A decade after Clear Indoor Air Act severely limited indoor smoking in New York, the focus has turned to e-cigarettes — battery-powered devices that deliver measured doses of vapor to the "smoker" when inhaled.
Sales of e-cigarettes are rising amid a big push by tobacco companies: Marketwatch is reporting that America's number three cigarette-maker Lorillard, which acquired an e-cigarette brand last year, saw blu eCigs boost the company's second-quarter profits by 10 percent.
But there's debate as to whether the devices are harmful or helpful.
Despite the ever-shrinking number of smokers, cigarette use is still a top public health priority. And despite the incredible gains that have been made, the carnage caused by smoking still takes an enormous physical and financial toll.
Into this debate comes a product that advertises itself as a way for smokers to reduce the harm caused by cigarette use and a way for smokers to comply with smoking bans in work and public places.
That product is the “electronic cigarette” or e-cigarette.
Ray McGovern is a retired CIA officer turned political activist. He was a federal employee under seven U.S. presidents over twenty-seven years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many of them.
McGovern will be one of the featured speakers at the 15th Annual Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference this weekend.