The Nation's Health May/JuneIt was a 2009 complaint to a New Jersey local health official from a resident about seeing smoking inside of a mall that set the state Legislature on a path to electronic cigarette regulations.

While the complaint turned out to involve e-cigarettes, not tobacco, it raised awareness of the state’s existing Smoke Free Air Act, which banned cigarette use indoors. In 2010, state lawmakers were prompted to ban people from using e-cigarettes inside public places.

“It raised awareness that this was a new technology of an old problem,” said Mary O’Dowd, MPH, New Jersey’s state health commissioner. “To the credit of those (legislators) at the time, they quickly incorporated it into our existing law so that this was not a way to get around the law.”

To continue reading this story from the March 2015 issue of The Nation’s Health, visit the newspaper online.


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