Despite claims of its manufacturers that their products are unlike the conventional predecessor, electronic cigarettes are set to be considered for restriction in New York City.
This move by the City Council aims to categorize e-cigarettes just like normal cigarette sticks, and are also therefore subject to the same restrictions and prohibitions. Smoking is banned in most of the public places in New York City, most notably in offices, restaurants and even open areas like the beach.
Patrons have quickly picked up on the trend of using electronic cigars, claiming that these products are healthier because they help nicotine addicts kick the habit. However, recent studies have shown that e-cigs are not effective alternatives, because these can even fuel a deeper addiction to real cigarettes. Anti-smoking advocates are also adamant against the proliferation of these electronic variants, since these products still contain nicotine.
The bill, pushed by council speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and fellow councilman James Gennaro (D-Queens), is being eyed for implementation within the year. “This is kind of a high-tech successor to the common-sense anti-smoking law we passed in 2002 that has yielded tremedous health benefits to the people of New York,” Gennaro said in a news statement.
Many government officials are supporting the bill, including New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
As the use of e-cigarettes by kids continues to rise, the U.S. is struggling to enact laws to regulate these products.
Electronic cigarettes are considered by both pro and anti-tobacco activists as the primary alternative to regular tobacco cigarettes. While the latter contains nicotine within the solid particulates of the cigarette, the electronic counterparts offer nicotine in water vapor. It’s the form and function of this product that has kept the opposition and the government scratching their heads, because these sticks are not covered by existing federal restrictions.
This confounding dilemma is made more complex because of one basic question: “What exactly is an e-cigarette?” After all, manufacturers can always claim that it is not a tobacco product. As a result, electronic cigarettes are not taxed heavily, and are not yet restricted for indoor use.
U.S. states have pushed to implement their own laws to regulate e-cigs, according to the Washington Post. Arkansas, New Jersey, North Dakota and Utah have prohibited these products for use indoors. Meanwhile, nine states including Colorado and New York have considered them as tobacco products, and are thus regulated by law. Other states are planning to ban e-cigarettes indoors, such as Massachusetts and California, with the latter already restricting online advertising for these sticks.
On the other hand, Alabama considers these products as alternative sources of nicotine, while North Carolina has categorized them as vapor products. Seven states are expected to support the treatment of e-cigs as non-tobacco products.
Everyone is awaiting the decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the matter. As of this writing, the proposal is being reviewed by Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the White House, as well as the Office of Management and Budget.
Children cannot wait to become grownups, and parents usually find this adorable. Now, a brand new survey suggests that moms and dads should be concerned about the rapid development of their kids into teenagers because this can lead to substance abuse.
According to a study by a team of researcher from Austin’s University of Texas links early puberty to a higher risk of deveoplng substance abuse. Team lead Jessica Cance, who works at the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, cites how puberty can result not only to physical body changes but also the teen’s social and psychological health. “Our research has shown that pubertal development is a combination of biological, psychological and social processes that all likely interact to influence risk-taking behavior like substance use,” Cance shared in a news item.
The survey involved 6,500 teenagers between the ages of 11 and 17, monitored their puberty development based on physical changes, and assessed their susceptibility to abuse of cocaine, alcohol and drugs. Results of the study showed that those who enter puberty at an earlier stage in their life are more prone to engage in drug abuse.
Cance relates this to the individual’s biological development and links it to his or her perceived social maturity. She said the first student in class to experience biological maturity “prompts or exacerbates existing psychological and social aspects… that can, in turn, lead to substance use and other risky behaviors early in life.”
Earlier studies showed that society and marketing agencies lure teens into drug and alcohol use because these are “cool”. This breakthrough revelation from Cance’s team shows that the perceived feeling of maturity in children makes them more likely to drug abuse.
“Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health”
That’s the phrase we see in cigarette packs for years and it seems that an increasing number of Americans are paying more attention to it than ever before.
According to a new Gallup survey, 22 percent of Americans today support a complete ban on smoking compared to the 12 percent in 2007. Twenty-five percent of those living in the western and eastern part of the country say they would support making smoking illegal while twenty-three percent in the south and twelve percent in the midwest would do the same.
More Americans are also becoming conscious about the negative effects of smoking, with 82 percent saying they recognize that smoking is “very harmful” while 13 percent say it’s “somewhat harmful.”
As expected, very few of the country’s current smokers support smoking ban.
A report by the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation shows that as of July 2013 more than 22,400 municipalities across the U.S. are covered by a smoking ban in workplaces, and/or restaurants, and/or bars. A total of 24 states, including the District of Columbia, have enacted statewide bans on smoking in all enclosed public places. These states include Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Colleges and universities across the country are also taking aim on cigarette smokers with at least 1,182 of them implementing a smoking ban as a way to promote healthier lifestyle.
Doctors, nurses, students, volunteers and all other employees at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will no longer be allowed to smoke beginning July 1, 2014.
“Our patients are best cared for, and both patients and visitors have the best experience when our employees are at their very healthiest and when the workplace is free of tobacco,” Gregory Peaslee, UPMC’s senior vice president and chief human resources and administrative services officer, said in a news release. “This initiative takes us a step further in solidifying our commitment to our patients and to our valued employees.”
The new policy bans UPMC personnel, students and volunteers from smoking during shift hours as well as on breaks. Dr. Hilary Tindle, UPMC smoking cessation expert and assistant professor, said they have several programs in place, such as online support and one-on-one counseling, that will help staff quit tobacco use. Nicotine patches, nasal spray, oral inhalers and lozenges, gum, and non-nicotine tablets are also available to help smoking employees stop lighting cigarettes.
“We understand the difficulty of quitting, despite a desire by many of our employees to do so. Sometimes a smoker needs more than one attempt before success. Through smoking cessation coaching and other forms of medical support, we will help employees to become smoke-free at work and to quit tobacco use overall if they choose to do so,” Dr. Tindle said.
UPMC campuses have been smoke-free since 2007. The health enterprise’s latest new anti-smoking policy is part of an ongoing commitment to provide the highest quality care in western Pennsylvania, an exceptional experience for patients, and opportunities for employees to be as healthy as possible.