Bill To Restrict So-Called “E-Cigarettes” Advances

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TRENTON – A bill to restrict the use of electronic smoking devices, sometimes referred to as “e-cigarrettes,” was approved 6-0 Monday by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

The bill, a Senate committee substitute for (S3053/S3054), would expand the definition of “smoking” to include e-cigarettes.  It would define smoking as the burning or inhaling of tobacco or any other matter than can be smoked or inhaled, or the inhaling of smoke or vapor from an electronic smoking device. This would allow provisions of the “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act,” which ban smoking in public places or the sale of smoking products to minors, to apply to the electronic smoking devices.

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The bill is sponsored by state senators Bob Gordon (D-Bergen) and Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex).

“E-cigarettes are stainless steel tubes designed to look like real cigarettes,” Gordon said. “They have a glowing tip and contain nicotine like a cigarette. When a user puffs on it, a computer-aided sensor activates a heating element that vaporizes a solution, which usually contains nicotine, in the mouthpiece.”

The heated solution produces a mist, which comes in flavors like chocolate or cherry and can be inhaled. A light-emitting diode at the end of the tube simulates the glow of burning tobacco. The device is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

“The battery warms the liquid nicotine and propylene glycol from a replaceable plastic cartridge when a person inhales the device,” Vitale said. “Propylene glycol, which is used in antifreeze, is the liquid that vaporizes when a person exhales and produces a mist that is nearly identical in appearance to tobacco smoke. According to a 2009 statement by Health Canada, the Canadian federal government agency with regulatory jurisdiction over health issues, inhaling propylene glycol is a known irritant.”

The “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act” already prohibits the smoking of a cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other matter that can be smoked in indoor public places and workplaces.

“Our bill would define an electronic smoking device to mean an electronic device that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, or pipe,” Gordon said.

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused entry to shipments of e-cigarettes coming into this country on the grounds that these are unapproved drug device products; however, these devices have made their way into this country and are sold online and in some shopping mall kiosks.

Under the bill, the penalties that currently apply to a person who smokes tobacco in an indoor public place or workplace would apply to a person who uses an e-cigarette: a fine of not less than $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has called for the federal Food and Drug Administration to remove e-cigarettes from the market. The ban on e-cigarettes is also supported by The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.


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  • Thulium

    “Inhaled nicotine in cigarette smoke is over 98% absorbed, and so the exhaled mist of the e-cigarette is composed of propylene glycol, and probably contains almost no nicotine; and no CO. Lacking any active ingredient or any gaseous products of combustion, the PG mist or ‘smoke’ is not harmful to bystanders. The ‘smoke’ or mist is not tobacco smoke, and not from combustion – no flame is lit – and is not defined as environmental tobacco smoke. E-cigarette “smoking” would be permitted under New Zealand’s Smoke-free Environments Act 1990.32″

    - Dr Murray Laugesen QSO, MBChB, FAFPHM, FRCS, Dip Obst

  • VapE_This

    If our government officials were truly concerned with the health and safety of its citizens, they would be conducting tests and proving the dangers of E-Cigarettes. They don’t and they won’t because it is not about mine or your health. They need to move quick while there is still some unknowns surrounding this new innovation they must induce as much fear and doubt as they can. They need time to pass some laws and regain the upper hand.

    These fat cats put all their effort in taxing and controlling Tobacco in all of its forms, not Nicotine. Now technology has bypassed their money trap, and they want it to stop now.
    If taxes and power were not enough how about their powerful friends in the Tobacco and Pharmaceutical industries? I am sure they have sent a letter or two to their senator and congressman voicing their.. ah.. concerns. It is an odd coincidence this Bill is pushed on the very same day the makers of Nicorette begin a $15 Million ad campaign.

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/06/nicorette-marketing-glaxosmithkline-cmo-network-nicorette.html

    This whole story is very similar to how Canadian Health Officials publically condemned E-Cigarettes four days before Nicorette announced their own Inhaler product.

  • Treece

    This bill makes no sense.

    Electronic cigarettes don’t emit any smoke. (!?!) There’s an odorless vapor that dissipates in seconds, and the biggest study done to date on electronic “cigarettes,” in New Zealand, proves that the vapor is harmless. It contains the same ingredient used in fog machines (like the children’s variety that’s available for sale at toy stores).

    If these senators were so concerned with public health, they wouldn’t be putting up obstacles to the use of electronic “cigarettes,” which are the first real threat there’s ever been to the tobacco companies. This bill has nothing to do with science or health and everything to do with appearances. They want to look like they’re doing something. Well, they are doing something: more harm than good.

    As for Sen. Frank Lautenberg, it’s already been reported that he accepts money from pharmaceutical companies, then puts pressure on the FDA to benefit those companies. I’m sure he’d like to see people trying to quit smoking with the patch, the gum, etc., with their abysmal success rate of less than 5%.

    It’s all going to come out in the wash, though, and these senators will go down in history as being pro-smoking.

  • vffquestions

    i dont agree with this bill. i’ve smoked these for 3 months and it has helped me quit smoking. It’s not damaging to others and it doesn’t smell to others too so im not sure why its’ banned!

  • vaporsmoker

    This is crap… These things are no where near as dangerous as a cigarette. I know because I was a smoker that is now smoking vapor. It has absolutely changed my life. Doesn’t NJ have bigger fish to fry???