Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave. Westbury, NY 11590-9007
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

For Immediate Release

October 23, 2017

Medical Society President: NY Teens Should Not Be Puffing on E-Cigarettes or Any Other Toxic Inhalant

Charles Rothberg, MD, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York today commended Governor Andrew Cuomo and the members of the New York State Legislature for taking action to preserve and protect all New Yorkers by including e-cigarettes under the Clean Indoor Air Act.

Dr. Rothberg stated: “This historic legislation prevents the use of e-cigarettes in all public places, thereby preventing young people from seeing adults using these devices and further preventing modeling of cigarette smoking. This measure, combined with the recent school prohibition of using e-cigarettes on school grounds, will go a long way in reducing e-cigarette use in New York’s young people.”

Electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigarettes, are electronic devices that deliver nicotine to the user.  They heat up liquid nicotine and emit water vapor together with various chemicals, of which there is very little known.   People are being placed at risk because of the lack of information regarding the chemical makeup of liquid nicotine or the risk to individuals from inhaling the water vapor either directly or through secondhand exposure.

Testing done by the FDA shows that electronic cigarettes can be dangerous because users inhale carcinogens and toxic chemicals, such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient found in antifreeze.  Recent studies have suggested that e-cigarettes may contain more carcinogens than traditional cigarettes, in some instances ten times the carcinogens of traditional cigarettes. 

In 2012, New York State banned the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes to minors under the age of 18.  Despite this, in New York State, the use of e-cigarettes among high school age youth doubled between 2014 and 2016 from 10.5% to 20.6% making e-cigarettes the most commonly used tobacco product surpassing cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and hookah.

The Medical Society of the State of New York was a strong proponent of this legislation, and has consistently advocated for strong public policy in regards to tobacco use by all New Yorkers.

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Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state's principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Avenue
Westbury, NY 11590
516.488.6100 x 302