Treat e-cigarettes like real cigarettes, says Councilman Bill Green

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 01: In this photo illustration the owner of a shop that sells electronic cigarettes demonstrates how to use one on March 1, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. The German government has announced that it classifies the liquids used in electronic cigarettes as pharmaceuticals because the liquids contain nicotine, and that sale of the liquids requires certification. An estimated 1.2 to 2 million people in Germany use electronic cigarettes, and the retailers that sell the liquids now face the problem that they are breaking the law. Electronic cigarettes have thus far been in a legal grey area with some lawmakers pushing for conclusive studies to determine their potential health effects.  (Photo Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
FIle Photo

Philadelphia City Councilman-at-Large Bill Green today introduced legislation that would hold electronic cigarettes to the same restrictions as regular cigarettes.

Citing an “alarming” increase in the number of young people who are using e-cigarettes, Green said an “important outcome of this legislation is the affirmation of a tobacco-free lifestyle.”

The legislation, co-sponsored with Councilman-at-Large Bill Greenlee, would move to regulate e-cigarettes under the city’s “Clear Indoor Air Worker Protection Law.” According to a news release, under a city code section, the legislation would define the use as “smoking” and prohibit it in “any enclosed area to which the general public is invited or in which the general public is routinely permitted.”

Private establishments would be eligible for ordinance waivers.

“There is a lack of federal oversight of e-cigarettes and the potential damaging effect it has on smokers and non-smokers,” Greenlee said in a release. “Until the FDA is able to regulate this product we must safeguard our citizens and especially our youth by regulating these e-cigarettes as we do normal cigarettes.”

By the numbers

10

The percentage of high school students who used e-cigarettes in 2011.

4.7

The percentage of high school students who used e-cigarettes in 2012.

20

The percentage of middle school students who reported using e-cigarettes but never have tried regular cigarettes

Data from the Centers for for Disease Control and Prevention

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