Saturday, March 26, 2011

Consumer Group Applauds Colorado Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Youth

A new Colorado state law makes sales of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) illegal to those under age 18. Dr. Theresa Whitt, M.D., the Medical Director for Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), spoke out today in favor of the new law. "Personal vaporizers (PVs), aka e-cigarettes, were invented for the purpose of saving the health and lives of long-term, committed smokers," stated Dr. Whitt, "not to attract youth to the use of nicotine. There is no evidence that young people are interested in these products; however, when it comes to the health of children, it pays to err on the side of caution."
Whitt said that people who smoked for decades make up the majority of users. "One survey of e-cigarette consumers reported that 100% had previously smoked, and 91% had made previous attempts to stop smoking, with 21% having tried 10 or more times," said Witt. "This survey showed that a remarkable 82% reported using e-cigarettes as a complete replacement for smoking, with another 15% using them to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked."
Whitt stated that 87% had previously tried medicinal nicotine products, but such products only have a 7% success rate. Only 1% of survey participates said they were able to stop smoking using patches, gum or lozenges.
Whitt said that over 90% of users are reporting health improvements. She attributes this to the fact that the devices operate using the process of vaporization instead of combustion, which eliminates the tar, carbon monoxide, particulates, and thousands of chemicals found in smoke. "The nicotine in cigarettes is what keeps people coming back to smoking," said Whitt, citing the beneficial effects such as enhancing the ability to concentrate and relieving depression and anxiety. "Nicotine does not cause the tobacco-related cancer, heart, and lung disease. Research in Sweden on the use of snus, a low-nitrosamine type of smokeless tobacco, as a substitute for smoking has shown that eliminating the smoke reduces disease risk by up to 99%. Nicotine has a similar safety profile to caffeine and it is not intoxicating. Therefore it makes sense to approach the problem of reducing smoking-related diseases by providing less-harmful sources of nicotine to smokers for long-term use."
CASAA is a non-profit organization that works to ensure the availability of reduced harm alternatives to smoking and to provide smokers and non-smokers alike with truthful information about such alternatives.


Bruce said...

While I DO NOT condone the sale of tobacco or e-cigarettes to minors; Colorado classified 'e-cigs' as tobacco products. In Colorado you can't use "tobacco products" indoors at public areas. Good job letting them sneak that one past everyone.

Kristin said...

Hi Bruce! I could only find prohibitions on SMOKING in public areas in the Colorado statutes. Are you sure it prohibits ALL tobacco products (which is impossible to enforce)or just COMBUSTIBLE tobacco products (smoking)? Can you provide a link to the law which prohibits the use of ALL tobacco products in public spaces? I cannot see how they could enforce that - how would they be able to tell if someone is using chew or snus or stealth vaping e-cigarettes?? And how do they justify banning use when the bans are to protect people from second hand SMOKE? I have a feeling you misunderstood the law. Cigarettes ARE defined as tobacco products, but smoking bans do not usually apply to ALL tobacco products. That would be a first!