June 3, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Stan Glantz debates Mike Siegel on e-cigs on KQED Forum

On Friday, May 31, 2013, I debated Mike Siegel about the merits of SB 648, a bill in the California legislature that would apply the same restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes that apply to conventional cigarettes/

This sensible bill passed the California Senate 21-10 on May 24 and is now in the Assembly.

The bill adds e-cigarettes to the existing state restrictions/prohibitions against the smoking of tobacco products. This includes state codes that prohibit smoking in places of employment and public buildings, within 20' of entrances to public buildings, school campuses, day care facilities, playgrounds & tot lots, retail food facilities, public transportation, and health facilities.

The bill would also add e-cigarettes to the existing prohibition against advertising of tobacco products in public buildings .

Mike's essential argument was that any restrictions on "life saving" e-cigarettes would discourage their use for smoking cessation.  I pointed one of the two good studies of the use of e-cigs for cessation found no effect and the other found that e-cig users were less likely to quit smoking than non-e-cig users  (details).

He also ignored the fact that SB 648 does not put any restrictions on the sale of e-cigs and would not keep people who think, despite the evidence to the contrary, that e-cigs would help them quit smoking from trying them.

You can listen to the the KQED Form segment here.



I hope that Mike is right and e-cigarettes will be "life-saving," but there is little beyond anecdotal evidence to support that notion now. And as distasteful as it may be to vaping advocates, the burden of proof is squarely on the shoulders of the manufacturers (e.g., Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds, which clearly have the resources to do the necessary research).  The sooner a deeming regulation and regulatory structure for e-cigarettes is devised by FDA, the better.  In the meantime, state and local efforts like SB 648 that treat e-cigarettes like cigarette are sensible rules needed to fill a regulatory vacuum. 
-Mark Gottlieb
Public Health Advocacy Institute at
Northeastern University School of Law


The FDA only regulates the product and marketing claims about the product.  The FDA has no jurisdiction over clean indoor air laws, which makes state and local regulations to protect "non-vapors" from secondhand e-cig emissions regardless of what the FDA does.

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