The Massachusetts Attorney General is proposing to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. There is currently a void in Massachusetts regulations that has led to a patchwork of local restrictions on the sale and use of the new product.
Attorney General Maura Healey Tuesday proposed regulations that would treat e-cigarettes like tobacco products, including banning sales to people under 18 years old, prohibiting free give-a-ways or sampling, require the products be kept behind store counters, and banning vending machine sales except in adults-only establishments.
Dutchess County health officials are expressing concerns about what they see as an increase in the use of e-cigarettes by young people. And they are especially concerned about refill cartridges because of toxins.
Dr. Lobsang Lhungay is president of the Dutchess County Board of Health. He says it is not known how much of any toxins is contained in the refill cartridges sold for electronic cigarettes. He says unregulated nicotine levels also mean unregulated chemicals.
Now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed a new rule that would extend the agency’s tobacco authority to regulate such products as electronic cigarettes, 29 attorneys general, including from New York and New England, are calling for more stringent regulations.
Two New York state legislators from the Hudson Valley say they will push legislation at the beginning of the year that would regulate e-cigarettes the same way as regular, tobacco cigarettes. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue proposed regulations on the vapor cigarettes soon.
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in partnership with Albany Law School, have implemented a 100% tobacco-free campus policy, now in place. A Tobacco-Free Kickoff Event was held tuesday in front of the ACPHS Student Center. Officials hail the move as a "notable step" toward a healthier and cleaner environment.