Lazio bans e-cigarettes in health facilities

 ROME – The use of electronic cigarettes in hospitals, health facilities and medical offices is being banned throughout Lazio, health officials said on Thursday.

 The new measures, currently under completion, are to be extended to the areas surrounding these facilities.

 This means vaping (the use of e-cigarettes) in parks and car parks surrounding healthcare facilities is also to be prohibited, as is currently the case with traditional cigarettes.

 While the connection between illness and e-cigarettes is still under investigation, Italian health authorities are concerned about the rise in the use of the electronic devices, especially among teens, according to Il Messaggero.

 The Health Department, in collaboration with Italy’s National Institute of Health (ISS), is to start monitoring the use of electronic devices among adolescents in the 13-16 year old age bracket.

 The news comes as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday announced the state’s first vaping-related death. 

 Not only is a 17-year-old Bronx teen the first in New York to die from vaping-related lung disease, he is also the youngest, according to The New York Times.

 “Parents have to know, young people have to know, you are playing with your life, when you play with this stuff,” Cuomo said on Tuesday.

 According to American media there have been 19 deaths linked with the use of electronic cigarettes in the United States.

 The international press has also reported on the results of a New York University (NYU) study carried out on mice.

 The study found long-term exposure to the nicotine-containing liquids of electronic cigarettes increased the risk of cancer.

 The debate on vaping and e-cigarette use in America is heated.

 Just last month U.S. President Donald Trump suggested a ban on electronic cigarettes only to double back and talk about more controls on the substances used.

 “We can’t allow people to get sick. And we can’t have our kids be so affected,” Trump said.

 In light of what’s happening in America, the region of Lazio has decided to apply precautionary measures, Regional Health Councillor Alessio D’Amato said.

 Director of the ISS National Dependency and Doping Centre, Dr. Roberta Pacifici, echoes these views.

 “Waiting for more certainty, as men of public health we must be very careful and warn consumers,” said Pacifici, who advocates the use of product health warnings and a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in public places in line with anti-smoking legislation.

  “I repeat, a prudential approach is necessary while waiting for more comprehensive studies, and we need to teach kids that not everything that is sold on the Internet is risk-free. If you really need to consume that product, use official and controlled channels.”