Los Angeles Moves Forward with Progressive E-Cigarette Ban

It looks like the city of angels is the newest city to adopt a health-conscious ban on e-cigarettes in bars and nightclubs as well as parks and beaches.

Assuming the mayor signs it (and there is no reason to believe he won’t), this new ban could go into effect sometime in April.

Read the full story from LA Weekly here.

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New York Times Sheds Light on E-Cigarette Dangers

It seems that more and more people are waking up and asking questions pertaining to the actual safety of e-cigarette devices.

In a recent article in the New York times, the writer states:

“…the devices, like smokeless tobacco, reduce the incentive for people to quit nicotine and could also be a ‘gateway’ for young people and nonsmokers to become nicotine addicts.”

Those are two excellent points and we have discussed them already here on this site. The article also mentions and FDA warning which in summation says that “several chemicals in the vapor of e-cigarettes may be ‘harmful’ and ‘toxic.’ ”

We have received a lot of criticism recently via comments on our articles from people trying to dismiss us or even accuse us of being somehow associated with big tobacco companies. Have we ever encouraged the use of traditional tobacco? Certainly not.

We are not an authority like the Food & Drug Administration. We are simply a website that aims to get the whole story about e-cigarettes, not just the story propagated by their vendors. Despite the apparent desire by many to silence us, we will carry on. Especially now that respected new outlets such as the New York Times are exploring the facts of e-cigarettes and their potential hazards.

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Should E-Cigarettes be Allowed in Public Places?

Please note that the following article is a contribution of one of our readers and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of e-cigarettedangers.com.

Here in 2012, most of the country has realized that smoking is bad. States that allow any type of indoor smoking in public places are becoming more and more rare. Smoking has been banned on airplanes for quite some time now. Should e-cigarettes be treated similarly? In our opinion, definitely.

Despite the fact that e-cigarette makers claim that the “water vapor” emitted by their devices does no harm to people that are subjected to it (a claim still not verified by the FDA), it is undeniable that e-cigarettes send a bad message to children. Smoking anything is a negative habit and one that most reasonable people try to keep out of the lives of their children. If we allow people to smoke electronic cigarettes in restaurants, shopping malls, public parks, etc, won’t our message to the children become diluted?

It’s not like the makers of e-cigarettes package their products as if they are the habit-breaking miracle they advertise them to be. In fact, they try to make them look exactly like traditional cigarettes. The tips of them even light up or “glow” when the user inhales its vaporized liquid nicotine. The replacement packs are usually colored to look like the filters of actual cigarettes. Doesn’t it seem like smoking is being glorified?

Modern society has no need for people puffing away on every street corner. Employers don’t need their employees taking additional “smoke breaks” on company time. The smoking culture contributes little to nothing to our society. Why give it any wiggle room by allowing the users of electronic cigarettes to use and flaunt their devices wherever they please?

Not to mention it can be very frustrating for workers to enforce the non-smoking policies of their workplace when they are confused by electronic cigarette smokers, some of whom take pleasure in reminding them of the lack of regulation associated with e-cigarettes. Why not just ban them altogether?

My two cents.

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Idaho Moves Towards a Ban on the Sale of E-cigarettes to Minors

New legislation from Republican Bob Nonini has been approved to be introduced into the House Health & Welfare Committee in Boise, ID that would effectively prohibit the sale of E-cigarette devices to minors.

“It’s become quite a concern,” Nonini told the press.

Most reasonable individuals recognize that although they are not real cigarettes, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, and should not be available to minors. Furthermore, this implies that liquid nicotine itself is harmful (not to mention addictive) and therefore e-cigarettes should not be exempt from regulation, despite what the emerging market of vendors would have the public believe.

The committee plans to have a public hearing on the matter in order to determine what the next course of action will be.

Advocates of the proposed ban have also pointed out that it will send an important message to both kids and adults about smoking in general.

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“Could Be Worse than Regular Cigarettes”

In an interview with Dr. Jonathan Whiteson of NYU’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Wellness and Rehab program, Dr. Whiteson stresses how little credible information there is on the dangers of e-cigarettes and how he believes that he may even be more dangerous than smoking traditional cigarettes.

In the interview with CBS, Dr. Whiteson was asked bluntly, “Are they safe?” To which he responded, “We don’t know, but we don’t think so.”

“They are made in China. They’re unregulated. Certainly not approved by the FDA,” he added. “We don’t know the contents of the vapor. This has not been studied.”

Then, Dr. Whiteson was asked if he believed it may be possible that e-cigarettes could actually be more dangerous than smoking traditional cigarettes.

“It could be,” he stated. “We have no analysis of the vapor.”

So where exactly is the research that shows this “smokeless cigarette” is actually a safe alternative to smoking a regular old Marlboro cigarette? If it does exist, we are having a great deal of trouble finding it.

Click here to read the original interview.

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E-Cigarettes Banned for Minors

In what was an inevitable and sure to catch on move, the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health in Washington has officially outlawed the use of electronic cigarettes by minors. As a result of this new legislation, selling e-cigarette devices to minors will also be illegal.

We foresee other municipalities around the country following suit in the near future, for several reasons:

1) E-cigarettes have not been proven safe to use by any means by the FDA.

2) E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a controlled substance that should never be used by minors. It is also extremely addictive.

3) Allowing minors to use e-cigarettes would blur the lines and make it difficult for parents and law enforcement to stop minors from partaking in other regulated products such as cigarettes or cigars.

If you would like similar action taken in your city or state, we urge you to contact your respective government officials and let them know that you would like the children in your community to be protected.

Similar legislation has already been passed in Colorado and Arizona (HB 2203). When will the rest of the country catch up?

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Dangers of E-Cigarette Filters

There has been much talk lately about the possible dangers of the actual filters used in electronic cigarettes. The concern arises because many of these filters are made with polyester, which is highly toxic when burned. And, of course, many smokers of e-cigarettes have reported burning smells coming from their filters.

There is an excellent thread that elaborates in great detail on this problem at E-Cigarette forums. Click here to read it.

Of course, manufacturers of electronic cigarettes have made no effort to disclose what their filters are made out of, the chance of burning, the effects of the material burning, or anything of the sort that consumers obviously have a right to know about. As far as we know, they haven’t even bothered to conduct any research to find out.

Traditional filters were originally created as a way to decrease the harmful effects of smoking by reducing tar and other toxins created by cigarette smoke. No one is going to argue that cigarette filters save lives, but at least they do mitigate the risk to some degree, in traditional cigarettes. Could it be that e-cigarette filters actually increase the risk of health problems? Hopefully more light is shed on this in the future. And if they are actually as dangerous as some have speculated they may be, hopefully they will quickly work to find an alternative, instead of refuting the claims for as long as possible.

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UTC Student Investigates E-Cigarette Safety

Senior chemistry major Amy Balestrino at UTC (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) has been conducting thorough research on her own to determine the safety of e-cigarettes. At a time when the FDA seems reluctant and even apathetic when it comes to regulating these new nicotine delivery devices, brave students like Balestrino are taking it upon themselves to make a difference.

“People don’t even know what’s in them. They jump on the bandwagon without knowing anything,” a seemingly frustrated Balestrino stated.

According to most E-cigarette manufacturers, their products only contain two ingredients: propylene glycol and nicotine. However, Balestrino reported finding 2-butanol, which is a potentially harmful irritant. It is also flammable. She is planning to publish her findings by July of this year, at which time she will be unveiling them at a UTC symposium.

Also excited about Balestrino’s research is a man by the name of Jay Collum, who works as a control coordinator for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department. He is also in charge of tobacco education.

“I have no knowledge of any such e-cigarette regulation here, state or city,” said Collum. “With these things, you get your nicotine and you get it anytime you want to.”

Nicotine is, of course, highly addictive in any form.

As dire of a need as it may appear there is for regulation, the FDA seems in no hurry to act, despite the sort of evidence Balestrino and others are providing. A spokesman for the FDA, Jeff Ventura said, “Anyone in the regulatory world knows it’s going to take a while. There’s just not a lot of information out there about e-cigarettes one way or another.”

Right…isn’t that exactly why we should be regulating them in the first place? In any case, as more and more information becomes available “out there”, hopefully the FDA will run out of excuses and finally take action.

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Smoking E-Cigarettes = Privacy Risks?

If all of the unknown variables concerning the potential health impact of smoking e-cigarettes isn’t enough to alarm you, consider this: one brand of e-cigs is now making it so that people can find where you are when you smoke.

This new type of e-cigarette from Blu are being sold as “smart packs.” When someone uses them, they are alerted to anyone else using them within 50 feet by a flash-alarm/vibration, similar to what happens when your table is ready at a restaurant that uses paging devices.

If that isn’t already enough to concern you, you may also be surprised to learn that when these devices connect to each other, they also share information about their respective owner’s social networking profiles, such as Facebook or Twitter.

How much do you have to pay for this invasion of privacy? A whopping $80 for 5 of these “hi-tech” devices.

We’ll pass.

For more information, check out this article about Blu “smart packs.”

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FDA Says E-Cigs Contain Toxins

“…an FDA test of more than a dozen of the devices turned up cancer-causing ingredients and other toxins, including a key ingredient found in anti-freeze.”

The video also comments on the lack of quality control that exists where e-cigarettes are manufactured.

Lack of quality control and ingredients similar to anti-freeze? Doesn’t exactly sound like something you would want to put into your lungs.

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