The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s (SMMUSD) Board of Education will revise its tobacco-free schools policy at its next general meeting to expand the ban on tobacco-related products to electronic cigarettes.
An extension of a state law prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors, the board swiftly agreed at its Aug. 24 meeting to move forward with the proposed revision the next time it convenes at the district office on Sept. 8.
Under the revised policy, the definition of prohibited products is expanded to include nicotine delivery devices.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have been “advertised as an alternative to smoked tobacco products.”
In a 2009 study on the nicotine contraptions, which look like cigarettes, the FDA explained e-cigarettes were “a battery-powered device that provides inhaled doses of nicotine by delivering a vaporized propylene glycol/nicotine mixture.”
In studying two e-cigarette products manufactured by Njoy and Smoking Everywhere Electronic Cigarette, B.J. Westenberger, the deputy director of the FDA Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis concluded from the 2009 study that nicotine was present in both products.
Accordingly, the FDA relied upon that study, among others with similar conclusions, to make a case of regulating e-cigarettes the same way it does traditional cigarettes.
However, a U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled in January it would not hear a case where the FDA challenged a lower-court ruling prohibiting the government agency from regulating e-cigarettes as a medical device.
According to Center for Tobacco Products Director Lawrence Deyton and Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Director Janet Woodcock, the Court of Appeals determined that “e-cigarettes and other products made or derived from tobacco can be regulated as ‘tobacco products’ … and are not drugs/devices unless they are marketed for therapeutic purposes.”
Contact Parimal M. Rohit: Parimal@smmirror.com
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