Mayor Reginald Spinello of Long Island’s Glen Cove seeks to include e-cigarettes under ordinances that also include traditional cigarette bans.
Mayor Spinello told Newsday that Glen Cove’s city ordinances should be amended and that the town attorney will be looking at the language necessary for a City Council resolution that would ensure that Glen Cove city’s anti-smoking ordinances would be more comprehensive.
“The hope is that when we talk about ‘no smoking’ they should say that includes e-cigarettes, too,” the mayor told Newsday. The mayor seeks to have Glen Cove follow in the examples of other municipalities that have enacted comparable prohibitions.
e-Cigarettes have been associated with a rising number of injuries such as burns, nicotine toxicity, and heart and respiratory issues. In fact, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 50 complaints were received over e-cigarettes in the one-year period from March 2013 to March 2014, Fox News reported, citing U.S. data obtained through a public records request. The data is “on par” with the combined number of reports received in the prior five years, Fox News wrote.
About 21 percent of all adult smokers use e-cigarettes, according to federal data, which represents a more than doubling of the rate in previous years. According to David Ashley, the director of the office of science at the FDA’s tobacco division, this increase is significant. Even more so, he said, is the increase in the number of e-cigarette-related telephone calls to poison control centers, according to a report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Both together does (sic) suggest there are more instances going on,” he told Fox News. Some industry analysts say that the e-vapor devices will outnumber traditional cigarettes in a decade; today the e-cigarette industry generates some $2 billion in annual U.S. sales. Traditional cigarettes are, currently, an $85 billion industry.
e-Cigarettes, which were developed in China and introduced in the U.S. in 2007, are battery-powered cartridge devices filled with a nicotine-based liquid. When heated, an inhalable mist is created. Long-term health risks are not known and the FDA is looking at regulating e-cigarettes and other so-called “yaping” devices, according to FoxNews. In fact, the FDA recently sponsored research to respond to safety questions and is reviewing its database of adverse events to locate trends that may raise issues.
Complaints that have been filed with the FDA cite breathing troubles; headache; cough; dizziness; sore throat; nose bleeds; chest pain and other cardiovascular problems; and allergic reactions, including itchiness and lip swelling, Fox News reported. In one case, an FDA report indicated that, while dining out, a restaurant patron was smoking an e-cigarette at the next table and that, “The vapor cloud was big enough to come over my table and the e-cig smoker was ‘huffing’ it voraciously.” The person added that, “I got dizzy, my eyes began to water, and I ended up taking my food to go because of the intense heartbeat I began to develop,” Fox News reported.
The public, wrote Forbes, is unaware of the toxicity of ingesting nicotine, as well as the toxicity of nicotine skin absorption and related symptoms, including rapid heart beat, elevated blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, confusion, and seizures that lead to coma and death. Severe exposure may lead to low blood pressure and a low heart rate. e-Liquids are considered significantly more toxic than tobacco as the liquid is more readily absorbed, even when diluted.