Schumer Calls on Gov't Not to Post­pone Reg­u­la­tion of E-Cig­a­rettes

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By: Hellen Zaboulani

On Sun­day Oc­to­ber 15th, Se­na­tor Chuck Schumer pleaded with the fed­eral govern­ment to re­verse a de­ci­sion to post­pone the reg­u­la­tion of e-cig­a­rettes. In July, the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion de­cided to de­lay an al­ready fi­nal­ized rule to reg­u­late e-cig­a­rettes. FDA Com­mis­sioner Scott Got­tlieb said the de­lay would al­low the agency time to de­cide how e-cig­a­rettes fit into its over­all to­bacco reg­u­la­tory strat­egy.

E-cig­a­rettes are bat­tery-op­er­ated de­vices that are de­signed to re­sem­ble tra­di­tional cig­a­rettes. E-cig­a­rettes con­tain a mech­a­nism in­side to heats up liq­uid nico­tine turn­ing it into a va­por that smok­ers then in­hale and ex­hale. They do not con­tain to­bacco.

As re­ported by the NY Post, Schumer said that the FDA's de­lay means that e-cig­a­rettes stay un­ham­pered on the mar­ket un­til at least 2022. He ar­gued that the post­pon­ing reg­u­la­tion on va­p­ing is a mis­take. He cited com­pelling data from the sur­geon gen­eral, stat­ing that in 2015 over 3 mil­lion mid­dle and high school stu­dents said they had used e-cig­a­rettes over the course of the month. In New York, 20 per­cent (1 out of 5) said they had vaped, which is higher than the na­tional av­er­age of 11.3 per­cent of high school stu­dents na­tion­wide in 2016, as cited by the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol.

Sen. Schumer also stressed that be­ing a fairly new prod­uct, the risks of us­ing the e-cig­a­rettes are still un­known. The New Eng­land Jour­nal of Medicine re­cently pub­lished a study that some e-cigs have higher volt­age lev­els, which can ac­tu­ally have a level of can­cer-caus­ing formalde­hyde fif­teen times higher than that of con­ven­tional cig­a­rettes.

The nico­tine gad­get called “Juul” has be­come par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar with teenagers. It looks iden­ti­cal to a USB flash drive, which makes it easy to hide in a class­room. It can even be charged in school or on a lap­top at home. It also comes in dif­fer­ent fla­vors, which ap­peal to young­sters. Schumer main­tains that Juul may be even more dan­ger­ous than con­ven­tional smok­ing be­cause one “pod” con­tains the amount of nico­tine present in an en­tire pack of con­ven­tional cig­a­rettes.

“To know that New York kids are much more likely to be us­ing these new-age e-cig de­vices, like Juul, is not only con­cern­ing, but it could be dan­ger­ous,” said Schumer. “Up un­til now, the FDA was on track to reign in e-cigs and reg­u­late them like any other to­bacco prod­uct, but this re­cent de­lay, cou­pled with the new num­bers show­ing a rise in the use of gad­gets like Juul, which can fool teach­ers and be brought to school, de­mands the FDA smoke out dan­ger­ous e-cigs and their mys­tery chem­i­cals be­fore more New York kids get hooked.”

“JUUL was de­signed to dis­place cig­a­rettes and is in­tended for use only by adult smok­ers who want to switch from cig­a­rettes. We strongly con­demn the use of our prod­uct by mi­nors. It is in fact il­le­gal to sell our prod­uct to mi­nors and we sup­port all en­force­ment ef­forts of ex­ist­ing laws,” said Chris­tine Cas­tro, JUUL lab spokesper­son.

Se­na­tor Chuck E. Schumer holds a Juul e-cig­a­rette pack­age as he dis­cusses an in­crease in e-cig­a­rette use by New York high school stu­dents

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