ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Health is looking at bumping up the town tobacco policy to restrict electronic cigarettes.
According to Northern Berkshire Tobacco-Free Community Partnership Project Coordinator Joan Rubel, the products have just recently been introduced to the county and do not fit tobacco regulations — including being exempt from tobacco taxes, which make the devices more affordable.
"They haven't been approved for use by our public health community," Rubel said Wednesday. "Right now, the way most tobacco regulations are written, they are not covered unless a town or a city has taken action to cover them. Down the road all of this may be fixed but meanwhile, how many people will become addicted to nicotine through this device? How many kids go back to thinking it's glamorous to see this behavior?"
The device vaporizes a nicotine solution that the user inhale. The Food and Drug Administration is not currently regulating its sale or usage. Rubel said the solutions come in various flavors, can be used inside public buildings and are not age-restricted.
The device is being marketed in different ways, Rubel said. Many companies view it as a safer way to smoke; some see it as a tool to quit smoking; while some companies market it as a way to smoke in smoke-free areas. Companies sell the solution in flavors and with different levels of nicotine.
"I'm an ex-smoker and I know you start out light and then want more and more and more," Board of Health member Roy Thompson said. "I see it as a starter kit."
Thompson argued that it is not intended to help smokers quit but instead "corporate America" is using the loopholes to grow a sales base.
Rubel agreed that it could be used as a tool to quit smoking but added there is currently not enough evidence to support that claim. Too little is known about the amounts of nicotine in the solution or what other chemicals are there, she said.
"They're out on the market without a lot of science," Rubel said.
There has been an array of nicotine products hitting the market in response to a growing smoke-free culture, she said. The device has entered the county only recently with booths selling them at the Berkshire Mall.
Rubel gave the board a model tobacco regulation it could adopt that would restrict the sale and usage of electronic cigarettes. The template was given to Rubel by D.J. Wilson, tobacco control director for the Massachusetts Municipal Association, and can be tweaked to fit the town's wants. It is not easy to just add the electronic cigarettes into the current policy, Rubel said.
For most of the board, Wednesday was the first time they had heard of the product. Members said they will do more research into the product before taking any action.
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Again, The Town of ADAMS wasting time on these little things. BOARD OF HEALTH why don't you talk about the Health Hazard on Victory street across from the PNA. Did you ever look into the fence and see whats in there. Just a bunch of green in Government positions.
I think it is necessary for Member Thompson to reexamine his assessment the growth of e-cigarettes means corporate America is finding loopholes to expand a sales base. If anything, big tobacco is the one industry that stands to lose in this market. And what bigger more influential corporations besides big oil are there? Here are some other examples of jurisdictions that got it wrong:
Mr. Rubel asked, "How many people will become addicted to nicotine through this device?" Good question--does Mr. Rubel have any evidence that ANYONE will become addicted to nicotine through these devices? E-cigarettes use the same tobacco-derived nicotine found in pharmaceutical nicotine products--how many people have become addicted to nicotine using pharmaceutical products??? Why would a non-smoker be attracted to e-cigarettes? Why would a non-smoker who tries e-cigarettes use nicotine if they are not already addicted? Without any of the habit-forming MAOIs found in whole tobacco or any of the thousands of chemical byproducts of combustion from smoking, nicotine alone is not particularly habit forming. If a never smoker ever tried e-cigarettes with nicotine, why do you think they would become addicted? Finally, if someone did somehow become addicted to nicotine by using an e-cig, why would they suddenly START smoking?
Contrary to the implications of this article, the Food & Drug Administration recently announced their intention to abide by the District and Appellate Court orders to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products, rather than attempting to force them into more stringent requirements for pharmaceutical products. E-cigarettes are nieither "a safer way to smoke" or "a way to smoke in smoke-free areas" because e-cigarettes are NOT SMOKED AT ALL. Smoke is the product of combustion. E-cigarettes are not lit on fire and therefore do not produce smoke.
Contrary to Rubel's statement, there is PLENTY of science. Rubel should have learned in ELEMENTARY school science that Vapor is fundamentally different than smoke. Combustion is a chemical change that creates thousands of byproducts, many of which are known to be hazardous. Vaporization, on the other hand, is simply a physical change, so science has already told us more about e-cigarettes than we can possibly know about traditional cigarettes.
I'm not from your state but am keeping updated on a extreemly important bill you might pass. It deals with regular deadly cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. With all due respect, if you did your research you are finding out new improvements (from very,very prominit top U.S. scientists); Chair of the Tobacco Committe; fully-qualified and important medical speciality doctors, etc. NO tar; NO corbon monoxide; NO secondhand smoke; NO 4,000 carciongens and so on. It IS a fact that THOUSANDS of people have stopped using regular cigarettes in place of electronic ones. I can't believe total ignorance would drive HUNDREDS of people in your state back to smoking REAL cigarettes, which kill about 4,000 people in the U.S. every year! To pass this TOTALLY RIDICULOUS piece of legislature the overall health of your state will DROP dramatically, without fail! Where's all THAT money coming from? (from big-tobacco and Pharm companies lining your trouser pockets?) I do indead respect your committee but I EMPLOY you to do some REAL research and think again about said bill. Do the right thing. Sorry, but YOUR personal ideas and beliefs are trampling on my civil rights!
The timing of this article is so appropriate. Three days ago I was at my physician's office. Of course, being the responsible doctor he is, he inquired about my smoking. I smoked too much, for too many years. He recommended a couple of good alternatives to cut down/stop this 30+ year habit. One of the suggestions was American Spirit cigs, which have no addatives. The other suggestion was using an e-cig to eliminate the multiple carcinogens added to big-tobacco products. It is pure nicotine with nothing added. It is water vapor as opposed to smoke.
I found it very interesting for a medical professional to recommend this as an alternative to conventional cigarettes. Perhaps Adams should investigate this matter further before automatically pronouncing them the next evil to be sold.
There are a wealth of personal testimonials that, while not "peer reviewed" or "scientific", should prove to anyone with the common sense to find, read and understand them that e-cigs are a good way to stop smoking. The "smoke" they emit isn't smoke, but vapor, basically the liquid used to carry the nicotine is boiled and the vapor is inhaled. The exhaled vapor is harmless to those around the user.
There are different flavors as well, and some e-cigs flash pretty lights. The flavors and lights are NOT to appeal to children; what is it about the adult state that prohibits liking sweet flavors or cool blinking lights? If cherry flavored e-cig liquid is just made to appeal to children, then I guess Grandpa's cherry pipe tobacco was too?
Studies are in progress to determine the effectiveness of the electronic cigarette in a "proper" fashion, but good ol' empirical "ask people that use them" evidence should be enough for now, the studies will only substantiate the claims, when they are finally done.
Honestly, aren't there more important issues the board can work on?
Maybe they should go after some of the school bus drivers who I have seen smoking in their empty buses. This is disgusting and illegal and they should be fired for this willfull disregard for the safety of the children.
I love my e-cigarette and would hate to see them get banned. Since I switched from traditional cigarettes to my electronic one, I haven't looked back once since I started two months ago. Non-smokers aren't bothered by the device, and most actually think its pretty neat.
Find out more information on www.e-cigcentral.net it has some good information about e-cigarettes.
Ms. Rubel is possibly misleading the board by stating that e cigarettes are not age restricted. The 4 stores that I have visted that sell these devices, two of which are in Western. MA, both have signs stating that no one under the age of 18 will be allowed to buy these products. I would also like to point out that my husband who is allergic to cigarette smoke has no problem with me using this device either in our home or while a passenger in his car. I firmly believe that the Adams Board Of Health needs to have all the facts before making a decision that could affect the health of the people of their town.