By now, you have all heard about these new tobacco products called e-cigarettes. These products take addictive nicotine-laced liquid, add candy and fruit flavors, and insert them into a devise that aerosolizes the liquid. People inhale the aerosol instead of smoking. Kids are using these products in record numbers (the number of kids using e-cigarettes tripled last year!). The tobacco industry is working overtime to convince kids that these are safe—and it is working. What they neglect to tell kids is that once they start—it will be incredibly hard to stop. They will become our next generation of nicotine addicts.
The American Heart Association firmly believes that e-cigarettes should be treated the same way as traditional cigarettes. We supported LD1108 that would add e-cigarettes to our workplace and public place smoking laws. LD 1108 is currently on the Governor’s desk after it received strong support from the legislature. We assume he will veto the bill.
Right now, people can spew this aerosol in all restaurants, schools, businesses, shopping malls and grocery stores. We know that the aerosol contains nicotine, formaldehyde and other chemicals. We know the second-hand aerosol is a lung irritant. E-cigarettes could be used right next to your grandfather with COPD at a local diner or your asthmatic child at the library. This is dangerous and a terrible precedent. I know that I don’t want my 6-year old exposed to nicotine where she eats and plays. If an adult who is already addicted to nicotine wants to use an e-cigarette, they can follow the same rules as smokers.
If the Governor vetoes LD 1108, we will need your help to make sure the legislature overrides his veto on July 16th. You will receive (if you have not already) an email from me asking for your help. Please respond ASAP. Thanks!