By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Saying he wants to “promote and protect the health and wellness of everyone in Philadelphia,'” Mayor Nutter has signed into law two measures that regulate electronic cigarettes.
One bill prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors immediately – the other makes it illegal, beginning this July, to use e-cigarettes in workplaces, bars and restaurants – just as tobacco cigarettes are banned.
The laws will help “prevent younger people from becoming addicted to nicotine and protect bystanders from the possible harm of secondhand vapor.” Nutter said. “E-cigarettes are an unregulated item at the federal level. Science does not support e-cigarette manufacturer claims that this is a safe alternative to smoking.”
Dr. Nadja Peter of the Adolescent Care Center at Children’s Hospital points to studies that suggest that e-cigarettes may serve as a gateway to use of conventional cigarettes by teens and children.
“The use of e-cigarettes by kids has doubled over the past two years.”
City Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwarz says e-cigs should be “sensibly regulated” by the FDA.