Monday, June 6, 2011

Electronic Cigarettes Face Smoking Bans

Convenience Store News
June 6, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. -- Fresh off winning a key battle with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the electronic cigarette industry is facing another fight as states, municipalities and even the San Francisco International Airport move to ban the use of the products.

Despite the fact that eCigs do not burn or give off smoke, their use is at the center of debates as several states, workplaces and localities have included eCigs in smoking bans. Others have stated that the battery-powered devices do not fall under the smoking bans, and still others are reworking smoke-free laws to include them, according to the Associated Press.
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And CSNews Online reported in April that San Francisco officials took up the debate with plans to include electronic cigarettes into its current smoking ordinance, saying that anything that looks, feels or functions like a cigarette is a cigarette and has to be banned from public places. However, in Virginia, state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli wrote an opinion that said because eCigs do not burn tobacco, the vapor emitted does not fall within the definition of the law. "The whole purpose of a smoking ban is to protect people from secondhand smoke, and there isn't any smoke from an electronic cigarette," explained Elaine Keller, vice president of Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association....

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

E-cigs: No smoke, but some areas are banning them

Fox News
Associated Press
June 4, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. –  That's not smoke coming out of Cliff Phillips' mouth.

But that hasn't stopped others from cringing, making remarks, waving their hands in their faces and coughing at the sight of the vapor from his electronic cigarette.

"They're just conditioned if they see you inhale and exhale something, it's got to be smoke and it's going to stink. ... They're not even smelling anything," said Phillips, a 61-year-old retiree and former cigarette smoker from Cuba, Ill.
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But e-cig users are being lumped in with traditional smokers when they want to "vape" and are being asked to not use them in places where smoking is prohibited.

New Jersey is the only state that specifically bans use of e-cigarettes where regular smoking isn't allowed. Some local governments have banned the devices under their smoke-free laws.

However, in Virginia, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli wrote an opinion saying that because e-cigs don't burn tobacco, the "vapor emitted by an e-cigarette would not fall within the definition" of the law.

"The whole purpose of a smoking ban is to protect people from secondhand smoke, and there isn't any smoke from an electronic cigarette," Elaine Keller, vice president of Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, an Alabama-based nonprofit that works to ensure the availability of alternatives to smoking. The group says it hasn't received funding from e-cigarette companies.

"Your nose will let you know whether somebody is smoking or not. ... and your eyes will tell you, too, as soon as you get close enough."

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