New York State Public Health Association
Memorandum in Support of S6562 / A8178
Include e-cigarettes in the Clean Indoor Air Act
E-cigarettes are battery operated devices most often designed to look like regular cigarettes that, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), allow users to inhale a vapor containing nicotine or other substances.[i] The vapor is produced by a cartridge, also inserted into the device, filled with nicotine and flavoring; cartridges are available in a variety of flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, cola, and even “gummy bear” that appeal to young people.[ii] [iii]These products are widely available in shopping malls and online.
The numbers of e-cigarettes sold has increased year by year exponentially. A prediction from Wells Fargo Securities estimated that e-cigarette margins would surpass conventional cigarette sales margins by 2017.[iv] According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the percentage of U.S. who reported ever using an e-cigarette rose from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10.00 percent in 2012…use also doubled among middle school students.”[v]
The New York State Public Health Association is very concerned about the recent increase in e-cigarette use and the lack of any regulation of these products. There is no evidence that show the vapors emitted by e-cigarettes are safe for non-users to inhale. Furthermore, preliminary research suggests that e-cigarettes are not emission-free and that they contain pollutants that could be of health concern for secondhand smokers as well as users by impairing indoor air quality.[vi] There are also concerns that e-cigarette use has the potential to re-normalize smoking behavior, sustain dual use (smoking tobacco and e-cigs), and initiate or maintain nicotine addiction.
As it relates to tobacco dependence treatment, the U.S. Public Health Service only recommends the seven therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as individual or group cessation counseling as effective ways to help smokers quit. Despite anecdotal reports, E-cigarettes have not been approved as a proven method to aid in smoking cessation.
Consequently, The New York State Public Health Association strongly supports S6562 / A8178 to amend the Clean Indoor Air Act to include E-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices.
[i] U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Warns of Health Risks Posed by E-Cigarettes.” July 23, 2009. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm173401.htm
[ii] V2: Learn about V2 Cigs: Flavors. “Specialty Flavors.” 2014. Available at: http://www.v2cigs.com/ecigs/electronic-cigarette-flavors.
[iv] Lopes, Marina. “E-Cigarettes: A burning question for U.S. regulators.” December 11, 2013. Reuters Edition: US. Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/11/us-usa-ecigarettes-idUSBRE9BA0ZT20131211.
[v] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012.” September 5, 2014. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0905-ecigarette-use.html.
[vi] Schober, W., et al., Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) impairs indoor air quality and increases FeNO levels of e-cigarette consumers. Int. J. Hyg. Environ. Health (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.11.003