U.S. National Park Service (NPS) director Jonathan Jarvis on Sept. 14 issued a policy memorandum prohibiting the use of electronic smoking devices in all places where the use of traditional tobacco products is already prohibited in national parks. The policy is effective immediately.
“Protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees is one of the most critical duties of the National Park Service,” said Jarvis. “We are therefore extending the restrictions currently in place protecting visitors and employees from exposure to tobacco smoke to include exposure to vapor from electronic smoking devices.”
The new NPS policy bans the use of electronic smoking devices within all facilities and vehicles that are government-owned or leased, and within all national park concessions facilities.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has amended its 2015-2016 Technical Instruction for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods By Air to prohibit passengers and crew from carrying e-cigarettes and other battery-operated electronic smoking devices in checked luggage, and from charging such devices in aircraft cabins.
Although these standards are not legally binding, they are used as references by the 191 countries that follow ICAO guidance when developing legally-enforceable domestic regulations. Passengers will still be permitted to carry e-cigarettes in cabin baggage, and rules on usage will continue to be determined by individual airlines.
The ICAO initially issued advice regarding e-cigarettes in December 2014. The organization recommended that airlines require passengers to pack these devices in carry-on luggage stored inside the cabin rather than in baggage checked and stored in the cargo hold, so that any incidents—such as potential fires—would be noticed immediately by passengers or crew and dealt with promptly.
“Several incidents have been reported involving e-cigarette heating elements being accidentally activated and resulting in fires in checked baggage,” said ICAO council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “We had already recommended that our member states take actions on these concerns late last year but, after a further review by our Dangerous Goods Panel, it was determined that a formal amendment to the ICAO Technical Instructions should also be undertaken.”
Results of the New Youth Tobacco Policy Survey conducted by Cancer Research UK show that the majority of youth who have never smoked combustible cigarettes are not using e-cigarettes regularly.
Of the 1,205 children aged 11-16 who took part in a U.K.-wide survey on e-cigarette use, 12 percent reported “ever” use, 2 percent reported “more than monthly” use and 1 percent reported “more than weekly” use.
Among never smokers, only 3 percent reported ever use and 0 percent reported “at least monthly” use, indicating that regular e-cigarette use occurs only in youths who also smoked tobacco cigarettes.
The results of the study reflect earlier research that showed regular e-cigarette use to be extremely rare among nonsmoking youth. The latest survey, which was conducted from August to September 2014, marked the first time questions regarding e-cigarettes were included.
According to Cancer Research UK scientist and University of Stirling professor Linda Bauld, there is a common perception that the recent increase in e-cigarette use will lead to a new generation of adults who have never smoked but become dependent on nicotine. However, the survey results indicate that youth who have never used tobacco products are not using e-cigarettes regularly and that “experimentation is not translating into regular use.”
The study will be published in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll of 5,679 adults conducted between May 19 and June 4 found that use of cigarettes as well as e-cigarettes/vaporizers increases with income. According to the survey results, 12.4 percent of all adults with incomes greater than $75,000 per year reported using vapor devices, compared with 10.6 percent of adults whose income was $50,000 to $75,000 per year, 10 percent of adults making $25,000 to $50,000 per year and 8.9 percent of adults with incomes less than $25,000 per year. Of adults under the age of 40, 21.6 percent reported that they smoke cigarettes, while 15 percent reported that they vape.
Of the vapers, 70.5 percent indicated that they took up vaping within the past year, whereas 29.5 percent reported that they had started vaping more than one year ago. The percentage of Americans who reported smoking combustible cigarettes or vaping was 23.7 percent, compared with 19 percent for cigarette smoking alone.
A poll of 5,679 U.S. adults by conducted by Reuters/Ipsos between May 19 and June 4 found that approximately 10 percent of them vape, including 15 percent of respondents under the age of 40.
About 75 percent of the vapers surveyed also reported a continued use of combustible cigarettes. Seventy percent of vapers reported that they picked up the habit within the last year, with 40 percent indicating they were motivated by the lower long-term costs of vaping compared with traditional cigarette use as well as the fact that they could use vapor devices indoors.
Eighty percent of the vapers said the devices were “a good way to help people quit smoking;” however, the poll found that less than 40 percent of all the adults surveyed viewed vaping as a good way to help current cigarette users quit.
The 2015 survey results show a vaping rate that is significantly higher than the vaping rate in 2013, when the U.S. government estimated that only 2.6 percent of Americans used e-cigarettes.