e-cigarettes

Ecig Click, flickr Creative Commons

Updated Tuesday, April 19: Commissioners approved the consent agenda item allowing vaping in county buildings in a 3-2 vote Monday night during their meeting in Derby. 

Original story:

The Sedgwick County Commission will consider a change to the policy procedures manual regarding county buildings and county personnel within them. One of the changes will allow vaping.

Ecig Click, flickr Creative Commons

At an informal public meeting on Monday morning, Sedgwick County Commissioners discussed the safety and public use of e-cigarettes.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell asked two advocates to debate whether e-cigarettes are harmful to the community.

Kimber Richter, a doctor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said e-cigarettes contain a number of dangerous chemicals and should be kept out of public spaces. She says studies that show e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to tobacco are flawed.

Matthew Cunnelly, flickr Creative Commons

Business and health leaders on Thursday announced an ambitious initiative to convince elected officials in the dozens of municipalities throughout the Kansas City area to raise the legal age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21.

Spearheaded by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, “Tobacco 21 | KC” aims to build on a movement that now counts nearly 100 communities around the country and the state of Hawaii that have made 21 the legal age for purchasing tobacco products.

National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

Kansans have gotten used to smoke-free public places--but there are now calls to make them vapor-free as well. 

Lindsay Fox, flickr Creative Commons

The Topeka City Council has voted to ban e-cigarettes in all public places where normal cigarettes are already banned.

The council heard from supporters of a ban, including Mary Jane Hellebust, a former director of the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition. She told commissioners that it still isn’t known if the vapors from e-cigarettes are safe.

“It is better if we keep these vapors out of the public places until we have decades, literally, of research to show that they are safe. Go back to the old maxim: better safe than sorry,” Hellebust says.

    

  Drug Administration is taking public comments on a proposed rule that would extend the agency’s reach to tobacco products that are not currently regulated by the agency-including e-cigarettes. The proposal comes at a time when nicotine poisoning is on the rise.

Poison Control Centers all across the country have been seeing a growing number of poisonings from exposure to the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.

Flickr photo by momentimedia

The CDC says nearly seven percent of middle and high school students have tried e-cigarettes, and more than two percent are current users. Erika Sward, of the American Lung Association, says the rapid growth is due in large part to an aggressive marketing campaign.

“We’ve seen glamorized ads on TV. We’ve seen flavors that come in e-cigarettes now of bubble gum and cotton candy. All of the traditional tobacco industry playbook for targeting kids has been used by the e-cigarette industry.”