Thursday, March 31, 2011

Consumer Group Urges Vote Against E-cigarette Usage Ban

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) urges Springfield, MO voters to say "no" to Council Bill No. 2011-012 that would amend Chapter 58 of the Springfield City Code to include the use of an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) in the anti-smoking ordinances. CASAA is a non-profit organization that works to ensure the availability of reduced harm alternatives to smoking and to provide the public with truthful information about such alternatives. 

"E-cigarettes do not produce smoke," stated CASAA's medical director, Dr. Theresa Whitt, M.D.  "Smoke delivers tar, carbon monoxide, particulates, and thousands of chemicals created by the process of combustion.  Because nothing is burned in an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), the vapor does not contain any of these harmful substances. Nicotine does not cause lung disease, heart disease, or cancer—smoke does". An e-cigarette consists of a battery; an atomizer; and a cartridge that contains propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG), flavoring, and optional strengths of nicotine. When the user activates the unit, the battery supplies heat to the atomizer, which vaporizes some of the liquid in the cartridge. According to Health New Zealand, the vapor is "harmless, inhaled or exhaled." The vapor dissipates quickly and there is no lingering odor. 

"The language in the proposed bill reflects a serious misunderstanding of the purpose of the e-cigarette," stated Dr. Whitt. "E-cigarettes are not being used for 'circumventing the prohibition of smoking.' The majority of consumers use e-cigarettes as a complete replacement for all their tobacco cigarettes, and most of the rest use e-cigarettes to reduce the number of cigarettes per day they smoke.  These products are improving the health of their users, and could save the lives of many more smokers—provided their use is not discouraged." 

Dr. Whitt explained that CASAA surveys have found that many e-cigarette users first discover the safer devices when they see them being used where smoking isn't allowed.  Banning indoor use, forcing e-cigarette users outside, removes an incentive for continuing smokers to switch to an alternative that could reduce their risks of smoking-related disease by up to 99%.  She said that, as written, Council Bill No. 2011-012 stands to do more harm to public health than good.

The CASAA.org web site provides information on research, lab reports, news, and links to journal articles about tobacco harm reduction and safer alternatives to smoking.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Consumer Group Applauds Colorado Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Youth

A new Colorado state law makes sales of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) illegal to those under age 18. Dr. Theresa Whitt, M.D., the Medical Director for Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), spoke out today in favor of the new law. "Personal vaporizers (PVs), aka e-cigarettes, were invented for the purpose of saving the health and lives of long-term, committed smokers," stated Dr. Whitt, "not to attract youth to the use of nicotine. There is no evidence that young people are interested in these products; however, when it comes to the health of children, it pays to err on the side of caution."
Whitt said that people who smoked for decades make up the majority of users. "One survey of e-cigarette consumers reported that 100% had previously smoked, and 91% had made previous attempts to stop smoking, with 21% having tried 10 or more times," said Witt. "This survey showed that a remarkable 82% reported using e-cigarettes as a complete replacement for smoking, with another 15% using them to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked."
Whitt stated that 87% had previously tried medicinal nicotine products, but such products only have a 7% success rate. Only 1% of survey participates said they were able to stop smoking using patches, gum or lozenges.
Whitt said that over 90% of users are reporting health improvements. She attributes this to the fact that the devices operate using the process of vaporization instead of combustion, which eliminates the tar, carbon monoxide, particulates, and thousands of chemicals found in smoke. "The nicotine in cigarettes is what keeps people coming back to smoking," said Whitt, citing the beneficial effects such as enhancing the ability to concentrate and relieving depression and anxiety. "Nicotine does not cause the tobacco-related cancer, heart, and lung disease. Research in Sweden on the use of snus, a low-nitrosamine type of smokeless tobacco, as a substitute for smoking has shown that eliminating the smoke reduces disease risk by up to 99%. Nicotine has a similar safety profile to caffeine and it is not intoxicating. Therefore it makes sense to approach the problem of reducing smoking-related diseases by providing less-harmful sources of nicotine to smokers for long-term use."
CASAA is a non-profit organization that works to ensure the availability of reduced harm alternatives to smoking and to provide smokers and non-smokers alike with truthful information about such alternatives.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tennessee Call to Action!

Tennessee bills HB 1729 and SB 0910 (PDF) - As introduced, prohibits sale of electronic cigarettes to minors; prohibits distribution and sale of nicotine delivery products or devices that have not been approved by FDA as tobacco use cessation products. - Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 15 and Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 1.

This Bill would:
Ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to ADULT smokers.
This bill was assigned to the  General Sub-committee of the House Agriculture Committee on 3/01/2011.
http://www.casaa.org/news/article.asp?articleID=135&l=a&p=

Text of CASAA's letter to Tennessee committee members:

Read Full Call to Action Here: http://www.casaa.org/CTA/article.asp?articleID=133&l=a&p=


Friday, March 4, 2011

Ex-Smokers Defend E-Cigarettes After Lawmaker’s Attempted Ban

KCPW News Radio
March 4, 2011

Salt Lake City, Utah--Flavored e-cigarettes and other nicotine products aimed at ex-smokers are the target of State Representative Paul Ray, who’s trying to ban them to protect children from getting their hands on them. But two local ex-smokers say the products have changed their lives – and the lives of their children– for the better. Jacinda Ross of West Jordan and Aaron Frazier of West Valley City are members of CASAA, the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association. KCPW’s Jeff Robinson asked them both what e-cigarettes have done for them.

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