E-Cigarette Restrictions Signed Into Law

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Gordon and Sen. Joseph Vitale was signed into law this week banning the use of electronic smoking devices, commonly known as “e-cigarettes,” in indoor public places and the sale of the devices to minors.

“This is yet another victory for public health,” said Gordon (D-Bergen). “No matter how manufacturers attempt to market these devices, they are still cigarettes.  In many ways, they may be more dangerous than traditional cigarettes because of their lack of oversight or any conclusive studies into their health effects.”


“With all of the overwhelming statistics on the hazards of smoking, the e-cigarette is nothing more than an attempt by the tobacco industry to reinvent itself as a healthier alternative,” said Vitale (D-Middlesex). “Meanwhile, they are using propylene glycol, a known irritant, to create the vaporizing effect of the cigarette.”

The bill applies the provisions of the 2005 “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act” to the use of e-cigarettes by expanding the definition of “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.  The 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.

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.

The new law, which goes into effect 180 days from its signing, also prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19, the legal age to purchase other traditional tobacco products.  The same penalties listed above would apply to any retailer who sells a tobacco product to someone under the age of 19.

“The liquid used in e-cigarettes often contains flavoring, such as chocolate or cherry. Clearly, the people who make these devices are trying to make them attractive to younger people, all the more reason for us to apply the underage ban to these devices,” added Gordon.

“The legend of Joe Camel rears its ugly head.  Tobacco product manufacturers know they have a much better chance of hooking people on their products if they can get to them when they’re younger, less informed and feel invincible.  This law sends a clear message that we’re not going to stand for that,” added Vitale, who also sponsored the Smoke Free Air Act and a 2008 law banning the sale of flavored traditional cigarettes in New Jersey.

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 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.

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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13 comments for “E-Cigarette Restrictions Signed Into Law

  1. April 5, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Why imposing ban on indoor usage of electronic cigarette, i guess the smoke from them is not harmful for others, restriction for minors is a good thing, it was necessary to stop young people getting their hands on these devices.

  2. crmartin
    January 18, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    This is just insane, if only our elected officials would do some research before opening their mouths this country would be in much better shape. E-Cigarettes have been studied and the results conclude that they are of a magnitude safer the cigarettes. Here is a report contrary to the senators claims.


  3. gsc4077
    January 18, 2010 at 12:00 am

    What a joke. They’re just a bunch of clowns who obviously HAVE NOT DONE THEIR HOMEWORK. I take from this that Gordon and Vitale are definitely getting paid off big tobacco . . . or unintentionally just admitted to their own incompetence.

    5 minutes of “research” is enough to show anybody that big tobacco has no hand in e-cigarettes.

    Even if e-cigarettes are “dangerous” . . i live in AMERICA, and if i can CHOOSE to willingly smoke cigarettes which is well known to KILL 400,000…400,000…400,000 a year as a DIRECT result. . . i can sure as hell choose to use an electric cigarette.

    You must have a certified Smoke Attendant handle your cigarette while you smoke it.

  4. BigJimW
    January 17, 2010 at 11:40 pm


    With wonderful people like Sen. Bob Gordon and Sen. Joseph Vitale running this country, we have no reason to worry, right?

    ““This is yet another victory for public health,” said Gordon (D-Bergen). “No matter how manufacturers attempt to market these devices, they are still cigarettes. In many ways, they may be more dangerous than traditional cigarettes because of their lack of oversight or any conclusive studies into their health effects.””

    Please tell me this is a joke. I never knew so ill informed people were put in such a place of power.

  5. anim8r
    January 17, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    This is lunacy. I hope NJ e-cigarette users sue the crap out of the state legislature.

    If they think e-cigs are even remotely dangerous, then test them, and then learn what the rest of us already know.

    I’m sick and tired of nanny-state legislature without even the slightest amount of study being performed on the products (or activities) being banned.

    The e-cig is the first device that has allowed me to quit without harming anyone, including myself. If I couldn’t use these to help me quit my addiction (I’ve already dropped my e-cigarette use and nicotine content considerably since I swapped from real cigarettes), then I’d sue the idiots that banned my use of it.

  6. Troy
    January 15, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Congratulations To R.J. Reynolds, Phillip Morris and Pfizer on this tremendous victory. It’s good to see these companies interests and the state of New Jerseys tobacco tax base will enjoy continued growth under the protection of Sen. Bob Gordon and Sen. Joseph Vitale. Such sterling leadership has helped tobacco use to increase in 2009 for the first time in twenty years and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so with the assistance of men like the honorable Gordon and Vitale

  7. DC2
    January 14, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    What they said. Times ten.

  8. Bram
    January 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Are there IQ tests for politicians in NY? The assumption that big tobacco is profitting from this is just plain ludicrous! Big tobacco and big Pharma are the ones fronting ASH to ban these things. Cutting into their profit margin!

    I cannot believe that there are people making laws on things they obviously know nothing about! Maybe it is the opposite and their PAC money cronies are feeding them these lines so they look as if they are fighting the good fight!

    Maybe they just parrot remarks like so many people ‘I was just following orders.” all the while trying to bring death to millions by forcing them to go back to big tobacco’s cradle and use combustible cigarettes. What are you people thinking?

    The FDA’s claims are nowhere rooted in fact according to today’s US Court ruling!

    Propylne glycol, a known irritant? Ever hear of a song ‘Smoke gets in your eyes?” it HURTS!!! I would be more irritated by a walking ashtray, walking through plumes of combustible smoke or even strong perfume than by an odorless water vapor. There is no measurable nicotine or PG on the exhale. Afraid that people with three inches of tar coating their lungs are gonna be hurt by a little theater fog?

    You guys says you are doing your best for the public health while contributing to the deaths of your constituents by walking lockstep with unfounded claims. What government!!!!

  9. January 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Well, the FDA tried to follow Sen. Lautenberg’s orders, but Judge Leon has ruled against the FDA. Electronic cigarettes are not a drug-delivery device, as FDA insisted.

    Meanwhile, the passage of this law in New Jersey is a clear victory for the manufacturers of tobacco cigarettes. Senators Gordon and Vitale deserve the tobacco industry’s “Prevention of Smoking Cessation” award for their efforts.

    Now the tobacco companies can rest a little easier because more New Jersey smokers will be sticking with their cancer sticks. Had smokers been able to see e-cigarette users inside, snug and warm, they might have been tempted to switch.

    Sooner or later, though, the word will get out that those who switch to inhaling vaporized nicotine are experiencing improved lung function and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Then how will Senators Gordon and Vitale explain themselves to those who continued smoking thanks to this law and developed lung disease, cardiovascular disease, or cancer?

    • jeffhendricks
      January 14, 2010 at 6:36 pm

      This is fantastic news. It is great to hear a judge with reasonable and responsible actions regarding the e cigarette, a product which has the potential to save thousands. In what appeared as though an almost guaranteed loss against the ruthless FDA we have gained a moment of prosperity. Congratulations to the lawyers over at smoking everywhere and njoy. Lets keep the momentum going!
      Jeff Hendricks

  10. abby
    January 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    All e-cigarettes do not contain propylene glycol. All e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine. Some do.

    And I agree with Treece’s comments. The e-cigarette I use came from China, and contains nicotine extracted from tobacco grown in China. The “tobacco industry” has nothing to do with these, and is quite likely losing more money as a result of hundreds or thousands of people switching to e-cigs from cigarettes.

    These are marketed to people who already smoke, NOT to people who don’t smoke, nor to kids.

    My e-cig has a blue LED at the tip, not red, and the body is a platinum color, not white. It looks like a pen, not a cigarette.

    My e-cigarette has enabled me to quit smoking where the nicotine patch failed. I fail to see how discouraging people from quitting smoking is a victory to public health. Seriously, you’d rather smell and inhale nasty cigarette smoke around you than NOT be bothered by someone using a smokeless and odorless e-cig?

    I’m glad I don’t live in Jersey, and if I did, I’d move.

  11. Treece
    January 14, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Are the senators really this uninformed about the laws they pass?

    Electronic cigarettes have, at least so far, *nothing* to do with the tobacco industry. Electronic cigarettes are, in fact, the first real threat to tobacco companies that there’s ever been.

    Electronic cigarettes are *not* “still cigarettes.” They’re called “e-cigarettes” because they’re marketed to smokers (adult smokers, not children), but they have more in common with the Nicotrol Inhaler than they do with tobacco cigarettes. The most important difference is that, for many smokers, e-cigarettes are a satisfactory replacement; the Nicotrol Inhaler isn’t.

    Propylene glycol is a “known irritant”? Really? Propylene glycol is found in everything from toothpaste to asthma inhalers, deodorant to fog machines. It’s been studied for decades and is GRAS (generally regarded as safe). Is Senator Vitale seriously suggesting that inhaling propylene glycol from an electronic cigarette is as bad or worse than inhaling propylene glycol (which is already in tobacco cigarettes) plus 4,000+ other ingredients?

    According to the CDC, more than 440,000 Americans die every year from smoking-related illnesses. According to the American Association of Public Health Physicians, electronic cigarettes likely carry “much lower than 1% of the risk” associated with smoking.

    So what Senators Gordon and Vitale have done, essentially, is to tell smokers they may as well keep smoking.

    A “victory for public health”? No. More like a deadly blow.

    • trailblazer6
      January 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm

      Just to let you know I ordered my first e-cigarette. Try ed the gum, the patch, and cold turkey. And I’ll stand out with all the other smokers puffing my e-cigarette. And give Senators Gordon and Vitale a good old fashioned Jersey Salute.

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