E Cigarette Ban – Which States Are Affected?
Since early 2008, the FDA has come down hard on the manufacturers of electronic cigarettes, stating that these forms of cigarettes are as bad or worse than traditional tobacco cigarettes. To date, nearly 50 shipments to the United States have been refused by the FDA, but this is a mere fraction of the amount of cigarettes that are shipped to the United States every day.
The FDA has stated that some e cigarettes contain carcinogens and toxins that are just as bad as those found within tobacco cigarettes, but these statements are highly debatable and contested by professionals in the medical field. As recently as December 7th, 2010, the United States court ruled against the FDA ban on imports, stating that electronic cigarettes are classified as tobacco products despite not containing any tobacco and must be marketed as such.
While the court has overturned the import ban on a federal level, individual states within the union still have the right to their own legislation and several states have taken control of the product in order to regulate its usage.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently vetoed a bill dedicated to the ban of electronic cigarettes within the state, citing his reasoning as “if adults want to purchase and consume these products with an understanding of the associated health risks, they should be able to do so.”
New Jersey congress members voted to treat electronic cigarettes just as their real counterparts, by submitting them to the same legislation that controls the New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act. Part of this decision was influenced by the fact that many electronic cigarettes resemble their tobacco-filled counterparts.
Efforts to restrict the sale and use of electronic cigarettes within the state have been in effect since 2009, though no concrete legislation against the use of the devices have been passed.
It is currently legal for minors to purchase and possess electronic cigarettes within the state of New Hampshire, though several lobbyist groups such as Breathe New Hampshire are seeking to make this illegal as they feel as though electronic cigarettes could be considered a gateway drug into smoking real cigarettes for many minors.
New York legislators are considering a e cigarette ban in New York, citing potential health risks and that smoking electronic cigarettes can be just as addictive as smoking tobacco cigarettes.
Arizona has a planned ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.
King County officials have placed a ban on smoking electronic cigarettes in public places, as well as selling the devices to minors.
While these are the only states with current legislation in action against the sale or purchase of electronic cigarettes, they are not the only states to have considered it in the past. More than 20 states have looked at the issue over the past two years, with more expected to return to the table since countries across the world such as Canada, Brazil, Panama, and Singapore have banned the use of the devices within their respective borders.