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E-cigarettes must be restricted

I strongly support the arguments made by Interim City Health Commissioner Jacquelyn Duval-Harvey in her recent commentary ("Regulate Baltimore's e-cigarettes," Oct. 22). Electronic cigarettes should be regulated.

There is no conclusive scientific evidence in regard to the safety of electronic cigarettes, many of which may contain nicotine and carcinogens. Electronic cigarettes are not subject to manufacturing guidelines, meaning the nicotine levels and levels of other potentially dangerous chemicals are often unknown. Not only is there a lack of scientific evidence on the risks associated with using electronic cigarettes but the health effects passed on to bystanders are yet to be determined.

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Electronic cigarettes are promoted as an alternative way to quit smoking, but their effectiveness has not been proven or studied significantly. In fact, electronic cigarette manufacturers are not permitted to market their products as cessation devices unless they are approved as such by the Food and Drug Administration. Why risk one's health when there are FDA-approved and thoroughly tested smoking cessation medications currently on the market?

Until conclusive evidence exists around electronic cigarette use and the effects it has on those around the user, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and other public health advocacy groups strongly recommend restricting use of e-cigarettes in public places including places of work, restaurants and bars. I couldn't agree more.

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Alvin Daughtrey, Baltimore

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