Suffolk lawmaker seeks to crack down e-cigs

Suffolk County, NY, is famous for implementing one of the first indoor smoking bans in the US and rising the legal age for buying tobacco products to 19 years. Today, the leading anti-smoking county across the nation considers banning latest smoking gizmos – electronic cigarettes.

The larger-than-life popularity of electronic cigarettes especially among younger adults, coupled with lack of scientific evidence on their safety for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration, massive advertising campaign aimed at youth has prompted Suffolk County Lawmaker Jon Cooper to propose a bill to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to individuals less than 19 years old, as in the case of traditional tobacco products. If approved, the proposal will as well prohibit usage of these devices in enclosed public places.

smoking ban in public places

With the approval of the latter bill, Suffolk County would enter into history as the first county throughout America to prohibit public usage of those unregulated gadgets. Moreover, there are only several countries across the world that have implemented several restrictions.

Electronic cigarettes look like cigarettes and resemble the smoking process by getting smokers breathe in heated liquid nicotine (offering fruit-flavorings to attract teenage audience) operated by a battery. At the time of delivering nicotine the tip of the device becomes amber, emulating glowing cigarette tip. After breathing in, the user breathes out vapors of propylene glycol and other additives looking practically like a smoke from a real cigarette. There are also varieties of this device imitating pipe or cigars.

While presenting his bill, Councilor Cooper stated that electronic cigarettes look like trendy gadgets and taste like cherry, what attracts teenagers to trying them. However, they deliver nicotine, addicting users to smoking them, just like ordinary cigarettes. Therefore, their consumption should be restricted to prevent children from being lured to them.

However, teenagers have already reached them, since the e-cigs are being massively distributed through internet and in small kiosks, where anyone can buy them. The sellers do not look at the age of potential buyer, meaning that even 14-year-old can obtain them.

As it was scientifically proven a long time ago, nicotine belongs to the class of neurotoxins, and can be found in the list of the most addictive liquids authorized for human consumption.

Numerous researches demonstrated that minors could get hooked on nicotine upon consuming at least 30 mg of nicotine; this volume is equivalent to 10-20 cigarettes depending on the amount of nicotine in them. And with image created by taste fruit flavors, including, chocolate, cherry and vanilla, it could result in a severe addiction to nicotine among young people.

The issue with electronic cigarettes becomes even more controversial due to the lack of peer-reviewed tests and examinations, meaning that e-cigs producers and distributors are able to allege that these devices are nicotine replacement therapies and even smoking cessation tools. Another highly controversial marketing strategy includes convincing potential customers that these gizmos can be “smoked” anywhere what has already produced collisions between patrons of non-smoking establishments and users of electronic cigarettes.

Therefore, in case the Cooper’s bill is approved it would provide local enforcement agencies the power they lacked to fine the users of e-cigs in prohibited public places.

Non-smokers concerned with exposure to uncertified produced by electronic cigarettes would not worry about this problem, anymore.

Cooper stated that no government either county or municipal should wait for Washington to publish another report on the dangers of unapproved product, but should take appropriate actions to prevent children from being exposed to smoke or even try the new devices themselves.

The first public hearing over Cooper’s bill would be held on June 23.

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