Bill to combat e-cigarettes approved by New Jersey Assembly health committee

Monday, 23 November 2009 13:54

ecigarette100909_optLegislation proposed to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and include e-cigarettes in the state's Smoke Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces, was unanimously approved Monday by an Assembly panel.

Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), a co-sponsor, said she's concerned e-cigarettes are being marketed to children because they offer flavors like chocolate, banana and strawberry and could serve as a gateway to real cigarette use. "These are dangerous devices and I want to make sure our children are protected," she said. "I'm very concerned that young people who use these things will get hooked on the nicotine and eventually move onto the real thing, opening the door to a lifetime of expensive and debilitating health problems."

E-cigarettes look like the real thing but don't contain tobacco. They employ a metal tube with a battery that heats up a nicotine solution. Users breathe in the resulting vapor.

"Electronic cigarettes contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals, with one study even finding they use a toxic ingredient found in antifreeze," said Assemblywoman Joan Voss (D-Bergen), the other co-sponsor. "We have every reason to be worried about the safety of these products that are easy for youngsters to buy and also contain no health warning like you find on real cigarettes."

The merged legislation, A-4227/A-4228, was approved by the Health and Senior Services Committee and was sent to the full lower house for a possible floor vote. It would extend the state ban on the sale of tobacco products to those under 19 years of age to e-cigarettes and include e-cigarettes in the New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces.


Comments (1)
1 Thursday, 26 November 2009 12:30
I hold to the old notion that people should do a little research before opening their mouths in public, and certainly before arguing for policies with such deadly ramifications.

1. First these two assemblywomen should realize that smoking is so dangerous and so attractive for some people that we should support any potential escape routes, such as ecigarettes.
2. The one misrepreented study by the FDA that has been promoted as showing the danger in ecigarettes actually showed that they were hundreds of times safer than cigarettes.
3. Would the first assemblywoman like all the flavours removed from her products? All humans like flavours, not just children. Flavoured products attract adults.
4. Children will have a much harder time finding the money it takes to start ecigarettes rather than just stealing from their parents or borrowing from their friends. And currently these products are not sold to children just like tobacco products in general.
5. Why in the world would anyone hooked on a safe means of using nicotine move to a more dangerous version? Is this something the assemblywoman can imagine herself doing?
6. The worst thing of all is that these misguided and uninformed individuals are attempting to block what could make a real dent in the over 400,000 people who die from smoking every year.
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