Obvious danger requires fair and responsible rules [UPDATED]Published 4:01am Monday, September 16, 2013 Updated 6:07am Monday, September 16, 2013
The packaging on electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, doesn’t say much. Which actually is kind of scary. Just what’s being inhaled into the body when “vaping?”
One thing the packaging does say: e-cigarettes contain nicotine. How much? Doesn’t say, and, according to experts, it can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and from brand to brand.
Powered by nearly $21 million in advertising in 2012, according to the New York Times — it’s kid-friendly flavors like watermelon and cookies-and-cream milkshake and the portrayal of vaping as cool and hip and what everyone who’s anyone is doing.
Unlike tobacco, however — and this may be most troubling of all — kids can buy e-cigarettes easily and legally, including online. And they are. The percentage of U.S. middle school and high school students taking drags on e-cigarettes more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week. So something clearly has to be done, right, before a whole new generation embraces a filthy, unhealthy habit and sees it as just a normal part of our culture? … (T)he Duluth City Council has an opportunity to take some sensible action.
The first of three ordinances the council owes it to the community to approve would require a license to sell e-cigarettes the same way sellers of tobacco have to be licensed. In fact, an existing tobacco license would cover e-cigarettes under the measure. A second ordinance would prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in places already designated by law as no-smoking, like inside public buildings and elsewhere. And a third ordinance would close a loophole in clean indoor air laws meant to allow the sampling of tobacco in tobacco shops prior to purchase.
But allowing e-cigarettes to pollute the air of others, to be pushed on unsuspecting kids, or to be used without any rules, regulations or controls whatsoever is, well, it’s just downright scary.
— Duluth News Tribune