Alaska Legislature: Defer any action on e-cigarettes
The Alaska legislature has legislation pending that will classify e-cigarettes the same as cigarettes in a smoking ban. Dr. Joel Nitzkin wrote a letter to the legislature asking them to defer action until they have a better understanding of the benefits of vaping on public health.
I am a public-health physician who has been involved in tobacco control since the 1970s. I have been a local health director, a state health director and president of two national public-health organizations. Since Congress’ 2007 introduction of the Food and Drug Administration tobacco law, I have devoted a substantial amount of my time to issues surrounding tobacco harm reduction and e-cigarettes and related vapor products (e-cigs).
My work in this arena has led me to the conclusion that e-cigs offer personal and public health benefits that could not otherwise be achieved They also are doing so without any increase in recruiting teens to nicotine or tobacco addiction. More about who I am and how I got involved in the e-cig issue is presented on pages 15 and 16 of the attached paper.
This letter is to urge the Alaska Legislature to defer any action on e-cigarettes and related vapor devices (e-cigs) until the Legislature has had a better opportunity to understand the potential public-health benefits that e-cigs can offer and the potential harms of regulating them as if they were tobacco cigarettes.