NJ Senate Approves ‘E-Cigarette’ Restrictions

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TRENTON – The state Senate voted 38-0 Thurday to approve a bill to apply the provisions of the “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act” to restrict the use of electronic smoking devices, commonly known as “e-cigarettes.”

The bill (S-3053) would expand the definition of “smoking” to include e-cigarettes and extend the ban on smoking by minors to include the use of 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.

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“When a user puffs on an e-cigarette, which is a stainless steel tube designed to look like a real cigarette, they inhale a vaporized solution that usually contains nicotine,” Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Bergen) said. “The liquid often contains flavoring, such as chocolate or cherry. It seems obvious the people who make these devices are trying to make them attractive to younger people.

The e-cigarettes have a glowing red tip so that they look like a real cigarette. The heated solution produces a mist that is inhaled and exhaled, and 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,” Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) 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 update the current law to 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.

Advocates of electronic smoking devices say that they can be a tool to help smokers quit using traditional cigarettes and point to a 2008 study in the Health New Zealand medical journal that concluded that they are a safe alternative to smoking.


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3 comments for “NJ Senate Approves ‘E-Cigarette’ Restrictions

  1. December 17, 2009 at 9:45 am

    The main problems with e-cigarettes are that these are still not well tested and showcasing these as a “safer alternative” will attract more people to smoking which means more nicotine addicts.

    Btw, Propylene glycol is used in many products.

    From wikipedia:
    Propylene glycol is used:

    * As moisturizer in medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, mouth wash, and tobacco products

    * As a carrier in fragrance oils

    * As the main ingredient in deodorant sticks.

  2. Rm8t0
    December 11, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    38-0 really? Sounds like a lot of research went into this vote. It seems possible to me that 38 free thinking educated adults could agree that these things should not be sold to children (and I applaud them for that) but I cannot believe that 38 free thinking educated adults could all possibly agree that these things are and should be treated as the same thing as a regular cigarette.

    If it bothers you people so much that these devices LOOK like a real cigarette then just require the LED light to be a color other than amber or red. Let the rest of us free thinking educated adults do our own math. 4000+ chemicals in BURNING, SMOKE producing legal Tobacco to approx 15 in the HEATED, VAPOR MIST produced from a electronic cigarette.

    By the way, The reason they started using Propylene Glycol in antifreeze was to make it safer for the enviroment and less toxic for wildlife. It’s considered food grade safe by the FDA and although it is considered a mild irritant it’s what they use to make the fake smoke we all breath in at concerts and live theater.

    The Govenor should pass the age restriction portion and veto the rest.

  3. Johnny
    December 11, 2009 at 10:15 am

    “Propylene glycol, which is used in antifreeze” – Apparently its also in food and mouth wash from reading http://smokeysecigblog.com/?p=13

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