they do not contain tobacco. Anyone who sells cigarettes to someone under 18 can be heavily fined.
It is also against the law for someone else to buy cigarettes for you. Anyone who does can be fined.
Do I have to show ID?
You cannot be forced to show ID in a shop. But if you don t, the shop keeper probably won t sell you cigarettes. Valid ID includes
- a current drivers license or
- a valid proof of age card (including NSW Photo cards) or
- a current passport.
It is against the law to use a fake ID to buy cigarettes. You can be fined for doing so, and the police may confiscate the ID. For more information see our Fake ID page.
Can police confiscate my cigarettes if I am under 18?
If you are in a public place, the police can confiscate your cigarettes, or other smoking products (even if they don t contain tobacco) if they think you are under 18. You will probably be asked for ID first. Most places other than someone s house are public places. Anything confiscated from you will not be returned.
Where can I smoke?
In New South Wales, it s against the law to smoke in a smoke free area. Every enclosed public space is a smoke free area. Enclosed public places are places that are open to the public, have a roof, and are mostly surrounded by walls (even if there are doors or open passageways). This includes places you have to pay to enter (like a theatre).10
Some examples of places that are usually enclosed public places are
- Shopping centres
- Restaurants, cafes and dining areas
- Pubs, clubs and bars (except designated smoking areas)
- Schools, colleges and universities
- Community centres, halls and churches
- Theatres, libraries and galleries
- Public transport (buses, trains, trams, aeroplanes, taxis, ferries)
- Gyms and sporting facilities
Certain types of outdoor public places are also smoke free areas. These include
- Places near outdoor children s play equipment
- Swimming pool complexes
- Areas used for watching an organised sporting event (eg. a sports ground)
- Platforms at train or light rail stations
- Ferry wharves
- Light rail stops
- Bus stops
- Taxi ranks
- Near the entrance/exit of a building for pedestrians
If you are caught smoking in such a place, unless there was no simple way of knowing the place was a smoke free area, you may
- be fined $300 on the spot by the police
- be given a warning or
- be given a formal caution or
- choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $550 if convicted).
Can I smoke when wearing my school uniform?
Some schools have rules about how you can behave when wearing school uniform. If your school has these kinds of rules, you may get in trouble for smoking in school uniform. For more information, ask your school for information about its uniform and smoking policies.
It is up to the police whether to give you a warning or a formal caution, but you can always choose to go to court instead.
Can I smoke in a car?
You cannot smoke in a car if there is someone younger than 16 years old in the car. If you are driving a car with someone younger than 16 inside, and anyone smokes in the car, you are also breaking the law.
If you are caught doing either, you can
- be given a warning or
- be given a formal caution or
- be fined $250 on the spot by the police or
- choose to have the matter decided by a court (which may fine you up to $1,100 if convicted).
For information about cigarettes and your health see
Alternatively, if you would like more detailed advice or have a specific problem, you can send us a Lawmail.
You are welcome to copy and use this fact sheet.
The content of this page was last updated on 11 November 2014