Regulations on e-cigarettes to take effect tuesday in new york « cbs new york

The New York ban along with a similar measure also taking effect Tuesday in Chicago, one that previously went into effect in Los Angeles and federal regulations proposed last week are keeping debate smoldering among public health officials, the e cigarette industry and users.

Proponents of the bans said they are aimed at preventing the re acceptance of smoking as a societal norm, particularly among teenagers who could see the tobacco free electronic cigarettes, with their candy like flavorings and celebrity endorsers, as a gateway to cancer causing tobacco products.

Dr. Thomas Farley, the New York City health commissioner under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said allowing electronic cigarettes in bars and restaurants would undermine existing bans on tobacco based products.

«Imagine for a moment you’re at a bar and there are 20 people who are puffing on something that looks like a cigarette and then somebody smells something that smells like tobacco smoke,» Farley says. «How’s the bartender going to know who to tap on the shoulder and say, ‘Put that out’?»

In Chicago, Department of Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair told WBBM TV, CBS 2 that regulation is needed because the health risks of e cigarettes are not fully known. A big concern is that e cigarettes may be a gateway drug for young people.

Bubble gum, candy, cotton candy those are really flavors that are very, very attractive to kids. And that s why we re concerned about them, Choucair said.

Makers of the devices said marketing them as e cigarettes has confused lawmakers into thinking they are the same as tobacco based cigarettes. They say the bans ostracize people who want an alternative to tobacco products and will be especially hard on ex smokers who are being lumped into the same smoking areas as tobacco users.

Their defenders also say they’re a good way to quit tobacco, even though science is murky on the claim.

Peter Denholtz, the chief executive and co founder of the Henley Vaporium, at 23 Cleveland Pl. in NoLITa, said electronic cigarettes «could be the greatest invention of our lifetime in terms of saving lives» by moving smokers away from traditional cigarettes.

«This law just discourages that,» he says.

Chris Jehly, a 31 year old Brooklyn resident, also defended the devices as a vehicle for quitting.

«The tougher they’re going to make it on vapers, the tougher it is people are going to find an actual vehicle for quitting or as a supplement to cigarettes,» Jehly said from his perch at the counter at Henley. «There’s no need for it. This is working so much better than patches or gum or prescription drugs.»

Robin Koval, chief executive of the anti smoking Legacy Foundation, said that while ingredients in electronic cigarettes are not as harmful as those in tobacco products, they are still a concern because they contain highly addictive nicotine. The National Institutes of Health said users could expose themselves to toxic levels of nicotine while refilling the devices or even use them to smoke other substances.

Since little evidence exists on the effect of the devices on smoking whether as an aid in quitting, a gateway for non smokers or a bridge to keep smokers hooked longer she said she favors a legislative approach that balances public health with the development of safer alternatives.

«The right way forward will be a way that promotes innovation that helps us do everything we possibly can to get combustible tobacco to be history,» Koval said. «We want a generation of Americans where, for them, cigarettes are a thing of the past an artifact like a roll of film or a rotary telephone.»

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Reduced ignition propensity cigarettes

The RIP Coalition is pleased to announce that it has achieved its goal to make reduced ignition propensity or «fire safer» cigarettes a legal requirement in the UK and European Union. From 17 November 2011 all cigarettes sold throughout the EU must conform to the new standard.

Members of the RIP Coalition have been campaigning for the new standard since 2007 to reduce the number of avoidable deaths and injuries resulting from fires started by cigarettes.

Cigarettes are the biggest cause of domestic fire deaths in the UK causing over 100 fatalities each year. In 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, smokers materials caused 2,814 fires and 101 deaths.

How do RIP cigarettes work?

A simple change in the design of cigarettes (two narrow bands of slightly thicker paper) greatly reduces the likelihood of unattended cigarettes continuing to burn, dramatically cutting the risk of fire. Tobacco companies could have introduced the change voluntarily but they refused. They even campaigned against laws that would bring in these «fire safer» cigarettes.

However, thanks to persistent lobbying by health and fire safety organisations, all cigarettes now sold in the EU are required to comply with the new fire safety standard.

In 2010, Finland became the first EU country to require fire safer cigarettes and the number of smoking related fire deaths fell by 40% in one year.

Click here to see the London Fire Brigade s press release


RIP Implementation update by Sir Ken Knight

Sir Ken Knight, Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor to the UK Government, has written to Deborah Arnott and the RIP coalition to provide an update on the RIP implementation later this year.

Download a pdf of the letter by clicking here.


RIP cigarettes for Europe before the end of 2011

The RIP Coalition understands that «fire safer cigarettes» should be in UK shops within the year. Negotiations at the European Union have been progressing well since the CEN, Europe s standard making body, published the standard and test method on 17th November 2010. Once the standard is referenced in the Official Journal of the European Union, which is usually 12 months after it is published, companies will be required to meet it. Therefore we expect the standard to be in force on or around 17th November, 2011.

European Committee for Standardization


RIP Law to cover entire US population

Eleven more US states now require all cigarettes sold to conform to the Reduced Ignition Propensity (RIP) standard, bringing the total to 43 states. Laws came into force on 1 January 2010 in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio and Missouri will all implement legislation during 2010, followed by South Dakota in January 2011 and Wyoming in July 2011. Wyoming became the 50 and last state to pass legislation to protect smokers and their families from the old style cigarettes, on 19 March 2010.

Cigarettes had been the number one cause of preventable fire deaths across the US until the State of New York became the first to implement RIP legislation in 2004 against fierce tobacco industry resistance. Canada was the first country to introduce RIP Cigarettes nationwide, while legislation in Australia came into force on 23 March 2010.

Tobacco manufacturers don’t sell firesafer cigarettes in the UK where cigarettes continue to be the largest cause of domestic fire deaths causing up to 3,000 fires per year. The European Union is currently developing a standard to be introduced across Europe, however Finland has introduced its own regulations from 1 April 2010.