New regulations governing the sale of electronic cigarettes in Massachusetts take effect this coming week.

Massachusetts later this month will join with a majority of the other states and ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.  New statewide regulations will fill a void that led to a patchwork of local rules about the product that is growing in popularity while the health risks are unknown.

Sen. Charles Schumer says the manufacturers of e-cigarettes should be prohibited from marketing to children and creating flavors that he says are designed to appeal to kids.

4/17/15 Panel

Apr 17, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, SUNY Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Professor, Rosemary Armao, and WAMC newsman, Ray Graf.

Scheduled topics include Free Trade Pact; E-Cigarette Use; Malaysia Airlines Crash Site; Teenagers Quitting School; Preet Bharara Tension.


A growing trend to raise the age of tobacco purchasing has made its way to western Massachusetts.

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.

Alternative tobacco products are on the rise.

Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University,  discusses a form of smokeless tobacco that is catching on overseas.

The federal government's move to regulate e-cigarettes has support from an upstate New York official.