Electronic Cigarettes (e-cigarettes)
Public Health Concerns
E-cigarettes look like real cigarettes but don't contain tobacco in a traditional cigarette format. Instead, e-cigarettes are comprised of a metal tube with a battery that heats and vaporizes a liquid nicotine/propylene glycol solution that contains other chemicals and products, creating a vapor 'smoke' that is breathed in and then exhaled. E-cigarette websites have posted descriptions of how the e-cigarette is "smoked" and creates a "smoke" (see GASP's white paper for details), therefore admitting that the product is in fact "smoked". Since the product is 'smoked' and creates a 'smoke' according to e-cigarette websites, e-cigarettes should not be permissible for use in public places and workplaces where smoking is banned.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) studied the vapor solution sold by several e-cigarette companies. In July 2009 the FDA issued initial findings of their results that concluded public health concerns regarding the liquid. Consumer Reports magazine documented e-cigarettes in their May 2012 issue concluding with "Bottom Line: Talk to your doctor before trying to quit smoking with e-cigarettes. Because they're not regulated, safety is a question and you use them at your own risk."
New Jersey has a growing business in electronic cigarette manufacturing, despite the fact that there is no standardization of chemicals or nicotine in the devices. Read a January 18, 2013 NorthJersey.com news article about New Jersey's growth in the e-cigarette industry.
GASP's white paper documents the health concerns related to e-cigarette use and exposure, along with jurisdictions that regulate e-cigarettes by banning their use in public places and workplaces, banning their sales to minors and requiring licenses or permits to sell e-cigarettes. Our white paper is continually updated with new studies and jurisdictions passing laws to restrict e-cigarette use and sales.
New Jersey State Law
On January 11, 2010, New Jersey Governor Corzine signed into law A4227/4228 which bans the use of e-cigarettes in public places and workplaces (amended the 2006 NJ Smokefree Air Act), and ban e-cigarette sales to people 18 years and younger. This is the first state law of its kind, in the nation, with the New Jersey Senate and Assembly both voting unanimously in favor of the law.
This New Jersey state law which protects nonsmokers was a culmination of local and county efforts, beginning in October 2009 when the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a resolution to ban the use of e-cigarettes in county buildings and at county parks. In November 23, 2009 the Paramus Board of Health passed their ordinance restricting e-cigarette use in public places and workplaces, effective December 1, 2009.
Read about the FDA's lawsuit against several e-cigarette companies on page 9 of the GASP White Paper. As of April 25, 2011, the FDA has decided not to appeal the federal court decision. Rather, the FDA will consider whether to issue a guidance or regulation on the "therapeutic" claims that some e-cigarette companies claim their products help smokers quit smoking cigarettes. Only FDA-approved smoking cessation products can make "therapeutic" claims as a smoking cessation aid.
As of February 2011, The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a letter stating that e-cigarette use is banned on flights. Southwest Airlines also bans electronic cigarettes and smoking devices in its regulations regarding Portable Electronic Devices. See the page from Spirit, their April, 2010 magazine.
Read the FDA Consumer Health Information brochure about e-cigarettes which was issued July, 2009.
Last update: 3/20/12