Electronic Cigarettes or vapor cigarettes are devices made from metal tubes which contain a cartridge filled with nicotine laced liquid. The liquid is vaporized by a battery powered heating element.  E Cigarettes mimic cigarettes and come in a variety of flavors.  Manufacturers of e cigarettes falsely claim they are a less dangerous alternative to smoking cigarettes and an alternative smoking cessation device.

In a 2009 analysis of certain electronic cigarettes, the FDA found that e cigarette cartridges contain carcinogens including nitrosamines and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol.  The FDA has major concerns about the safety of e cigarettes for the smoker and non-smoke

“If you are around somebody who is using an e cigarette you are breathing in aerosol of exhaled nicotine, ultra-fine particles, volatile organic compounds and other toxins,†reports Dr. Stanton Glantz, Director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of Southern California, San Francisco.  The vapor inhaled and exhaled is not pure water vapor and can lead to major health risks.

Americans for Non-Smokers Rights are concerned that e cigarettes are being falsely marketed as something that smokers can use in the workplace and public places where smoking of tobacco is prohibited.  Others fear deceptive marketing practices and believe false claims of e cigarettes as a “safe alternative to smoking tobacco†are tempting teens to addiction.  The variety of flavors they come in are an added temptation to teens.

Currently, e cigarettes are unregulated and manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients in e cigarette liquid, nor the substances present in the aerosol.  The FDA aims to regulate them as tobacco products after a U.S. Court of Appeals decided that the FDA cannot regulate them as a drug delivery device, which is how nicotine replacement products are regulated.   In September 2010 the FDA sent warning letters to 5 retailers advising that their practices are in violation of the FDA and Cosmetic Act.

As of April 2015, 354 municipalities and 3 states include e cigarettes as products that are prohibited from use in smoke free environments.  Cities and states can enact laws that regulate when and where they can be used as well as laws that regulate sales to minors or where product can be sold.  City and state law makers must address these issues.

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