Minors should not be allowed to purchase e cigarettes. On this point, vast majorities of legislators and the public agree. The bigger question is How should regulation about e cigarettes be put in place?

The Michigan Legislature is wrestling with this issue right now.

The simplest way to prohibit the sales of e cigarettes to minors is to classify e cigarettes as tobacco products. That would allow the state to regulate e cigarettes under existing tobacco related laws in Michigan that make sales to minors illegal.

Classifying e cigarettes as tobacco products is appropriate The liquid vaporized from an e cigarette includes extracts from tobacco leaves. That extract includes nicotine, the addictive substance that keeps users coming back for another vape. The extract has also been shown to contain substances found in tobacco such as nitrosamine, which is known to cause cancer.

&#x25A0 Related Pro/con E cigarettes aren’t tobacco, so don’t treat them like they are

In contrast, manufacturers of e cigarettes want e cigarettes to have their own air space within Michigan law, prohibiting sales of e cigarettes to minors and otherwise shielding these new products from applicable state tobacco laws. This approach may seem reasonable at first, as legislators address e cigarettes that the public widely perceives as threatening the health of young people.

However, separate regulations for e cigarettes are unnecessary. Writing special rules for e cigarettes unnecessarily complicates state law.

E cigarette manufacturers imply that their products are safe by contrasting them with the widely known health hazards of tobacco cigarettes. This is not reassuring. After all, the Michigan public understands that smoking tobacco is one of the worst health risks that anyone can take.

As a primary care physician and public health official, I am concerned that the long term health effects of e cigarettes are largely unknown. There is not a long enough track record to measure the long term impact of inhaling vapor that contains toxins. .

Proponents of e cigarettes claim that no one has died of vaping an e cigarette. Failing to find harm now, in the first few years that e cigarettes have been available, does not mean serious harm won t occur.

Supporters of e cigarettes also suggest they can help people quit smoking. Recent research indicates that vaping to quit smoking may be as effective as other approaches, such as nicotine patches, that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after extensive safety and effectiveness testing. But that s a key point E cigarettes have not undergone safety testing by the FDA.

Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Gail Haines, R Waterford, offers the Legislature the best road forward, which would classify e cigarettes as tobacco and thereby prohibit sales to minors. It is consistent with the approach to e cigarettes announced by the FDA in late April. However, the timetable for implementation of new FDA rules is uncertain. Therefore, it is imperative for Michigan to act on e cigarettes now, to protect minors in our communities.

Using existing tobacco laws to prevent e cigarette sales to minors is the right combination of efficient regulation and effective public health. The public should expect no less.

Pro/con: e-cigarettes aren’t tobacco, so don’t treat them like they are

Bbc advice cigarettes / tobacco

As the nation continues its fight against smoking the most important, devastating cause of preventable disease and death in our country it s a shame that the fight is no longer against the duplicities of Big Tobacco, but against the very people who fought the tobacco wars last century the tobacco control movement.

While nearly a half million American lives are claimed by cigarettes each year among the country s 40 million plus smokers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Drug Administration the American Cancer Society and American Lung Association, among other agencies, travel around the country regaling anyone who will listen about the hypothetical dangers of electronic cigarettes (e cigs). This, despite the abysmal failure of FDA approved methods to help smokers quit and the fact that half of smokers want to quit The lack of effective cessation aids condemns a majority of addicted smokers to an early death.

Something must be done Smokers smoke for the nicotine, but they die from the smoke. Yet, it seems public health authorities won t even consider telling smokers the truth about the potential public health miracle of e cigs. They instead advise to stick with the FDA approved methods. Quit, or die, in other words.

&#x25A0 Related Use Michigan’s existing tobacco laws to cover e cigarettes

But the fear mongering of the officials has led to cities and towns banning and restricting relatively innocuous e cigs, sending users (called vapers ) outside to vape among smokers for no reason The vapor emitted by e cigs has been analyzed and found to contain no significant threat to health.

Smokers who switch leave thousands of chemicals in cigarette smoke behind, while still getting the nicotine they crave.

Yet, in a perverse twist of public health, Los Angeles recently voted to ban e cigs both indoors and from parks and beaches following in the ill advised path of New York and Chicago. Philadelphia has also followed suit, despite the testimony of numerous experts who tried to persuade them against it. And sadly, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder s administration bought into the same mythology, worrying about baseless fears of e cig use years down the road while current smokers die by the hundreds of thousands (the recent smoking rates among adults have barely budged for years).

In an amazing distortion of public health policy, representatives of organizations trying to prevent smoking actually testified and lobbied against banning e cigs for minors a policy anyone with a responsible viewpoint on e cig regulation would adhere to. Why? Their justification boggles the mind They opposed age based regulation (just as they oppose lower taxes) for e cigs because they don t want the devices placed into a special category. These groups would stand in the way of reasonable regulation of lifesaving vaping rather than have them removed from the tobacco classification.

But e cigs have no tobacco, nor do they emit smoke. They are nicotine delivery devices, with water vapor and harmless flavoring and chemicals. The effect of restricting and taxing them as though they were real cigarettes makes no sense on any level, and the effect of these inane regulations would be to make it harder for those smokers who want to quit to do so.

Let s hope Michigan will ignore those who would deny e cigs to smokers, based on the science and commonsense.