Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hooked On Peach Schnapps E-Cigs? Enjoy It While It Lasts

The wall Street Journal
Stephen Drill
August 13, 2013

This could really upset Leonardo DiCaprio’s daily puff.

The star, who was recently spotted sucking away on an e-cigarette while riding through Soho in New York on a rented Citibike, may soon have less flavored-nicotine-vapor options to choose from. The New York City Council has received a draft bill that would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco in the city — including flavored e-cigarettes — unless it is  consumed in a smoking establishment, like a hookah lounge.

The new rules, which were leaked to the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, only take aim at flavored tobacco. The cancer-causing real stuff will still be available, and so will the traditional tobacco flavored e-cigarettes.

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Sales of e-cigarettes have doubled from $300 million in 2011 to $600 million in 2012, according to the bills filed with the New York City Council.

The rationale for the hit on e-cigarettes is detailed in the documents:

The bills before the council would also raise the legal age to buy cigarettes to 21, and restrict the amount of advertising, while also cracking down on illegal smuggling of cigarettes from lower tax states into New York, where packs can cost around $15.

This is all coming from the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a prominent crusader against unhealthy choices ranging from transfatty baked goods to unacceptably salty food and improperly large sodas.

The clamp on e-cigarettes sales may have implications for companies producing the product, which uses a battery to heat up a nicotine fluid that is then turned into a smoke-like water vapor. Many have advertised the choice of many different flavored nicotine cartridges — including tastes like “Peach Schnapps” and Vivid Vanilla” — as an advantage of their product.

Gregory Conley, legislative spokesman for The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association — which gets some funding from the e-cigarette industry —  says a ban on flavored e-cigarettes does not make sense. “If people can’t buy flavored e-cigarettes and they have to use menthol , then they’re less likely to quit,” he said.

Mr Conley, who used e-cigarettes to give up his smoking habit three years ago, says there was no evidence e-cigarettes led to higher youth smoking rates.

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