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Excluding E-cigs from smoke-free law bad idea

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Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, wants to exempt e-cigarettes from the state smoke-free air law and permit their use indoors. He reasons that the devices do not contain tobacco and only emit a vapor.

Secondhand e-cigarette emissions are just one of the reasons e-cigarettes should not be exempt. Several studies have identified detectable levels of toxic cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigarettes, including an ingredient used in antifreeze.

With over 250 different brands, no one knows whether they are safe because e-cigarette manufacturers have so far avoided any type of federal regulation. These manufacturers can even get away with adding cotton candy, bubble gum, chocolate and other child-enticing flavors to their product.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says use of e-cigarettes by kids in grades 6 through 12 has doubled in one year alone.

Recently, a Minnesota study discovered that an alarming number of former smokers who quit smoking are now using e-cigarettes. The study also found measureable increases in e-cigarette use among non-smokers, including teenagers.

While some will claim e-cigarettes can help smokers quit, the Food and Drug Administration has not found e-cigarettes to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit.

E-cigarettes appear more and more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing designed to skirt state smoke-free air laws and start Wisconsin children on the road to nicotine addiction.

The law is working — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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