Monday, November 28, 2011

Chew/snus alternatives free from scrutiny given to e-cigarettes

by Kristin Noll-Marsh
Wisconsin Tobacco Harm Reduction Blog

The FDA has gone after e-cigarettes because it decided that the claims that e-cigarettes were safer than smoking were unproven and that the products were actually unapproved drug delivery systems designed for smoking cessation. Arguments that e-cigarettes are actually safer alternatives to smoking (rather than a treatment) have fallen on deaf ears.

Ironically, another "alternative" to tobacco - tobacco and nicotine-free chew/snus products - have seemingly been free to make similar claims about their products without any clinical trials or FDA scrutiny. Compare the claims made on the web site for a product called "Nip the Grip":

[Read More]

Sunday, November 20, 2011

CASAA successfully stops e-cigarette use ban in Alameda, CA

As reported by CASAA's Call to Action from November 1st, the Alameda City Council was considering a comprehensive smoking ban; which included electronic cigarettes in the definition of "smoking." This would have prohibited the use of e-cigarettes everywhere smoking was not allowed - including condominiums, outdoor bar patios and beaches.

CASAA called for members to urge the City Council to remove e-cigarettes from the proposed ordinance and arranged for locals to make public comments at the Council's first reading. Due to these efforts and those of local e-cigarette merchants, e-cigarettes were removed from the ordinance until more information could be provided to the Council.

On November 15, Alameda City Council voted 5-0 to approve the new smokefree ordinance, with e-cigarettes excluded. The city prominently touts the removal of e-cigarettes from the proposed ordinance. [The City of Alameda - Secondhand Smoke Ordinance]

News story and minutes of the Nov. 15 council meeting may be read at [Big Night at Alameda City Council: Smoking Law Passes, City to Explore Alternatives to Cowan Land Swap - Alameda, CA Patch]

"Alameda City Council's decision to remove e-cigarettes is really important," CASAA Advisor Bill Godshall posted at, "as Alameda is within five miles of UCSF (where Stan Glantz is located); Berkeley (where Americans for Nonsmokers Rights is headquartered); ALA's regional office where lobbyist Serena Chen works; and the Public Health Law and Policy office in Oakland (which drafted model ordanances to ban e-cig use at Electronic Cigarettes: How They Are - and Could Be - Regulated | PHLP and"

"Hopefully, what happened in Alameda will make these e-cigarette prohibitionists reassess their strategy and tactics to inaccurately define "smoking" as including e-cigarette usage in future smokefree ordinance campaigns, and [discontinue making] f
alse claims about e-cigarettes," Godshall wrote.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fat people - welcome to our world

by Kristin Noll-Marsh
Wisconsin Tobacco Harm Reduction Blog

In a recent Time magazine online article, "Let’s Stop Being Passive About Fighting Obesity: It's time to embrace the same tactics that worked against smoking," public health writer Shannon Brownlee drew comparisons between smoking and obesity, calling for public health (and the public) to start treating fat people like smokers. I responded in the comments, but felt it was worth posting here, as well:

The author says, "The war on smoking worked because it made smoking shameful and the public health measures needed to fight it permissible."
In fact, the war on smoking was most successful from 1950 (when the link to lung cancer was found) through the 1980's - when public health focused on education and information, not the "shaming" of smokers. The smoking rate dropped dramatically from 44% to 26% (from 1950 to 1990.) The greatest advances in the mid to late 1980's - nicotine gum approved by the FDA, first city bans smoking in restaurants in 1987, nicotine compared to heroin (without any actual studies to support it), had very little impact in the following decade. The research on second-hand smoke came out in the 1990's, which was gleefully used to change a war against the negative health effects of smoking (to HELP smokers improve their health) into a war AGAINST smokers. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CASAA submits comments to the DOT

If you have been following this blog, you already know that the Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing to amend its existing airline smoking rule to explicitly ban the use of electronic cigarettes on all aircraft in scheduled passenger interstate, intrastate and foreign air transportation. This Regulation would impose fines of up to $3,300 for "smoking" an e-cigarette on an airplane. Those who use an e-cigarette would be treated exactly as if they were smoking a combusted tobacco product.

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, along with The Competitive Enterprise Institute, has submitted a comment to the Department of Transportation. The CEI is a non-profit organization that focuses on regulatory issues, especially on raising public understanding of the often-hidden costs of over-regulation and was instrumental in helping CASAA craft this comprehensive and informative comment to the DOT!

You may read the full text here.

How health groups fight against healthy laws

A funny (yet true) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart "report" on the hypocrisy of groups like the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. Proves what groups like CASAA are up against. Please give your support to CASAA!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
How a Bill Doesn't Become a Law
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Monday, November 14, 2011

DOT Plans to Ban Use of E-cigarettes on Aircraft

Today is the last day to get in comments! CASAA has made this VERY EASY to do! You can write your own, short testimonial (just a couple of sentences) on how e-cigarettes have worked for you (without adverse effects) and then just copy & paste the other facts that can be found on CASAA's Call to Action page by clicking HERE. You will also find the link to the DOT comments page on the Call to Action page.

You may not care about vaping on airplanes, but this is just another step for them to ban e-cigarettes someplace else. The ANTZ frequently cite other bans to support their proposed bans in restaurants, bars, hotels and even apartments and condos (the DOT is citing bans below decks on Navy submarines and Amtrak to support THIS airplane ban) - so we cannot sit back let ANY get passed just because they don't directly affect us, because eventually it will!

It only takes 5-10 minutes. Don't let them overstep their authority and include SMOKELESS e-cigarettes in a SMOKING policy!!! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Best e-cigarette article EVER in New York Times

A Tool to Quit Smoking Has Some Unlikely Critics
New York Times

If you want a truly frustrating job in public health, try getting people to stop smoking. Even when researchers combine counseling and encouragement with nicotine patches and gum, few smokers quit.

Recently, though, experimenters in Italy had more success by doing less. A team led by Riccardo Polosa of the University of Catania recruited 40 hard-core smokers — ones who had turned down a free spot in a smoking-cessation program — and simply gave them a gadget already available in stores for $50. This electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, contains a small reservoir of liquid nicotine solution that is vaporized to form an aerosol mist.

The user “vapes,” or puffs on the vapor, to get a hit of the addictive nicotine (and the familiar sensation of bringing a cigarette to one’s mouth) without the noxious substances found in cigarette smoke.

After six months, more than half the subjects in Dr. Polosa’s experiment had cut their regular cigarette consumption by at least 50 percent. Nearly a quarter had stopped altogether. Though this was just a small pilot study, the results fit with other encouraging evidence and bolster hopes that these e-cigarettes could be the most effective tool yet for reducing the global death toll from smoking.

But there’s a powerful group working against this innovation — and it’s not Big Tobacco. It’s a coalition of government officials and antismoking groups who have been warning about the dangers of e-cigarettes and trying to ban their sale.

The controversy is part of a long-running philosophical debate about public health policy, but with an odd role reversal. In the past, conservatives have leaned toward “abstinence only” policies for dealing with problems like teenage pregnancy and heroin addiction, while liberals have been open to “harm reduction” strategies like encouraging birth control and dispensing methadone.

When it comes to nicotine, though, the abstinence forces tend to be more liberal, including Democratic officials at the state and national level who have been trying to stop the sale of e-cigarettes and ban their use in smoke-free places....  [Read More]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Seattle Housing Authority Backs Down From E-cigarette Use Ban

The chance for public comments closed back in September for a proposed change in policy by the Seattle Housing Authority, which would have banned e-cigarette use "in individual apartment homes or the common spaces of a SHA community or facility of any type, unless otherwise specified."

CASAA Director Greg Conley discovered and posted about this outrageous proposal October 29, 2011, noting that the next Board of Commissioners meeting is November 8th. Director Conley encouraged members to "Please send civil e-mails requesting that the Board of Commissioners remove smoke-free e-cigarettes from the smoking ban proposal."

Members heeded CASAA's impromptu Call to Action and according to the office of Tom Tierney, SHA's Executive Director, the flood of emails and calls from "individuals who contacted our office about electronic cigarettes" has influenced the SHA to "recommend that we allow the use of electronic cigarettes in the proposed policy for all housing developments."

Another victory against the irrational and knee-jerk legislation of less hazardous, smoke-free alternatives! This is just more proof that your calls and emails DO make a difference - so please help whenever you are able - there are many other fronts on which we are currently fighting!

Emergency Message for Northern California E-cigarette Users

We only just became aware last night that tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 1) the Alameda, California City Council will be voting on an ordinance that would prohibit "smoking," including the use of electronic cigarettes, in all indoor workplace, all outdoor public places, multi-unit rental housing (including balconies and porches), and all new common interest properties.

This is a new low.  If this passes, it will be the first successful ban on the use of e-cigarettes in one's own home ever passed.  We would greatly appreciate that our California members write a public comment in opposition or attend tonight's meeting.  To see previous CASAA recommendations for writing public comments, see here.

Public comment can be sent to  If you'd like to call the City Council members at their offices tomorrow, that info can be foundhere.  The proposed ordinance can be found here.  

The council will meet at 7 p.m tonight in the third floor council chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave in Almaeda.  Public comments of 3 minutes long will be accepted.  All you need to do is show up a few minutes early and sign up.

Even if you are from 8 hours away from Almaeda, a public comment would still be greatly appreciated.  Feel free to e-mail it to us at, or post it in this thread on ECF.