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December 23rd, 2016:

Dutch plan new law to ban shops displaying cigarettes and tobacco

Junior health minister Martin van Rijn is working on draft legislation which would force shopkeepers and petrol stations to keep cigarettes out of sight of consumers, broadcaster NOS said on Friday. The tobacco industry had promised to come up with measures but is taking too long to do so, Van Rijn said in a briefing to parliament.

The tobacconists’ association NSO has pledged to stop advertising tobacco products outside shops by 2020 but did not think a total ban on displays inside was an option.

Petrol station owners too had said they would bring in a partial ban on the display of packets of cigarettes within two years. ‘Smoking is extremely bad for you and we have to do all we can to stop youngsters taking up the habit,’ Van Rijn said.

Legal age to purchase tobacco in Orange County to go from 18 to 21

Beginning the middle of the new year, you will have to be at least 21 years of age in order to purchase any tobacco products in Orange County. The county legislature on Thursday voted unanimously to raise the legal age, citing health risks associated with the habit of smoking or other tobacco uses.

The bill is sponsored by James DiSalvo. “If we can save a few lives with this legislation, then it is worth it,” DiSalvo said

Legislator Michael Anagnostakis, chairman of the Health and Mental Health Committee, said the Centers for Disease Control has data about raising the purchase age.

“They did the study and said if this kind of a law was implemented across the whole United States of America, you would 225,000 less deaths every single year going forward and it would account for savings of upwards of $10 billion in the healthcare system,” Anagnostakis said.

Legislator Matthew Turnbull termed smoking “a horrible addiction.”

Lawmaker Kevin Hines recounted a conversation with his son.

“I have a 21-year-old son who smokes and he told me, ‘make sure you pass this law.’ He knew that he got hooked on it and he’s fighting it.”

Legislator Melissa Bonacic sees teenage behavior on a regular basis.

“Being a high school teacher myself I see sometimes teenagers make a lot of great decisions but are also at the age where they make a lot of poor decisions as well,” Bonacic said. “And I think there are a lot of factors out there, whether it is in the media, on TV or in the movies, that promotes smoking because it is cool, we know today that smoking is not cool.”

Legislator Chris Eachus said the next step in the process to keep tobacco out of the hands of children is to establish local laws to move tobacco advertising out of the line of sight of young people.

County Executive Steven Neuhaus supports the measure and is expected to sign it.

E-cigarettes ‘ticking time bombs’ for unsuspecting users

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As you get ready to travel for the holidays, you could be sitting next to a ticking time bomb. That’s the warning from one senator after an e-cigarette exploded in a man’s pocket on a bus.

AAA tells 10News that more than 103 million Americans — the most on record —are expected to travel for the holidays.

E-cigarettes are exploding on planes, buses and in stores. New York senator Charles Schumer is putting the heat on the feds to consider recalling exploding batteries and devices.

“It’s terrifying to see people hurting themselves and blowing up. There are a lot of videos out there,” said Adam Wooddy, owner of Satyr Vapor in Fresno, California.

That’s for sure. This viral video shows a Fresno bus driver warning a passenger about using his e-cigarette. The man puts it away; seconds later sparks and flames fly from his pants pocket. Investigators say the e-cig’s battery is likely the source of the blast.

The e-cig fires are happening at 30,000 feet, too. Last week, American Airlines Flight 1129 from Dallas to Indianapolis had to divert to Little Rock, Arkansas, after an e-cig caught fire in a passenger’s carry-on bag.

“I hope this sets an example for people to not take e-cigarettes on board,” said passenger Susan Karimi.

The FAA has banned the devices in checked baggage, but they can still be carried onboard. They cannot be charged while on board.

A New York liquor store worker is still recovering from serious burns after smoke and fire shot from his pocket at coworkers a few weeks ago.

“This e-cigarette didn’t just explode, it exploded a number of times,” said victim Otis Gooding’s attorney, Sanford Rubenstein. “Clearly, government authorities need to intervene, with regard to the sales of these e-cigarettes, so that what happened to this victim won’t happen to anybody else.”

The Federal Drug Administration ties e-cigarettes to 66 explosions last year into early 2016. Many are linked to the lithium ion battery. Overcharging, manufacturing defects and punctures can cause it to overheat, sometimes triggering a fiery reaction.

“These batteries are fragile. They have a wrap on the outside that needs to stay intact. If that battery gets torn and starts to touch metal, something like loose change in your pocket or something like that, it can definitely short out the battery,” said Wooddy.

Senator Schumer wants the Consumer Product Safety Commission and FDA to uncover exactly why the devices are exploding, be it a design problem, battery problem or operator error.

“E-cigarettes have become ticking time bombs, and we’re here today to disarm them before they injure more unsuspecting people,” said Schumer.

Experts suggest e-cig users should buy American, since 90 percent of the products come from China with fewer regulations, and buy a reputable domestic brand. Users are urged to read the instructions; don’t hold down the button too long, use the correct charger and don’t charge it too long to help prevent the device from going up in flames.

The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association points out that millions of people use the devices with only a few accidents. TVECA does support responsible regulation saying, “When you don’t have oversight, companies who want to make a quick buck buy batteries and equipment that aren’t up to snuff.”

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Overview

General Information

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of more than 100 chemicals generally produced during the incomplete burning of organic materials, including coal, oil, gas, wood, garbage, and tobacco. PAHs are composed of up to six benzene rings fused together such that any two adjacent benzene rings share two carbon bonds. Examples include phenanthrenes, naphthalene, and pyrene. Important PAH sources include motor vehicle exhaust, residential and industrial heating sources, coal, crude oil and natural gas processing, waste incineration, and tobacco smoke. The emitted PAHs can form or bind to particles in the air, and particle size depends in part on the source of the PAHs. The smaller or fine particulates (e.g., PM2.5 or smaller) have higher concentrations of PAHs than the larger or coarse particulates (Bostrom et al., 2002; Rehwagen et al., 2005). Ambient air PAH concentrations show seasonal variation (IPCS, 1998; Rehwagen et al., 2005). Smoking, grilling, broiling, or other high temperature processing leads to PAH formation in meat and in other foods, as well. Uncooked foods and vegetables generally contain low levels of PAHs but can be contaminated by airborne particle deposition or growth in contaminated soil. With the exception of naphthalene, the PAHs described here are not produced commercially in the U.S.

Human exposure usually occurs to PAH mixtures rather than to individual chemicals, and PAH mixture composition varies with the combustion source and temperature (ATSDR, 1995). For persons without occupational exposure, important sources of PAHs include ambient air pollution (especially motor vehicle exhaust), smoke from wood or fossil fuels, tobacco smoke, and foods. PAH exposure can occur in workplaces where petroleum products are burned or coked, such as coke production, coal gasification and gas refining, iron or steel production, roofing tar and asphalt application, waste incineration, and aluminum smelting. Coal tar ointments containing PAHs are used to treat several inflammatory skin conditions.

PAHs are lipid soluble and can be absorbed through the skin, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract. PAH metabolism is complex and occurs primarily in the liver, and to a lesser extent, in other tissues. PAH elimination occurs via urine and feces, and urinary metabolites are eliminated within a few days (Ramesh et al., 2004). PAHs and their urinary hydroxylated metabolites measured in at CDC are shown in the table. The metabolic pathways and enzyme-inducing effects of specific PAHs, such as benz[a]pyrene, have been actively studied to elucidate cancer potential and causal mechanisms (Ramesh et al., 2004). Although immunologic, kidney and brain toxicity have been seen in animals after high doses were administered, it is unclear if similar effects may occur in humans. Lung, bladder, and skin cancers have been reported in occupational settings following high PAH exposures (Bosetti et al., 2007; Bostrom et al., 2002; Lloyd, 1971). Exposure to fine particulates has been associated with fetal growth retardation, respiratory disorders, and cardiovascular disease, but it is unknown whether PAHs contained within fine particulates are etiologic (ATSDR, 1995; Choi, 2006).

IARC classifies naphthalene as a possible human carcinogen. NTP determined that naphthalene is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. Many other PAHs are considered to be probable or possible human carcinogens. IARC and NTP have classified specific PAH-containing chemical mixtures (e.g., soot, coke oven emissions, coal tars and coal tar pitches) as human carcinogens. OSHA has developed criteria on the allowable levels of these chemicals in the workplace.

Information about external exposure (i.e., environmental levels) and health effects is available in reviews (Bosetti et al., 2007; Bostrom et al., 2002; Brandt and Watson 2003) and from ATSDR at


Biomonitoring Information

Measurement of urinary metabolites reflects recent exposure to PAHs. Some of the parent PAHs can produce more than one measurable urinary metabolite, as shown in the Table. The hydroxylated metabolites of PAHs are excreted in human urine both as free hydroxylated metabolites and as hydroxylated metabolites conjugated to glucuronic acid and sulfate. Urine metabolite profiles can vary depending on the PAH source(s), but also have been found to vary between individuals experiencing similar exposures within the same workplace (Grimmer et al., 1997; Jacob and Seidel 2002).

Finding a measurable amount of one or more metabolites in the urine does not imply that the levels of the PAH metabolites or the parent PAH cause an adverse health effect. Biomonitoring studies of urinary PAHs provide physicians and public health officials with reference values so that they can determine whether or not people have been exposed to higher levels of PAHs than are found in the general population. Biomonitoring data can also help scientists plan and conduct research on exposure and health effects.

CAS No. 129-00-0

General Information

Pyrene has been used as a starting material for producing optical brighteners and dyes. Notable pyrene sources include domestic heating sources, particularly wood burning; gasoline fuel exhaust; coal tar and asphalt; and cigarette smoke. Pyrene is commonly found in PAH mixtures, and its urinary metabolite, 1-hydroxypyrene, has been used widely as an indicator of exposure to PAH chemicals, particularly in occupational exposure studies. IARC determined that pyrene was not classifiable as to its human carcinogenicity.

Biomonitoring Information

Urinary levels of 1-hydroxypyrene reflect recent exposure. The overall geometric mean of 1-hydroxypyrene levels in the NHANES 2003–2004 subsample was similar to that of general populations in other industrialized countries (Becker et al., 2003; Chuang et al., 1999; Goen et al., 1995; Heudorf and Angerer 2001a, 2001b; Yang et al., 2003). Higher levels have been noted in residents of industrialized and high traffic urban areas compared with rural or suburban settings, and the mean urinary 1-hydroxypyrene levels from the former group were somewhat higher than in the NHANES 2003–2004 subsample (Kanoh et al., 1993; Kuo et al., 2004; Yang et al., 2003). Variation also has been noted in the mean 1-hydroxypyrene urine levels between different industrialized countries (for example, South Korea or China, compared to the U.S.), which is attributable to such factors as ambient air pollution and residential heating and cooking sources (Huang et al., 2004; Kuo et al., 2004; Roggi et al., 1997; Siwinska et al., 1999; Yang et al., 2003). In general, smokers have about 2 to 4-fold higher urinary 1-hydroxypyrene levels than non-smokers (Goen et al., 1995; Heudorf and Angerer 2001b; Jacob et al., 1999). Environmental tobacco smoke may contribute to higher urinary 1-hydroxypyrene levels in exposed children (Chuang et al., 1999; Siwinska et al., 1999; Tsai et al., 2003).

Numerous studies of workers with occupational exposure to excessive vehicular exhaust have found increased urinary 1-hydroxypyrene levels compared to non-exposed individuals (Kuusimaki et al., 2004; Merlo et al., 1998; Tsai et al., 2004). The highest urinary levels of 1-hydroxypyrene measured in occupational studies have been found in aluminum smelter and coke oven workers exposed to heated tar and coal tar products (Alexandrie et al., 2000; Goen et al., 1995; Jacob and Seidel, 2002; Lu et al., 2002; Serdar et al., 2003). Results in these workers have ranged from about 100 to more than 1000 times greater than non-exposed levels and the geometric mean values found in the Fourth Report. Tobacco smoking also was associated with levels about double those in nonsmoking workers (Campo et al., 2006; Merlo et al., 1998; Mukherjee et al., 2004).

Finding a measurable amount of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene does not imply that the level of 1-hydroxypyrene causes an adverse health effect. Biomonitoring studies on levels of 1-hydroxypyrene provide physicians and public health officials with reference values so that they can determine whether people have been exposed to higher levels of pyrene than are found in the general population. Biomonitoring data can also help scientists plan and conduct research on exposure and health effects.


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