“This is yet another victory for public health,” said Gordon (D-Bergen). “No matter how manufacturers attempt to market these devices, they are still cigarettes. In many ways, they may be more dangerous than traditional cigarettes because of their lack of oversight or any conclusive studies into their health effects.”
Gordon was one of the public officials that signed the recently enacted law banning electronic cigarettes in the state of New Jersey.
Under the bill, the penalties that currently apply to a person who smokes tobacco in an indoor public place or workplace would apply to a person who uses an e-cigarette:
“This bold statement made by this public official is a very dangerous one to make for the sake of public health.", says James Williams, from the watchdog group Moonport Productions, a production company keeping watch on the FDA and recent events regarding the electronic cigarette.
“Making ill informed statements like that, and with the false sense of security that the general public will now feel because of a misguided notion that real cigarettes are safer because of FDA approval, is a formula for a public health disaster in the making", says Williams. “They open the door for increased cancers and other diseases because this places a false notion to the public that electronic cigarettes are dangerous and real cigarettes are safe.”
Recently, Federal Judge Richard Leon ruled on a preliminary injunction in favor of two manufacturers of electronic cigarettes in a case filed last year against the Food and Drug Administration. Smoking Everywhere and NJoy filed a lawsuit earlier last year in response to the FDA ordering seizures of shipments of elctronic cigarettes and parts being imported into the US. In his ruling, Justice Leon blasted the FDA for over stepping their bounds.
“This case appears to be yet another example of FDA’s aggressive efforts to regulate recreational tobacco products as drugs or devices,” states Leon’s ruling. “Unfortunately, its tenacious drive to maximize its regulatory power has resulted in its advocacy of an interpretation of the relevant law that I find, at first blush, to be unreasonable.”
The final ruling on this case will be decided this year.
Leon was appointed to the U.S. District Court by President Bush in 2002.