Wednesday afternoon Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and health commissioner Tom Farley proposed new legislation on restricting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
The legislation was backed by City Council members William K. Greenlee and Cindy Bass. It will be introduced to the City Council Thursday, and if it is passed, it will go into effect right away.
Under this new legislation, e-cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes that contain higher levels of nicotine will only be sold in stores that service adults, not children or teens. Kenney said this is a crucial step to make since more and more kids are becoming addicted to e-cigarettes at a young age.
CBS reported that Kenney said, “Kids are drawn to use e-cigarettes by their fruit, candy and mint flavors, and then they get hooked by their high levels of nicotine.”
Kenney added, “These are our children that are developing addictions to unsafe products.”
Kenney continued saying, “The FDA should have regulated e-cigarettes years ago, but they haven’t done anything. They don’t even know what ingredients are in these products.”
E-cigarettes with lower levels of nicotine and that are unflavored will still be available to purchase at any store with a permit.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as of October 8, there were 1,299 cases of lung illnesses relating to vaping. Twenty-six have died as a result of the illnesses, including one Pennsylvanian. It was also reported that around 70 percent of those patients are male, and 80 percent are under age 35.
The CDC and the FDA have been unable to identify the cause of lung injuries, but have reported all cases involving this new kind of lung illness to seem to have vaping or e-cigarettes in common. However, the CDC are recommending that people:
• Should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC.
• Should not buy any type of e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC, off the street.
• Should not modify or add any substances to e-cigarette, or vaping, products that are not intended by the manufacturer, including products purchased through retail establishments.
• At present, CDC continues to recommend that people consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain nicotine.”
Cities and states in the tri-state area have all shared firm stances on vaping and e-cigarettes. Gov. Phil Murphy put together an e-cigarette task force to investigate the e-cigarettes regulations. Gov. Cuomo announced an emergency executive action to ban the sales of the flavored e-cigarettes.