04/16/15 8:01am
04/16/2015 8:01 AM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest anti-smoking campaign includes a message about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

This is the first time U.S. health authorities have launched a campaign against e-cigarettes, which don’t have the same advertising restrictions as traditional cigarettes and have been criticized for targeting the devices toward children, according to news reports.

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04/16/15 8:01am

Here’s what everyone needs to know about nicotine in any form, according to county health department commissioner Dr. James Tomarken: “Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and recent research suggests nicotine exposure may also prime the brain to become addicted to other substances. We all know the younger one starts the easier it is to get addicted, the longer they’ll be addicted and the harder it is to stop the addiction.”

Dr. Tomarken and other health experts are also concerned that electronic cigarettes, which contain liquid nicotine, are being targeted bu manufacturers to “very young” children. (more…)

04/16/15 8:01am

What are they?

E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes, but most have a battery, a heating element and a reservoir to hold a liquid. The liquid typically contains nicotine, which is the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, as well as chemicals like propylene glycol or glycerin and flavorings such as fruit and chocolate. E-cigarettes are a type of electronic nicotine delivery system, or ENDS. Other ENDS products include e-hookahs, e-cigars, e-pipes and vape pens, among others.

Are they harmful?

E-cigarettes are fairly new and not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration; therefore, there’s no way to know for sure what is in them or how much nicotine they contain. There are unanswered questions about their ingredients and how those ingredients may affect the health of people who use e-cigarettes and bystanders around them, both in the short-term and over time.

Are they helpful?

The Food and Drug Administration has not approved e-cigarettes as a device to help people quit smoking. However, seven medicines have been approved by the FDA to help people quit smoking that have been tested for purity and safety, including forms of nicotine such as inhalers, nasal sprays, patches, gums and lozenges.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

04/16/15 8:00am
(Credit: Getty images stock)

Medical professionals are concerned e-cigarettes have been glamorized and targeted toward young people. (Credit: Getty images stock)

High school students sometimes notice classmates slyly puffing away — in class — behind a book, blowing smoke into their sleeves.

During a fire drill on a brisk day, some brazen students might even sneak a smoke out in the open, believing teachers and principals will mistake the small clouds as exhaled cold air.

Sure, teenagers are still huddling in obvious areas like bathrooms or just off school grounds to light up, but most of them aren’t using a lighter to smoke a butt. They’re “vaping” with electronic cigarettes. And schools are finding that the devices are becoming more popular among students than traditional cigarettes.

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03/04/14 1:20pm
03/04/2014 1:20 PM
Entrance to the Eastern Campus of the Suffolk County Community College. (Credit: Gayle Sheridan)

Entrance to the Eastern Campus of the Suffolk County Community College. (Credit: Gayle Sheridan)

While the Suffolk County Legislature has been considering increasing the age for everyone throughout the county to purchase tobacco — from age 19 to 21 — another measure could ban smoking completely in a few areas around Suffolk: the community college campuses.

The proposal comes neatly two years after the State University of New York’s trustees voted to ban smoking on all state college campuses, a measure that is still waiting for state legislative approval in order to be enforced.

Because the fact that Suffolk County Community College isn’t regulated by the SUNY trustee board, college officials said that county approval of the measure would bring a smoke-free campus — actually, all three campuses — to the 26,000 students at the schools.

Ben Zwirn, director of legislative affairs at SCCC, said last week that SCCC would be the biggest college campus in the state to ban smoking entirely on its grounds should the measure pass.

Mr. Zwirn cited secondhand smoke as a health issue to those not smoking on campus, in addition to litter. He added that in an online survey of the student body, over 70 percent of respondents — over 2,800 people — were in favor of the regulation.

The move to ban smoking on campus comes on the heels of Legislator William Spencer’s effort to raise the age to buy tobacco products entirely throughout Suffolk. That proposal was subject to a public hearing last month, and will be debated again on Tuesday afternoon at the legislature’s general meeting.

He is expected to sponsor the legislation on Tuesday banning smoking on campus. After that, the measure would need committee approval, be subject to a public hearing, require approval from the entire legislative body, and need a signature from Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Dr. Spencer (D-Centerport) said last week that “We’re looking to create a healthy, smoke-free environment within the the college’s jurisdiction. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to try that.”

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06/28/11 6:19pm
06/28/2011 6:19 PM

Smoking in the hospital has long been verboten, and pretty soon there will be no lighting up anywhere near the facility.

On July 5 Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport will go smoke-free, meaning smoking will not be permitted anywhere on hospital grounds.

“As a healthcare provider, we believe it is our responsibility to promote good health habits and discourage habits that increase health risks,” said Paul Connor, hospital president and CEO. He said the switch is being made in collaboration with the Suffolk County health department to reduce tobacco use.

ELIH officials contend that smoking on hospital grounds is a fire hazard and that discarded cigarette butts reaching nearby Stirling Harbor can be an environmental hazard as well.

The hospital quotes Center for Disease Control figures saying close to 60 percent of American children age 3 to 11, almost 22 million, are exposed to secondhand smoke, which has been liked to heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults and sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory infections in children.

More than 126 million nonsmoking Americans are exposed to secondhand smoke, the hospital said, with most exposure occurring in homes and workplaces.

Information on how to stop smoking is available by calling 1-866-NY–QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or at www.nysmokefree.com.