EDITORIAL: Snuff out e-cigarettes for youths [The Sentinel, Carlisle, Pa. :: ]
(Sentinel, The (Carlisle, PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) May 13--Last October, physicians at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Medical Society handed down what remains a commonsense caution on the potential dangers of electronic cigarettes, saying they "mimic smoking tobacco cigarettes and deliver nicotine to the body;" they're addictive and much of the marketing seems geared to younger individuals.
Enough said. Time now for sufficient pressure on the state Legislature to put strict controls keeping the e-cigs out of youths' hands.
The current anti-control campaign from the growing e-cigarette industry contains echoes from the tobacco industry's marbled past when movie stars and even physicians endorsed certain brands, many promising those with "fine" tobacco were better for your health. Especially infamous is the 1968 claim by the Tobacco Institute that "no scientific proof ... has been found to convict smoking as a hazard to health."
It wasn't that long ago when Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man were certain tobacco brands' smooth advertising spokesmen, and an actor named Ronald Reagan was pledging to send Chesterfields to his friends for Christmas.
Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia so far have the best sense of things when it comes to e-cigarettes and health. There, lighting anything up in public is verboten and the e-cigs can only be sold from behind the counter, curbing youth access.
Already the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking comment on proposed regulations banning the sale of e-cigs to minors and imposing limits on marketing of the products.
Even as industry advocates claim cancer-causing agents can't be found in the e-cigarette vapor, eight U.S. senators last week asked the FDA to examine new research that suggests e-cigarettes can produce dangerous carcinogens.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society wants such hazards included in tobacco-education efforts throughout the state's schools to include the potential dangers of electronic cigarettes in their tobacco education efforts.
There's no lack of creativity in those marketing the vapor-makers; the e-cigs come in flavors ranging from strawberry to vanilla with some exotic varieties in between.
It's time for municipal authorities and legislators to be out ahead of that campaign and act on the health concerns posed by e-cigarettes.
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