FDA Moves to Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes to Minors

WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -

A longtime Westchester County commissioner fired this month is attempting to turn the tables on his former boss, county executive Rob Astorino, who is running for governor of New York on the Republican ticket.

Bruce Berger, who ran Westchester’s Solid Waste Commission until Monday, claimed that he was sacked to make way for a “political crony” friend of Astorino. He wrote a scathing letter dated April 21 asking potential donors to the Republican’s underdog campaign to keep their money to themselves instead of giving it to Astorino.

“I have been replaced by a Republican judge who lost reelection last November and who has no relevant experience in the field,” wrote Berger, 57, who has served for the past 14 years in the position. “The judge, Daniel
which heat a nicotine
solution to produce an odorless vapor without the smoke and tar of burning tobacco, can help smokers quit.

“This could be the single biggest opportunity that’s come along in a century to make the cigarette obsolete,” said David Abrams, executive director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the American Legacy Foundation.

Still, some wonder whether e-cigarettes keep smokers addicted or hook new users and encourage them to move on to tobacco. And some warn that the FDA regulations could have unintended consequences.

“If the regulations are too heavy-handed, they’ll have the deadly effect of preventing smokers from quitting by switching to these dramatically less harmful alternatives,” said Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank in Washington.

Scientists haven’t finished much research on e-cigarettes, and the studies that have been done have been inconclusive. The government is pouring millions into research to supplement independent and company studies on the health risks of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products — as well as who uses them and why.

“There are far more questions than answers,” acknowledged Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

But he said the proposed rules “would result in significant public health benefits, including through reducing sales to youth, helping to correct consumer misperceptions, preventing misleading health claims and preventing new products from entering the market without scientific review by FDA.”