Ritchie Bill To Bar E-Cigarette Use On School Grounds Passes Senate

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced her legislation to protect student health by banning electronic cigarettes use on school grounds has passed the Senate.

The bipartisan measure (Senate bill 750) would prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes, commonly known as “e-cigarettes” on school property and school buses.

While tobacco use is banned on school grounds, current law does not prohibit e-cigarettes, which are not regulated by the FDA and as such are not subject to tobacco law, on school property.

“While much is still unknown about how e-cigarettes impact health, it has been shown that their vapor, which contains nicotine, can be harmful,” said Senator Ritchie. “Schools are meant to be safe places for our young people, however, when we allow children to be exposed to things like e-cigarettes, we put their health at risk and also open them up to the possibility of picking up other damaging habits, like smoking cigarettes. I am pleased to support this measure, which has the potential to make our schools safer, healthier places for children.”

E-cigarettes are not permitted to be sold to minors and many districts have taken steps on their own to prohibit their use on school grounds.

According to a recent study by the Food and Drug Administration, e-cigarette use among teens has gone up 800 percent since 2011.

Instead of burning tobacco like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes heat a nicotine solution to create a vapor.

While little is known about their chemical makeup, testing by the FDA found that the use of e-cigarettes can cause users to inhale carcinogens and toxic chemicals, including an ingredient found in antifreeze.

This is the second year in a row that Senator Ritchie’s legislation to ban the use of e-cigarettes on school property has cleared the Senate.

The measure was sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal.