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Cities viewing e-cigarettes in manner similar to tobacco

December 23, 2013
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Government agencies are having to decide whether increasingly popular e-cigarettes should be regulated in a manner similar to tobacco products, and a recent decision in New York City was met with strong approval by anti-tobacco advocates.

Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, last week praised the New York City Council for voting to include e-cigarettes in the city’s Smoke-Free Air Act, which significantly restricts smoking in public places.

“E-cigarettes are currently not regulated; manufacturers are not required to disclose what is in them or in their emissions; and there are important gaps in our knowledge of their impact on the health of users and non-users,” Myers said in a Dec. 19 statement, reflecting much of the health and advocacy communities’ lingering concern about the products.

Advocates are monitoring similar legislative moves regarding e-cigarettes that are now under consideration in Chicago and Los Angeles. Myers added of New York’s vote, “This new law builds on New York City’s strong and innovative efforts to fight tobacco use, which is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world.”