Liz Klein discusses proposed e-cigarette bill on WTVN podcast

February 7, 2014 by Bri Loesch | CPH Communications
Categories: Tobacco, Policy, HBHP, Cancer, Community, Faculty, Research

Liz Klein, assistant professor of Health Behavior and Health Promotion, discusses Ohio House Bill 144, which would prohibit e-cigarette sales to those under 18.

"Part of it I completely support-- creating rules to require people be 18 years or older to purchase electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes," Klein said. "But there's another portion of the bill that actually changes the way that e-cigarettes are defined. It defines them as what they're calling 'an alternative nicotine product'." 

Klein explains that this language creates a new category of new nicotine products, which she feels is unnecessary. Rather than creating a new category for these products, Klein believes the regulation and rules for youth access of these products should simply be defined as "products derived from tobacco." The Food and Drug Administration, currently considering the regulation of these products, is using this more comprehensive terminology.

The safety of e-cigarettes is still unknown, but considerable research is currently underway to explore their health effects. Klein says it's too early to encourage people to use these products as an alternative to traditional cigarettes due to a lack of data.

"What we do know is that electronic cigarettes are not combustible-- they have a battery that heats a liquid that in many cases includes nicotine (it does not always)-- and so without the combustion, there is the potential for that to be better for the human body." Klein said.

E-cigarettes are included in Ohio State's tobacco-free campus policy, effective January 1, 2014.

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