Restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes

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Citing Health Concerns the American Cancer Society Calls for Action

The New York State Assembly health committee is expected to vote on a bill to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes or e cigarettes. E cigarettes are a growing phenomenon with advertisements becoming more and more common on the Internet. The American Cancer Society is in full support of this effort to halt the sale of these products in New York.

«There is no scientific evidence that e cigarettes are a safe substitute for traditional cigarettes or an effective smoking cessation tool,» said Russ Sciandra, American Cancer Society New York State Director of Advocacy. «In fact, they may entice young people into trying traditional cigarettes. We also have questions about the safety of these devices. In lab tests, the FDA found some samples contain carcinogens and other toxic chemicals. Using e cigarettes can be like trading one deadly behavior for another.»

Electronic cigarettes or «e cigarettes» are battery operated devices that allow the user to inhale a vapor produced from cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. E cigarette companies promote them as both alternatives to traditional cigarettes and tobacco cessation tools.

What are E Cigarettes?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), e cigarettes are combination drug device products designed to deliver nicotine or other substances to a user in the form of a vapor.1 FDA does not consider e cigarettes to be tobacco products.

E cigarettes are not traditional cigarettes. They are typically composed of a rechargeable, battery operated heating element, a replaceable cartridge that may contain nicotine or other chemicals, and an atomizer that uses heat to convert the contents of the cartridge into a vapor, which is then inhaled by the user.

Some e cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug.

Safety and Cessation Concerns

There is currently no scientific evidence about the safety of e cigarettes. In initial lab tests, FDA found detectable levels of carcinogens (nitrosamines) and toxic chemicals, including an ingredient used in anti freeze, in two brands of e cigarettes and numerous cartridges.

FDA determined that users could potentially be exposed to these chemicals.4 This contradicts manufacturers claims5,6,7 that their products are safe alternatives to tobacco.

E cigarettes have not been approved by the FDA for use in smoking cessation. No evidence exists to show they help people quit smoking.

More research on e cigarettes is needed to determine what ingredients they contain, how they are being used, and what effect they have on users.

Marketing and Youth Access Concerns

Despite the fact that e cigarettes have not been shown to be effective tobacco cessation tools and are not FDA approved, some distributors are marketing them for smoking cessation.

In one study, FDA found that some e cigarette cartridges claiming not to contain nicotine actually did.

Government agencies and medical organizations, such as the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have also expressed concern that electronic cigarettes could increase nicotine addiction and tobacco use in young people.

E cigarettes are often made to resemble cigarettes and available in flavors that may appeal to youth. E cigarettes may also lead youth to try traditional cigarettes or other tobacco products, which are known to cause disease and premature death.

Many nicotine refill bottles or cartridges are not adequately packaged to prevent children s access or accidental ingestion of toxic amounts of nicotine.

Additional Resources

ACS CAN Fact Sheet on E Cigarettes >>>
News Federal Judge Ruling on Electronic Cigarettes a Missed Opportunity >>>
News E Cigarettes Contain Toxins >>>
Memo of Support Pass NY A1468 to Ban the Sale of E Cigarettes >>>

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About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation s largest non governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1 800 227 2345 or visit

The city crackdown on e-cigarettes continues in los angeles — businessweek

Cities aren t waiting for the Food and Drug Administration to decide how strongly to regulate e cigarettes.

As early as next week Los Angeles could be the third major U.S. city to restrict vaping in a host of public spaces, making e cigs just as inconvenient as regular ones. New York City approved a similar change in December, and Chicago followed suit in January.

A Los Angeles city council committee approved a draft ordinance (PDF) on Monday that broadens the definition of smoking in existing city codes to include e cigarettes, a move that would automatically prohibit use anywhere regular smoking is banned. That covers nearly every form of public space, including bars, restaurants, workplaces, farmers markets, beaches, parks, and city golf courses. As the Los Angeles Times notes, the proposed ordinance would create an exception for vaping lounges, where customers go specifically to try out different e smoking tobacco and devices.

The Los Angeles city attorney s office says more than 40 cities and counties in the state have made similar changes to include e smoking in their bans. City level bans were very effective in reducing the smoking of regular cigarettes, when local legislation covering secondhand smoke rippled up to the states. Smoking became socially isolating, reserved largely for private homes.

As Megan McArdle wrote in a recent cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek, federal regulation is on the horizon, too, as the FDA decides if e cigs are a safer alternative to regular smokes or an unhealthy gateway that will create more smokers. In the lengthy preamble to the Los Angeles ordinance, lawmakers make clear where they fall on that debate E cig vapors have not been scientifically proven as safe, they write, and public consumption could reverse the progress that has been made in establishing the social norm that smoking is not permissible.


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