AIHA Wants NIOSH to Recommend E-Cigarette Limits
Comments submitted Sept. 15 by Christine A.D. Lorenzo, CIH, the association's president, ask NIOSH to either include e-cigarettes in the definition of smokeless tobacco in its draft Current Intelligence Bulletin or to provide recommendations for limiting their use in indoor workplaces.
Five months after 11 Democratic members of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives issued a report spotlighting how electronic cigarettes are being marketed to appeal to youth audiences, the American Industrial Hygiene Association also has raised concerns about them. Comments submitted Sept. 15 by Christine A.D. Lorenzo, CIH, the association's president, ask NIOSH to either include e-cigarettes in the definition of smokeless tobacco in its draft Current Intelligence Bulletin "Promoting Health and Preventing Disease and Injury Through Workplace Tobacco Policies" or to provide recommendations for limiting their use in indoor workplaces.
There are no specific recommendations in the draft bulletin about e-cigarette use in indoor occupational environments, but it does recommend tobacco-free workplace policies that allow "no use of any tobacco products, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco" with no specific mention of e-cigarettes, according to Lorenzo's comments. "Because e-cigarettes are a potential source of pollutants (such as airborne nicotine, flavorings, and thermal degradation products), it would be appropriate for their use in the indoor occupational environment to be restricted, consistent with current smoking bans, until, and unless, research documents that they will not significantly increase the risk of adverse health effects to occupants," she wrote.
The congressional Democrats who issued the report in April 2014 included Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, as well as Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Sen. John D. Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who chairs the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. They asked the Food and Drug Administration to move faster to regulate e-cigarettes. Their report, "Gateway to Addiction? A Survey of Popular Electronic Cigarette Manufacturers and Marketing to Youth," described the use of social media, sponsorship of youth-oriented events, and TV and radio advertising that reaches substantial young audiences. It included responses from eight e-cigarette manufacturers as the lawmakers were investigating the industry.
FDA proposed a rule in April 2014 extending its tobacco authority to e-cigarettes.