Legal Status Updates – 2/19/2010

   Posted by: admin   in Air, Healthy

On Feb. 2, 2010, a Utah legislative sub-committee approved a bill (HB 88) that would ban outright electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) or any other flavored tobacco products, including those that look like candy. This ban would not apply to products approved by the FDA. The bill (HB88) was passed by the Utah Senate on 2/18 and by the Utah House on 2/19.

Meanwhile, CNN reported on a study submitted for review in Dec. 2008 by Caroline O. Cobb, Michael F. Weaver, and Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commenwealth University. The study took 28 smokers to task to see if electronic cigarettes reduced the harm associated with smoking. The study included standard cigarettes, nicotine lozenges, own brand cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and an unlit cigarette. The study measured the amount of expired air CO and nicotine levels in blood. The non-combustible products delivered less than 1/2 of the nicotine than the lowest of the cigarettes (own brand) and were not as successful at satisfying the nicotine craving as cigarettes were. And the non-combustible products did not expose the smokers to CO. The study, which was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, only included electronic cigarettes at the low 16mg/ml levels of nicotine available, although higher concentrations were available. But their bottom line is that e-cigarettes may not be a suitable device to quit smoking. And that is exactly the reason why the FDA has no expectation to ban them as devices.

And if we step back a moment and view the political environment in Virginia we might come across the recent story about Virginia raising taxes on cigarettes in order to reduce the number of smokers. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $117.6 Million for West Virginia and Cut Youth Smoking. Now, do you really think the politicians don’t know there are no tobacco taxes on e-cigs, and that if the smokers consider them a viable alternative for their nicotine addiction …. If you don’t get the drift, you’re probably sitting next to an e-cig user.

And finally we have a ‘story’ from Reuters about ‘third hand’ tobacco ‘unappreciated health hazard’, especially to children. They make the point that nicotine vapor, like from an e-cig, could combine with nitrous acid and become a ‘potential cancer hazard’, and that things could be a lot worse.
Maybe. After all, according to the report, nicotine from a vapor ‘could persist for even months’ on surfaces found in homes.
Or maybe not. After all, Reuters is no longer news, but rather, infotainment.
David Sutton, a spokesman with the Altria Group, parent company of Philip Morris USA, noted that no human exposure measurements were done as part of the Berkeley study. If we step back a moment and consider, again, the lack of numbers and raising of unsubstantiated fears – well, that’s entertainment. Would you believe the cancer hazard is 1 death in 10 trillion people? In other words, will someone die from this within the next 100 generations? But at least it kept your mind off how much of this Univ. of California study was funded with taxpayer dollars.

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