E-Cigarettes Banned on Domestic Flights, Reports ASH

Despite claims by e-cigarette [e-cig] sellers that their product can be used to self administer nicotine on airplanes where smoking is prohibited, all domestic airlines ban the use of these untested products which the FDA has declared are illegal
By: Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
Sept. 20, 2010 - PRLog -- Despite frequent claims by e-cigarette [e-cig] sellers that their product can be used to self administer nicotine on airplanes where smoking is prohibited, all U.S. domestic airlines ban the use of these untested products which the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] has declared are illegal, reports public interest law professor John Banzhaf, Executive Director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), who led the campaign to ban their use in flight. http://www.aolnews.com/health/article/despite-ad-claims-you-cant-smoke-e-cigarettes-on-a-plane-and-they-wont-cure-ed/19633988

E-cigs give off a vapor which is a mixture of nicotine (a deadly and addictive drug which can contribute to fatal heart attacks), propylene glycol (a respiratory irritant used in antifreeze and known to cause respiratory tract infections), and other substances the FDA has labeled "carcinogenic" and "toxic." It appears that these same substances are then also exhaled where those around the user -- including the elderly, those with special sensitivities, as well as infants and toddlers -- are also forced to inhale them.

Previously the FDA had warned that: e-cigs pose “acute health risks” which “cannot seriously be questioned” because they contain “toxic chemicals.” It also said that:
* e-cigarette users suffer from a wide variety of potentially serious symptoms “including racing pulse, dizziness, slurred speech, mouth ulcers, heartburn, coughing, diarrhea, and sore throat”
* “nicotine [one of the two major chemicals used in the product] in high doses can be dangerous and even fatal”
* the toxic chemical diethylene glycol was found in the e-cigarettes which were tested
* various mutagenic, carcinogenic, and genotoxic chemicals were also present in the products
* the cartridges containing the nicotine and other toxic chemicals, many of which come from China, are subject to “none of the manufacturing controls required for FDA-approved nicotine-delivery products” [like nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, sprays, etc.].

Subsequent to the FDA's warning, independent scientists have warned about additional potential dangers to users of e-cigs: www.newsrx.com/press-releases/11551.html

The Air Force, and the Marine base at Quantico, have joined other jurisdictions in banning the use of e-cigarettes [e-cigs] at least in the workplace, citing the potential health dangers to users from toxic chemicals as set forth in a memo by the Air Force Surgeon General.

He also noted a concern originally expressed by ASH that these "illegal" devices can also be used to surreptitiously administer drugs other than nicotine. ASH had previously reported ads for e-cigs which administer Cialis and "potent" marijuana. www.cigarettesreviews.com/fda-may-ban-marijuana-e-cigarettes

As the Surgeon General's memo warned: "Commanders also need to be aware that the cartridges used in these devices are replaceable and could be used to discreetly deliver substances other than nicotine."

New Jersey and Suffolk County, NY, have banned the use of e-cigs wherever smoking is prohibiting, and New York as well as several other states are considering similar bans. Many countries have also banned or severely restricted the sale of the product outright, as have several states.

Banzhaf, who first forced airlines to provide no-smoking sections, and ultimately to ban smoking entirely, said that the health advantages these bans brought should not be subverted by an untested product which forced persons in the vicinity of the user to inhale nicotine, propylene glycol, and a host of other toxic, mutagenic, and genotoxic substances, and thereby serve as guinea pigs to see how serious the adverse health effects are.

Professor of Public Interest Law at GWU,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
FELLOW, World Technology Network, and
Executive Director and Chief Counsel
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
America’s First Antismoking Organization
2013 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006, USA
(202) 659-4310 // (703) 527-8418
Internet: http://ash.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AshOrg

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Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), America's first anti-smoking and nonsmokers' rights organization, serves as the legal action arm of the anti-smoking community. It is supported by tax-deductible contributions.
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