Some data show poisons

Robbie Leggett, Tobacco Prevention Specialist with the Santa Rosa County Health Department, said of electronic cigarettes, "The lack of data is the most difficult part." He said, "Originally, they were geared as a cessation device, but there has been a cultural shift in these products that now they're used just like cigarettes and alcohol."

Leggett said some data does exist noting the liquid that goes into "e cigarettes" is a poison. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), "Poison centers are reporting a recent uptick in calls about exposures to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine. In 2013, AAPCC found 1,414 reported exposures to either e-cigarette devices or liquid nicotine; through March 24, there have been 651 reported exposures. Slightly more than half of these reported exposures have occurred in young children under the age of six. Leggett said, "Children are always curious."

According to the American Lung Association, second hand smoke from regular cigarettes causes close to 50,000 deaths per year. Without any research available on e-cigarette second hand smoke, Leggett said, "I can't answer but only assume it's less harmful." "However," he went on, "tobacco companies want that conversation to happen. We should move away from that conversation." Leggett said, "There is no data to say e-cigarette vapor is entirely non-harmful. The vapor does contain nicotine since the liquid contains nicotine."

Leggett asks, "Right now, there are no regulations on e-cigarettes. If nicotine is a drug, why is it not regulated?" He said a bill exists in the Florida House of Representatives relating to e-cigarette regulation. The bill, HB-169 sponsored by Florida State Representative Ronald “Doc” Renuart and Representative Frank Artiles, bars sales of "nicotine dispensing devices" to youth under 18 years. However, the bill also preempts regulation of sale of tobacco products, nicotine products, and nicotine dispensing devices to state, meaning regulation of the sale of e-cigarettes would be only under the control of the state. However, according to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, amendment language would strip local governments of their ability to regulate all tobacco products and e-cigarettes.