December 2, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Cotinine (a nicotine metabolite) found in "passive vapers" blood: Another reason to add e-cigs to clean indoor air laws

New York City is considering the sensible step of adding e-cigarettes into its smokefree law.  This makes sense because, as I have noted earlier, e-cigs pollute the air with exhaled nicotine, fine particles.

Even more important, there is direct human evidence that passive vapers absorb nicotine from secondhand exposure to e-cigarette aerosol at levels compariable to that found in people breathing secondhand smoke. (Here is the study.)

The policy issue is whether e-cig companies (which are more-and-more becoming cigarette companies) can force people who chose not to use their nicotine delivery products to suffer the consequences of absorbing secondhand nicotine (and other chemicals) into their bodies.

I say "no."  New York has cleaned up the indoor air.  There is no reason to allow it to be re-filled with nicotine and other toxic chemicals. 

Significantly, while there is a debate inside the health community about whether e-cigs could work for "harm reduction," I have not found a soul inside the big health groups who thinks that they should be allowed in otherwise smokefree environments.  I hope that the big health organizations like ACS, AHA, and ALA will act on that consensus and get behind the NYC bill.

The New York City Council should amend the law to include e-cigs.

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