Mayor Berry Sends Legislation to City Council to Restrict the Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children
November 27, 2013
Albuquerque, NM –Mayor Richard J. Berry is in the process of sending legislation to the City Council in order to protect children from e-cigarettes, pending further regulations from the Food and Drug Administration and improvements to current State laws. E-cigarette usage has doubled among middle and high school students from 2011 to 2012. A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about one in 10 high school students admitted to using e-cigarettes.
"We care about the health of our kids. It’s already illegal to sell alcohol and tobacco to kids, so it only makes sense to further protect children through this type of legislation," said Mayor Berry. "As cities, we have the ability to implement these protections faster than either State or Federal agencies, and time is of the essence in this matter."
The new legislation, if passed, would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. E-cigarettes are often available in dozens of flavors including cotton candy, gummy bear, bubble gum, Atomic Fireball, cherry cola, cherry limeade, caramel candy, blueberry, orange cream soda, and other kid-friendly flavors.
The Berry Administration is focused on curbing youth smoking, and studies have shown that e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco are disproportionately used by youth. There is also substantial evidence that flavored cigarettes are a “starter” product for youth who begin smoking – in fact, kids (ages 12 – to 17) smoke flavored cigarettes at a higher rate than any other age group.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges parents to talk with their kids about the dangers of e-cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are essentially nicotine-delivery products, relatively new to the market with a growing following. The battery-powered devices provide inhaled doses of nicotine through a vaporized solution contained in cartridges inserted into the apparatus. No smoke or combustion is involved; the device emits a vapor when used. For this reason, e-cigarette use is sometimes referred to as “vaping.” E-cigarettes may be legally sold in the United States under federal law. Most cartridges have 20 milligrams of nicotine, and a dose of as little as 10 milligrams of nicotine can be fatal for a child. In addition, children can easily become hooked on the nicotine.
Parents who think their child may be using e-cigarettes should watch for signs of nicotine addiction, according to the AAP. This includes feeling nervous, craving e-cigarettes and not being able to quit. Parents who are trying to quit smoking should avoid using e-cigarettes and try other options that are approved by FDA, such as nicotine patches or gum.
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