Monday, January 24, 2011

E-Cigarette Ban Under Consideration In NY

CBS New York
Associated Press
January 24, 2011

ALBANY, NY (AP) - New York lawmakers are considering what could become the first state ban on electronic cigarettes, devices touted on the Internet in ads promising all the pleasures of smoking without the deadly health threat.

Health officials say e-cigarettes are just another addictive habit, one that can hook kids early and legally on smoking. But advocates who have used the devices to quit or cut down smoking tobacco call the battery-operated smokes a miracle.
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Advocates of e-cigarettes are now watching New York “very closely. They kind of snuck up on us,” said Elaine Keller of Springfield, Va., vice president of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association.

“I would still be smoking if not for this product,” she said.

Keller said she has been tobacco free since March 2009 after 45 years of smoking. She said her group amounts to a grass-roots effort of those who feel the government has blocked this “miracle” product.

“There is no industry support on this thing at all,” she said of the organization. “We want to keep it this way so no one can say we are a shill for the tobacco, drug or e-cigarette industry.”

She also tries to recast the safety question.

“I can’t point to anything to say it’s 100 percent safe,” Keller said. “The thing is, it only needs to be safer. The only standard is that it’s safer than smoking.”

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