April 2, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

California legislature proposes to protect nonsmokers from e-cigarettes (just like cigarettes): SB 648 is a good idea

E-cigarette company v2cigs.com is trying to mobilize opposition to SB648, a bill in the California legislature that, quite sensibly, would protects innocent bystanders from  e-cigarettes the same way that California protects them from cigarettes.

According to V2cigs, the bill “declares that the use of electronic cigarettes is a hazard to the health of the general public”  and proposes to regulate e-cigs “to the same extent and in the same manner as cigarettes and other tobacco products.”   If passed, the bill would:

- Ban smoking within 25 feet of a playground, punishable by a $250 fine.
- Prohibit the use of e-cigs in enclosed places of employment, punishable by a fine of as much as $500.
- Prohibit the use of e-cigs on any railroad, bus or plane that provides departures from the state of California
- Force landlords to prohibit the use of e-cigs on their rental property, including any exterior areas (balconies, patios, walkways, etc.)

As noted before, while e-cigarettes are not a polluting as (massively polluting) conventional cigarettes, there was still elevated levels of acetic acid, acetone, isoprene, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, averaging around 20% of what the conventional cigarette put into the air.

This is yet another example of how the e-cigarette companies are trying to have it both ways:  They argue that they are cigarettes to avoid FDA regulation and argue that they are not cigarettes when it comes to things like nonsmoker protections.

This bill is good public policy.

 

Comments

Comment: 

Stan,
I agree with your that the e-cig manufacturers have confused things by arguing on the one hand that e-cigs should be regulated as tobacco products while at the same time opposing efforts the be regulated as other tobacco products. they obviously cannot have it both ways.
My opinion is that E-cigs that contain nicotine ought to be regulated as medical devices, much like medicinal nicotine drugs.
However, until the companies concede this position, or the FDA clarifies how the products should be regulated, I support the position you've advocated for California.
Mike

Comment: 

<STRONG;Sounds like the rantings of a mechanical engineer!</strong; What intrinsic scientific or medical proof is there to validate this crap? I haven't seen a shred of evidence that this is the case. This is nothing more than because it looks like smoking then the zealots have to jump on this fast - so that their programme of the denormalization of smokers can continue unabated. Persecution alive and well in the lunatic asylum known as California. JJ

Comment: 

I have yet to encounter credible evidence that e-cigs harm bystanders.&nbsp; Or the smoker themselves for that matter.&nbsp; I doubt they produce even nearly as much toxicant as your average car, and nobody is talking about banning those. I think we should avoid taking an inappropriate&nbsp;'moral' stand over, what is primarily, a health issue.&nbsp; Let's help people out of their dangerous addiction to cigarettes without getting all holier-than-thou about it.

Comment: 

I normally do not post anonymous comments, but this one is worth responding to because it is <EM;exactly</em; the same argument that the cigarette companies (and their front groups) used against&nbsp;laws ending smoking conventional cigarettes indoors. The question is whether people who are using a device that delivers an addictive and toxic drug -- nictotine -- have a right to pollute the indoor air that nonsmokers are also forced to breathe. All the experience to date is that nicotine addicts have adapted to smokefree zones without any adverse impacts, so there is no reason to reintroduce these toxins into the indoor air. By the way, in response to the comparisons with outdoor pollution that the cigarette companies and their surrogates raised, people started comparing indoor and outdoor air. It turns out that the pollution levels indoors where people are smoking conventional cigarettes are generally higher than outdoors ... unless you are measuring air quality near a forest fire.

Comment: 

Whenever someone refers to me as&nbsp;a "mechanical engineer" I know that, digging deep enough, one will&nbsp;find tobacco interests.&nbsp; For the record, my undergraduate degree is in aerospace engineering, not mechanical engineering.

Comment: 

Actually, harm to bystanders is orthogonal from regulation.&nbsp;If the product became a FDA regulated drug delivery device, that would not remove the need for protecting bystanders from its pollution.
Jon Krueger
&nbsp;

Comment: 

I am an e-cig user and an employee of big tobacco.&nbsp; Having broken my addiction to cigarettes and nicotine (I use a 0 nicotine e-liquid), I am grateful for this product.&nbsp; I am very concerned, however, about the long term effects of inhaling the rather lengthy list of ingredients posted at my e-cig suppliers web-site.&nbsp; I applaud your efforts to flush out the facts through legitimate science and am hopeful that exposure studies do not reveal I have replaced one unhealthy addiction with another.

Comment: 

Why don't you do your research, others have and look at what it says. In one such studt in the inhalation toxicology journal it states for all byproducts measured, electronic cigarettes produce very small exposures relative to tobacco cigarettes. The study indicates no apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions based on the compounds analyzed. So stop fear mongring and allow people to use these devices to quit smoking in peace.
Source:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23033998" title="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23033998";http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Comment: 

The http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23033998" target="_blank";MCAulty paper you cite concludes (on page 855, second column, 11 lines from the top) that “neither vapor from e-liquids A-D, or<strong; cigarette smoke</strong; (F) analytes posed a condition of ‘Significant Risk’ of harm to human health via the inhalation route of exposure.”
How can you take a paper seriously that claims that cigarette smoke does not pose "significant risk" to people?&nbsp;
The failure to find a significant risk from conventional smoking means that you can't believe their conclusion that e-cigs are not risky.

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