More laws may target electronic cigarettes

2013-10-07T08:00:00Z More laws may target electronic cigarettesBy Kurt Erickson |

SPRINGFIELD — A ban on selling electronic cigarettes to minors goes into effect in Illinois on Jan. 1, but that may not be the end of attempts to regulate the product.

Public health advocacy groups say they are considering whether to ask lawmakers to change state law to include e-cigarettes in the Illinois Smoke-Free Act —even though the battery-powered nicotine sticks emit a water vapor and not smoke.

“We’re certainly considering that,” said Kathy Drea, vice president of advocacy at the American Lung Association of Upper Midwest.

The 2008 statewide smoking ban applies to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs and other lit materials. Some municipalities, colleges and the U.S. Department of Transportation have lumped e-cigarettes in with traditional smoking materials in rules and laws governing smoking.

The groups, however, say they are being cautious about moving forward in the legislature.

“We want them (e-cigarettes) included, but we are always fearful of opening up the law because then it is vulnerable to amendments that weaken the law,” said Heather Eagleton, director of public policy for the American Cancer Society.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is on the sidelines, waiting for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to weigh in on e-cigarettes.

“Because there have been no real studies to indicate adverse health effects, to the user or to those around the user, the department is awaiting a decision by the FDA later this year on how e-cigarettes are to be regulated, before deciding on a course of action,” noted Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold.

The possibility of additional regulation comes after lawmakers last spring approved a proposal to bar minors from purchasing e-cigarettes in an attempt to keep them from getting hooked on nicotine.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the plan into law on Aug. 15.

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(7) Comments

  1. Home Account
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    Home Account - October 10, 2013 8:19 am

    Finally somebody with some knowledge on this topic speaks out!
    People want to ban this not for any health reasons but just because it "looks" like smoking.

    Like you, after over 30 years of smoking and trying the gums and patches etc. E-Cigs were the way to finally get me off cigarettes. There is no second hand smoke because there is no first hand smoke, and like you said the water vapor exhaled does no harm to others. It makes just as much sense to ban E-cigs as it would to ban boiling water.

    I do agree with having provisions to ban the sale to minors like they do with cigarettes, nicotine patches and gum and with quality controls to assure that no harmful additives are added, but let's keep this effective method that has helped millions quit smoking an available option.
  2. Rrt55
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    Rrt55 - October 09, 2013 10:13 pm
    Tell would you "ban" nocotine or ecigs while letting regular cigarettes, nicotine gum and patches remain on the market? And btw the gum ans patch IS "over the counter" and not "prescribed" that would be unlawful to ban something without banning another with same substance. And nicotine liquid is a "derivative" of tobacco. So you want tl ban a "derivative" well then are you going tl all ban sugar??? Oh and grt facts steaight. Tell the truth how PROCESSED CHEMICAL MONSANTO GMO FOODS, AND ACIDIC foods REALLY cause cancer. Our soils are depleted and humans require NATURAL WHOLEFOOD ALKALINE minerals that have been STOLEN AND SUPPRESSED from us all whixh is the REAL dangers of illness and sickness. (Watch documentaries Forks Over Knives), or research why acidic foods cause illness. Research how dairy and meat causes illnesses. Research the dangers of ASPARTAME and why the heck are the FDA APPROVING THAY DANGEROUS chemical! ! If your going to ban somethings that is helping people get healthier and not worse just so that you people can make taxes off regular ciggarettes then youbare insane. Please spend more time educating yourself the wonderful things that ecigs have done and spend more time banning dangerous toxins I'm our FOOD rather than a stimulant that isbalready LEGAL AT EVERY GAS STATION and coffee shop. I feel much more healthier using my ecig thank you. I will never give it up. If you ban them you better ban the real ones or you're a hypocrite at its worse. Please ban Monsanto. ..thats more important! !!
  3. Rrt55
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    Rrt55 - October 09, 2013 10:00 pm
  4. Jose
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    Jose - October 09, 2013 8:14 am
    The "studies" you mention were bankrolled by USSTC, not exactly an agenda-less non-profit. As "safe" as caffeine??

    While it would take 50 to 60 mg of nicotine to kill a 160 pound human, it would take 10,000 mg of caffeine to do so, therefore they're not in the same "safety" class. Numbers-wise, that makes nicotine 166 times MORE deadly than caffeine. The poison is in the dosage.

    Anyway, isn't addiction a serious safety concern when advocating the use of any chemical?
  5. SwtTxAngl
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    SwtTxAngl - October 09, 2013 8:10 am
    Please allow me to contribute my two-cents regarding this ever controversial subject.
    I was a smoker for over 25 years. I tried the gums, the patches, and even going “cold turkey” - to no avail. Honestly, I didn’t WANT to quit. I knew it was a nasty, smelly habit that was also bad for my health and those around me – not to mention expensive! What I didn’t WANT to quit, was the hand to mouth, inhale/exhale experience that I got with smoking.
    On April 12, I discovered “vaping” an e-cig and have not had an “analog” tobacco cig since, and will never again! Since I have quit, I have had numerous friends and family members quit as well – including my father, who smoked for over 60 years, and has not had a cigarette since the day I bought him the e-cig (Fathers Day of this year)
    So – that’s my story – now on to my “two cents”.. While yes, e-cigs do (or CAN) contain nicotine – so what? Nicotine, while it can raise the heart rate, is essentially no different than caffeine. No one is trying to ban the public consumption of lattes or espresso. The bottom line here, other than the almighty tax dollar, is people are ignorant to the TRUTH behind e-cigs and are hopping on the “ban them” bandwagon, due to the social stigma that cigarettes now carry. E-cigs are not harmful to others around the “vapers”. The nicotine is absorbed by the user, and what is released into the air is nothing but a water vapor. E-cigs (at least the type I use) can be decreased in nicotine levels. I for one, have decreased from 18mg to 0. That being said, how can you regulate the usage and ban someone for using an e-cig, that essentially is nothing but water vapor and flavor?
    The companies that I use are all natural, and do not add any chemicals to their liquids. There are, however, some companies in China and perhaps less reputable companies who want to cut corners to cut costs in production. I don’t have a problem regulating THEM, but there needs to be more education to the nay-sayers. Cigarette companies are already marketing their version of e-cigs, and most people I know who have tried them, have failed and continue to smoke analog tobacco cigarettes.
    To place an across-the-board ban and regulation on something that is working effectively for SO MANY PEOPLE, with NO HARMFUL effects, should be commended not discriminated against. I believe as more people are educated regarding the truth behind e-cigs, it will be more widely accepted. I have educated many people, who have asked or even “assumed” we were “smoking”, and it’s widely accepted in my community at most businesses. Knowledge is key!
  6. Coileds
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    Coileds - October 07, 2013 12:44 pm
    I am sorry this is just another attempt to get money out of us tax payers. Next thing you know they are going to tax the Crap out of these aswell for Illinois anything for a buck.
  7. SnappingTurtle
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    SnappingTurtle - October 07, 2013 10:54 am
    If all these cigarettes do is let off steam, what's the harm? We could all use one now & then. But then you mention nicotine. Do they include nicotine too? If so, that is an addictive drug and I would say ban them. I gave up cigarettes years ago, with the help of Nicorette gum. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, including childbirth, and to this day I still have withdrawal symptoms. I would like to help anyone I could with this awful battle. It takes God and your stubborn spirit to do it. I had a typewritten piece of paper that listed all the good things happening to my body for each day of no cigarettes. I would read that every day several times to keep my faith and strength going. I vowed if I got thru this, I would never touch another cigarette. I haven't and I won't. I could not do it again!
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