Sunday, December 30, 2012

Call to Action! Submit Written Comments – Sec. 918 of Tobacco Act


History:

The FDA held a public hearing on Section 918 on Monday, December 17, 2012. Many THR advocates testified. See: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/legislation-news/361023-more-details-analysis-fdas-december-17-hearing.html

For the hearing, we issued a Call to Awareness. This is now a related (as noted below) but separate Call to Action. The FDA will use the testimony that was given at the December 17 hearing, plus the written comments submitted by January 16, 2013 as input for the report to Congress required by the Tobacco Act. 


How to Submit Written Comments:

To submit a comment electronically: On the page http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2012-N-1148-0011 (Link updated 1/3/13), click the “Comment Now” button. Comments that you type into the comment field are limited to 2,000 characters. If your comment is longer, you can upload a file that contains your comment and just type “See attachment” into the Comment field.

To submit a comment by U.S. Mail: Send to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Identify comments with the docket number [Docket No. FDA-2012-N-1148].

Electronic or written comments will be accepted until January 16, 2013.

What to Say:

1. Describe your history as a smoker: When did you start? How long did you smoke? How much did you smoke?

2. Describe your quitting attempts: How many times did you try to quit? What different products and methods did you try? What did you like and dislike about the products or methods you tried?

3. If you stopped smoking completely some time in the past and experienced problems such as feeling depressed and/or anxious, getting along with others, concentrating, remembering, etc. describe those experiences.

4. Describe the effects switching to e-cigarettes has had on how much you smoke now.

5. Describe the health effects you have experienced as a result of switching to e-cigarettes (and/or snus).

6. Tell the FDA that there should not be any time limit on using NRTs, but that it would be better to raise the amount of nicotine each piece provides than to have people use multiple types of products.

7. Tell the FDA that innovative products such as e-cigarettes should not be made less effective by setting nicotine doses too low.

8. If you use e-liquid (or snus) that has a pleasant flavor added (such as fruit, candy, beverage), tell the FDA that this has helped you and describe how.

9. Urge the FDA to not propose the "deeming" regulation because it would ban e-cigarettes, and would sharply increase the price and reduce accessibility of the products even if FDA exempted e-cigarettes from the most onerous provisions in Chapter IX.

10. Ask the FDA to remove text from its web site that is inaccurate and/or misleading.

·         For example, many people believe that e-cigarettes are very likely to cause cancer or poison the user because the FDA “forgot” to mention that the amount of carcinogens detected in liquid are no higher than in pharmaceutical nicotine products such as the patch and gum, and that the only toxin detected was in an amount that has never been shown to endanger health.
·         Many people that might have switched to snus, which is much less hazardous to health than smoking, but they were convinced to continue smoking instead by the misleading statement “This product is not a safe alternative to smoking.


Background

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Act) was structured to regulate cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and “roll your own” under a newly created Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) and to continue regulation of so-called “Nicotine Replacement Products” (NRPs) products and other drugs to treat “tobacco addiction” under the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER.) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/hr1256/text

The concept of Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) was introduced in Section 911 of the Tobacco Act, which calls for the CTP to define a process to test and approve “Modified Risk Tobacco Products” (MRTPs.)

Currently, the NRTs that are regulated by CDER have one purpose—total abstinence from nicotine. But ‘SEC. 918. DRUG PRODUCTS USED TO TREAT TOBACCO DEPENDENCE’ asks the Secretary of Health and Human Services to consider:
(1.) Designating products for fast-track research and approval within the meaning of Sec. 506 (See § 356. Fast track products http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2010-title21/pdf/USCODE-2010-title21-chap9-subchapV-partA-sec356.pdf.)
(2.) Extended use of NRPs
(3.) Additional indications for NRPs, such as for craving relief or relapse prevention

Sec. 918(b) requires the Secretary to submit a report to congress “that examines how best to regulate, promote, and encourage the development of innovative products and treatments (including nicotine-based and non-nicotine-based products and treatments) to better achieve, in a manner that best protects and promotes the public health--
(A) total abstinence from tobacco use;
(B) reductions in consumption of tobacco; and
(C) reductions in the harm associated with continued tobacco use.”

If you substitute the word “smoking” for the words “tobacco use” in these three items, they fit the goals of the THR community. Until now, total abstinence from all tobacco use (not just from smoking) was the only regulatory goal of our government. This is still true within the World Health Organization and the European Union’s Tobacco Control Framework. Sections 911 and 918 would change our focus to include measures to mitigate the harm caused by smoking.

Currently e-cigarettes are not regulated under either the CTP or CDER, but the CTP has announced that it intends to issue a deeming regulation that would bring e-cigarettes and other tobacco products under the Agency’s regulatory authority.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

E-cigarette research survey, new case study announced

Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos

Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, research fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center and his colleague, Dr. Giorgio Romagna, have prepared an extensive questionnaire for electronic cigarette users. The goal is to make the biggest ever survey on electronic cigarette users - more than 10,000 people - that will be published in a medical-epidemiological journal. The survey will cover major aspects on electronic cigarette use, address many of the common arguments made by those against e-cigs and could positively influence public health authorities.

The questionnaire will be released using Survey Monkey and be available in English, Greek, Italian and possibly French. The cost of the survey and data manipulation is expected to be approximately 15,000-20,000 euros (approx. $20,000 - $27,000), depending on the number of participants. CASAA will publish a link to the survey when it becomes available.

Additionally, Dr. Farsalinos recently announced that a case report he submitted for publication - of a patient with a rare clinical condition that was relieved by smoking cessation with the use of e-cigarettes - has been accepted for publication. Dr. Farsalinos wrote that the main conclusion of this case study is that, "despite the daily use of e-cig, you still obtain the health benefits of smoking cessation."

Those following electronic cigarette research may recall that Dr. Farsalinos and his team recently published the first clinical study of the acute effects of electronic cigarettes on cardiac function. They decided to compare their results with the acute effects of regular cigarettes on cardiac function since electronic cigarettes are marketed to smokers only, as an alternative habit. Researchers found that e-cigarettes appeared to cause no acute adverse effects on cardiac function during the study.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

CASAA testifies at FDA hearing

Silver Spring, MD, December 17, 2012 --

Yesterday, the FDA held a public hearing to obtain input on certain questions related to the implementation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA). CASAA President Elaine Keller spoke on behalf of the organization.  Also presenting before the FDA panel* as private citizens or as representatives of other organizations were CASAA's Legal Policy Director Gregory Conley, CASAA's Scientific Director Carl V Phillips, and CASAA advisor Bill Godshall.

Dr. Carl Phillips, CASAA Science Director
 speaking at FDA hearing
The hearing was held for the FDA's consideration of new regulations regarding already approved smoking cessation products such as gums, patches and lozenges (NRTs) and the possible "fast tracking" of innovative new products that are intended to promote 1) total abstinence from tobacco use, 2) reductions in consumption of tobacco, and 3) reductions in the harm associated with continued tobacco use.

While electronic cigarettes and low-risk, smoke-free tobacco products were not being considered at this hearing, CASAA supports the consideration of NRT for long-term use as a form of tobacco harm reduction (THR) for smokers who cannot or will not quit, rather than requiring the products to be used solely as tools for complete nicotine abstinence. It is CASAA's opinion that this could open the door for products such as electronic cigarettes and low-risk, smoke-free tobacco products to also be considered as THR products. Therefore, CASAA's presence at the hearing was to speak on behalf of tobacco harm reduction policies.

The topic of electronic cigarettes did arise several times and some known opponents of electronic cigarettes admitted that testimony given by electronic cigarette consumers was compelling and warranted future study. Surprisingly, most of the anti-tobacco speakers at the hearing seemed to agree with THR advocates that smoking cessation is a far more urgent goal than total nicotine abstinence.

"Risk needs to be assessed not in comparison to abstinence but in comparison to a percentage scale of harm impact," CASAA's Dr. Phillips told members of the FDA panel. "Smoke-free alternatives are far healthier. A lifetime of [smoke-free nicotine/tobacco] use is less harmful than a couple months of relapse smoking."

Written public comments will be accepted until January 16, 2013. If you would like to submit comments supporting tobacco harm reduction policies, you may find information on how to submit and what to say here: CASAA Call to Awareness - FDA Public Hearing on Nicotine Reduction Therapy Products

Recordings of yesterday's hearing may be watched using these links:

https://collaboration.fda.gov/p98191651/
https://collaboration.fda.gov/p95861884/
https://collaboration.fda.gov/p36279658/
https://collaboration.fda.gov/p20988129/


CASAA Media Contact
Elaine Keller, President
202-241-9117
ekeller@casaa.org





*FDA Panel: Grail Sipes, JD  Senior Regulatory Counsel, Office of Regulatory Policy Center for Drug Evaluation and Research; Sandra Kweder, M.D., Deputy Director of FDA Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research; Christine Win, Acting Deputy Director of FDA Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research; Bob A. Rappaport, M.D., Director Division of Analgesics, Anesthetics, and Rheumatology Products, FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research; Dr. Celia Winchell, Team Leader with the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Rheumatology;  Andrea Leonard-Segal, M.D., Director, Division of Nonprescription Clinical Evaluation, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research; Corinne Huston, MSPH, M.D., Senior Medical Advisor in the Office of the Director, Center for Tobacco Products; and Eric Lindblom, J.D., Director, Office of Policy, FDA Center for Tobacco Products.




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tobacco ban in parks approved

Newton Citizen
Crystal Tatum
12/5/2012

COVINGTON -- Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a ban on use of all tobacco products in county parks, effective April 1.

#Recreation Commission Director Tommy Hailey said the purpose of the ban is to discourage youths from using tobacco and teach them the disadvantages of using.

#Attorneys with the state Department of Health have reviewed the ordinance and given their approval, Hailey said, meaning the county qualifies to apply for grants to fund signs and brochures to notify and educate the public on the ban.
...

During citizens' comments at the end of the meeting, which followed commissioners' vote, Julie Anderson, a member of CASAA, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, said it doesn't make sense to include smokeless tobacco and smoke-free products in the ordinance. Electronic cigarettes have not been shown to be a danger as far as secondhand smoke, she said. Anderson said she smoked two packs a day for 35 years and, "If it weren't for these I'd still be smoking, so it's important to get people to quit, but taking away an alternative for them that's not harmful for bystanders is sometimes, I think, shortsighted."

Read full story >

New Study Suggests that Electronic Cigarettes May Encourage Maintenance of Tobacco Use

The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary
by Dr. Michael Siegel, Boston University

Dr. Michael Siegel
A new study, published online ahead of print in the journal Tobacco Control, concludes that electronic cigarettes may encourage the maintenance of tobacco use.

(See: Cheah NP, et al. Electronic nicotine delivery systems: Regulatory and safety challenges: Singapore perspective. Tobacco Control 2012; doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050483.)

The study examined 20 brands of electronic cigarettes, and analyzed the contents of their cartridges for nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and tobacco-specific nitrosamines.

The results were reported in the study abstract as follows: "Varying nicotine amounts were found in ENDS cartridges which were labelled with the same concentration. Chemicals such as PPG and glycerol were found to be present in the nicotine-containing liquid of the cartridges. ENDS varied in their contents and packaging information. Limited information was available on the contents of nicotine and other chemicals present in a variety of ENDS sampled."

The paper concludes as follows:

"While the current attention on traditional tobacco products is important, it is also necessary to focus on novelty products like ENDS, which may encourage maintenance of tobacco usage behaviour and slow down the impact of national smoking control programmes. Tobacco control policy makers and professionals are seriously urged to find ways to address the gap in the scientific understanding and the legal framework of such products, as this gap may impede efforts at curbing tobacco use."

The Rest of the Story

If you read the introduction, methods, and results of this study, and then proceed to the discussion, you will be shocked and you might think you are reading the discussion to a different study. This is because the discussion has very little relevance to the actual findings in the paper....READ MORE >>

CASAA Weekly Video Update


Pueblo, CO City Council requires e-cigarette vendors to obtain license

Government funded anti tobacco extremists falsely claim products are target marketed to youth.

Article: http://www.chieftain.com/health/council-targets-nicotine/article_c
5aec7b2-39e9-11e2-8710-0019bb2963f4.html

Please note that the groups lobbying for this law are funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which last year demonized and called for a ban on the sale of dissolvable smokefree tobacco products to adults (which they also falsely accused of being target marketed to children).

Most local tobacco retailer licensing laws/regulations require all tobacco products to be kept behind the counter, and some tobacco retail licensing laws prohibit use of the products in retail locations (not good news for an e-cig vendor).

And while I've advocated annual tobacco retailer license fees of $100-250 per licensee (to cover costs of enforcement), during the past several years some state/local tobacco retail licensing laws have imposed punitively high annual license fees because the politicians need government revenue and because they dislike tobacco products, companies and/or users (e.g. New York increased its annual tobacco retailer fee to several thousand dollars several years ago based upon overall store revenue, and then reduced it after many retailers justifiably protested).

Also, some recently enacted tobacco retailer licensing laws ban flavored tobacco products (Providence RI), have banned pharmacies from selling tobacco (e.g. Boston and many towns in MA), have limited the number of licenses (preventing new retailers from obtaining a license), prohbited licensees from being within several thousand feet from a school or playground, etc.

The article didn't indicate if Pueblo's health department wants to license e-cigarette vendors under an existing tobacco retailer licensing system or if they were planning a new licensing system just for e-cig vendors (which is much more problematic)

~ Bill Godshall, CASAA Advisor

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Call to Awareness - FDA Public Hearing on Nicotine Reduction Therapy Products

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a 1-day public hearing to obtain input on certain questions related to the implementation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA.)

Background:
CASAA endorses the use of low-risk, smoke-free alternatives; in an effort to reduce harm and risks associated with smoking. Currently, no products are approved by the FDA for use as "harm reduction." The FDA currently classifies nicotine products in just two ways: (1) as an approved treatment for nicotine addiction called "nicotine replacement therapy (NRT,)" which is better described as "nicotine reduction therapy;" intended to end nicotine and/or tobacco use (ie., pharmaceutical nicotine gums, patches and lozenges) and (2) as a "tobacco or tobacco product," which encompasses all tobacco and nicotine products not intended to treat nicotine addiction, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, snus, snuff, chewing ("spit") tobacco, tobacco lozenges, strips, sticks and electronic cigarettes.

With the passage of  the FSPTCA, Congress required the FDA to submit a report examining "how best to regulate, promote, and encourage the development of  'innovative products and treatments (including nicotine-based and non-nicotine-based products and treatments)' to better achieve the following three goals: (1) total abstinence from tobacco use, (2) reductions in consumption of tobacco, and (3) reductions in the harm associated with continued tobacco use."

What this means for CASAA members:
This particular hearing is related only to NRT products and is NOT seeking comments on the regulation of electronic cigarettes or smoke-free tobacco. However, the FDA is interested in receiving any new or additional information that might be relevant to the extended use of NRTs for tobacco dependence:

    "What evidence is available to support the approval of NRTs for extended use to maintain abstinence in individuals who have quit?" and  "What evidence is available to support the approval of NRTs for extended use to achieve cessation (quitting)?"

To put it very simply, the FDA is considering allowing the promotion and use of products such as nicotine gums, patches and lozenges not only as NRT to achieve complete nicotine abstinence, but also as "harm reduction" products for those who cannot or will not remain nicotine and/or tobacco abstinent. By doing so, the FDA will finally be approving nicotine products for a third category for which CASAA has campaigned: smoking-related "harm reduction" products. This would open the door for harm-reduction products such as electronic cigarettes and low-risk tobacco products for consideration. It is CASAA's understanding that the FDA still insists upon an "end date" for use, rather than using products as a permanent replacement for smoking. It is our intention to ask the FDA to consider removing such restrictions, since there is no scientific evidence that such restrictions are either beneficial or necessary.

What you can do:
CASAA directors will be in attendance at this hearing and will speak on key points on behalf of its membership. If members would like to add their own written comments, we have included "talking points" below for you to follow. It is very important that we focus on the harm reduction aspect of this hearing and not on e-cigarette or smoke-free issues. Our time for those points will come later. 

Regardless of attendance at the public hearing, interested persons may submit written comments in one of two ways. Printed comments can be mailed to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Identify comments with the docket number [Docket No. FDA-2012-N-1148].

To submit a comment electronically, on the page http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2012-N-1148-0001, click the “Comment Now” button. Electronic or written comments will be accepted after the public hearing until January 2, 2013. NOTE: The FDA has extended the deadline for written comments until January 16, 2013.

If members plan to attend in person, CASAA requests that you first email your proposed presentation to board@casaa.org, so we may assist in the talking points and avoid duplication of our efforts. Once the FDA notifies registered presenters of their scheduled times, the FDA will require an electronic copy of your presentation be submitted by December 10, 2012.

The public hearing will be held on December 17, 2012, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Individuals who wish to present at the public hearing must register by December 6, 2012 and provide complete contact information, including name, title, affiliation, address, email, and phone number  Section III of this link has more information on registering to comment at the hearing: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-11-28/html/2012-28835.htm The hearing will be held at FDA's White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31, rm. 1503, Silver Spring, MD 20993.

What you can say:
1) Write about what you know:
  • Did you ever try the nicotine patch, gum, lozenges, or inhalers?
  • How did they work for you? Were you able to completely quit smoking, just to reduce how much you smoke, or did they not help at all?
  • What do you see as some of the shortcomings of the products and how do you think the NRT products could be improved?
  • What other ways did you try to control your smoking in the past?
  • If you have quit smoking, what product made this possible? (Perhaps e-cigarettes?) What does this product (or the combination of products that you use) provide that NRTs did not?
2) Tell the FDA:
  • Providing smokers with low-risk alternative sources of nicotine works much better than requiring nicotine abstinence.
  • Recommend removing barriers to using the products such as time limits on how long to use them, warnings about using more than one product at a time, and warnings against smoking while using an NRT.
  • Point out that reducing the number of cigarettes smoked each day can be a stepping stone to quitting altogether.
  • Point out that achieving freedom from inhaling smoke is much more important for health than concerns about addiction to nicotine.
  • Recommend that the FDA educate the public about the relative safety of nicotine that comes from sources other than smoking.
  • Recommend that the FDA consider promoting other innovative products that have helped smokers reduce their consumption of cigarettes and eventually stop smoking altogether.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Newton County, GA Call to Action!

UPDATE 12/5/2012: This ordinance was passed. Members who attended the meeting stated they were not allowed to speak on the subject until after the vote.

Proposed ordinance would "prohibit tobacco use in all indoor and outdoor parks and recreational facilities at all times."

LINK: http://www.covnews.com/section/1/article/34681/

This ordinance would also:

Make it unlawful for any person to use any form of tobacco, including E-cigarettes and smoke-free tobacco, in all areas of county-owned or operated indoor and/or outdoor parks and recreational facilities, including but not limited to restrooms, athletic fields, rivers, parks, walking/hiking trails, agency-owned vehicles, and spectator and concession areas.

A vote on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for the next county commission meeting December 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM. If approved the ordinance would go into effect in April 2013.

If you are in the Newton County area, please contact us at board@casaa.org for more ideas on how to help.

Please call, write or fax the members of the Newton County Board of Commissioners below.

What to say:

1. You would like them to amend any proposed ordinance to remove the prohibition on e-cigarette and smoke-free tobacco use.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco product has changed your life.

3. Note that the statewide ban on smoking does not include electronic cigarettes in the definition of "smoking," and that a much more deliberative process should take place before the County Board of Commissioners expands the ban to include smoke-free products.

4. Explain how smoking bans are enacted to protect the public from the harm of second-hand smoke, but electronic cigarettes and smoke-free tobacco products have not been shown to cause harm to bystanders. Smoke-free tobacco products have never been implicated in any adverse health affects to bystanders. All evidence to date shows that the extremely low health risks associated with electronic cigarettes is comparable to other smokeless nicotine products. 

The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth and Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.
5. Let them know that vapor does not behave in the same manner as smoke. There is no "side stream" vapor like the side stream smoke coming from the lit end of a cigarette and unlike cigarette smoke, The vapor is virtually odorless and dissipates quickly. There is also no ash or litter. Because of these facts, it is not difficult for people to differentiate between smoking and use of a smoke-free e-cigarette.

6. Inform them that the ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch. Surveys of thousands of users indicate that the majority of those who switch very quickly completely replace tobacco cigarettes with the electronic cigarettes, reducing their health risks by 98-99%. So even if smokers think they are using electronic cigarettes just for indoor use, the chances are high that they will stop using tobacco cigarettes altogether

7. Tell them that by switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.

8. Direct them to the CASAA.org website for more information.

9. If you are in the Newton County area, make sure to point it out by leaving your address and/or phone number.

CONTACT INFORMATION:  
Newton County Board of Commissioners
Kathryn (Kathy) G. Morgan (d)
Chairman
1124 Clark Street Covington GA 30014
770-784-2000

Jackie Smith (County Clerk)
1775 Dixie Road Covington GA 30014
770-786-5006


T.M. (Mort) Ewing (R)
District 1
1775 Dixie Road Covington GA 30014
770-786-5006

Lanier Sims (d)
District 2
1124 Clark Street Covington GA 30014
770-787-7876

Nancy Schulz (d)
District 3
1124 Clark Street Covington GA 30014
678-625-1202

J.C. Henderson (d)
District 4
7134 Puckett Street Covington GA 30014
770-866-3621

Tim Fleming (R)
District 5
1124 Clark Street Covington GA 30014
678-625-1202

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Polish survey of e-cigarette users finds 66% no longer smoke

A Polish study, "Patterns of electronic cigarette use and user beliefs about their safety and benefits: An Internet survey," was published online in the Drug and Alcohol Review. According to the abstract, the "objective of this study was to investigate patterns and effects of e-cigarette use and user beliefs about e-cigarette safety and benefits."

"The survey was completed by 179 e-cigarette users. Almost all participants used e-cigarettes daily. E-cigarettes were primarily used to quit smoking or to reduce the harm associated with smoking (both 41%), and were successful in helping the surveyed users to achieve these goals with 66% not smoking conventional cigarettes at all and 25% smoking under five cigarettes a day. Most participants (82%) did not think that e-cigarettes were completely safe, but thought that they were less dangerous than conventional cigarettes. Sixty percent believed that e-cigarettes were addictive, but less so than conventional cigarettes."

The same researcher, Maciej Lukasz Goniewicz, also recently published a survey study on Polish youth and young adult use, "Electronic Cigarette Use Among Teenagers and Young Adults in Poland," in the PEDIATRICS journal. Researchers report that about "one-fifth of Polish youth have tried e-cigarettes; most of them had previously smoked cigarettes. It is unclear whether e-cigarettes are just a novelty that young people try only once or whether they have potential to compete in the marketplace with conventional cigarettes." Only 3.2% of those who had never smoked reported trying e-cigarettes.

WHO reported the 2010 Global Adult Tobacco Survey found that the smoking rate for adults 15 years and older in Poland is 28%.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

CAADE endorses tobacco harm reduction


Fr. Jack Kearney, Professor of Human Services and Addiction Studies,Cypress College, Loyola Marymount University, announced in an email last week that the California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators (CAADE) has formally endorsed tobacco harm reduction (THR) and the use of electronic cigarettes:

To my knowledge this is the first major organization in the addiction treatment world to take such a stand, and I will send this on to other similar groups and ask them for similar support. 
I believe it is a small but important step as this represents support from experts in the addiction profession rather than amateur opinions from groups who take money from the pharmaceutical industry and who seem to be more interested in fighting smoking than helping smokers. 
The specific policy statement and description of CAADE is below.  
(My original motion used the word "smoking" rather than "tobacco", but to get it passed I had to accept a bit of a compromise.) 
The California Association for Alcohol & Drug Educators (CAADE) supports efforts by the addiction treatment community to utilize its treatment expertise in developing tobacco cessation tools that include both abstinence-based and harm-reduction models including the use of electronic cigarettes. 
CAADE accredits addiction studies programs in over 40 colleges and universities in California, Arizona and Nevada. It also issues the highest level of addiction counselor certification in California, and currently represents more than 6000 counselors, college faculty members and students.
CASAA President Elaine Keller had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Lori Phelps, Executive Director of CAADE, during a Wednesday night interview on the VPLive Vape Team show. The interview starts at 00:30:00:

North Dakota: Don't forget to vote against Measure 4!

On November 6th, voters in North Dakota will be given the option to vote for or against Measure 4, which is being advertised only as a smoking ban  in all workplaces in the state, as well as outdoors within 20 feet of building entrances. What most voters don't know is that this measure also includes smoke-free electronic cigarettes. CASAA urges our members vote "No" on Measure 4 and to ask their friends, family and co-workers to do the same.

"At one time, [public health and anti-tobacco] groups claimed they were only concerned with protecting the health and safety of bystanders. Now it is clear that the goal is much broader," wrote CASAA President Elaine Keller on the AntiTHRLies blog.  "Their “denormalization of smoking” really means the “demonization of smokers.” And if smokers are demons, it’s OK to punish them, in some of the worst possible ways, even after they have stopped smoking."

"The ballot language itself and the propaganda issued by the anti-smoker groups that initiated the measure contain some blatantly false claims as well as implied false claims," she wrote.

To find out the truth about those claims read the full editorial at North Dakota’s Lies Freeze Out Smokers and Former Smoker.

CASAA will be running awareness announcements on the affiliate radio stations for Clear Channel, Fox Sports,  Radio Fargo and Leighton Broadcasting the day before.

Sign the EU petition


The Electronic Cigarette Consumer Association UK (ECCA-UK) has asked CASAA to help spread the word about a petition to stop the ban of electronic cigarettes in the European Union. CASAA encourages our members to also sign this petition in a show of solidarity with our European counterparts. ECCA-UK assures us that every signature counts, whether or not you reside in the EU. As we know, many policies of other countries are used as supporting evidence to ban use in our country.

According to the petition site:
[The] European Union is poised to ban electronic cigarettes, forcing smokers to be able to use only the most hazardous possible nicotine-containing products...cigarettes This ban would maximize disease and death in Europe...

The petition can be found at: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/No_ban_on_electronic_smoking/?cSuItdb

Please sign it and then share the link with your friends on social media such as your Facebook groups and page, Twitter, Google+ and vaping forums and groups. Vapers around the world have stuck together and made huge progress - let's keep it going!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Reminder: CASAA Member Meeting Sunday


Join us on GoToWebinar from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM ET. 
See http://casaa.org/Member_Meetings.html for more information!

Monday, October 1, 2012

CASAA releases rebuttal statement to ANR press release


Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights shamelessly promotes continued smoking; makes false claims about hazards of electronic cigarettes (via PR Newswire)

SPRINGFIELD, Va., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR), a proponent of the "quit or die" approach to smoking cessation, is misleading the public about hazards of electronic cigarettes, according to Elaine Keller, President of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke…Alternatives Association (CASAA). A recent ANR press release also falsely claims that there is "a lack of independent peer-reviewed scientific evidence demonstrating the safety or efficacy" of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation.

FDA-approved nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, and oral inhalers are referred to as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products, but all these products are aimed at reducing the daily intake of nicotine to zero, and all have a 93% mid-year failure rate.
In contrast, a growing body of scientific evidence is showing that providing smokers with a low-risk alternative such as electronic cigarettes is a much more effective way than nicotine-abstinence to achieve abstinence from smoking.

BMC Public Health, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, published the results of an Italian pilot study that monitored modifications in smoking habits of 40 smokers not interested in quitting smoking. The researchers observed a 50% reduction of smoking in 32.5% of subjects and an 80% reduction in 12.5% of subjects. But they were astonished to discover that at the end of the 6-month study, 22.5% of these unwilling-to-quit subjects had completely stopped smoking.
Among smokers that want to quit, the results are even more remarkable. The peer-reviewed American Journal of Public Health published the results of an online survey of first-time buyers of a particular brand of e-cigarette. The 6-month smoking abstinence rate was 31% among this group...

Read full story on US Newswire (http://s.tt/1oSyr)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Omaha, NE increasing tax by 7% on e-cigarettes and smoke-free


Below is a copy of a letter from The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) to city officials and council members regarding the proposed new tobacco tax. We are urging our members that live or work in the Omaha area to attend the 2 pm public hearing at City Hall on September 25 to speak out against the proposed ordinance.

-------------------- 
September 21, 2012

City of Omaha officials:
Mayor Jim Suttle (FAX: 402-444-6059)
Paul D. Krantz, City Attorney (FAX: 402-444-5125)
Thomas O. Mumgaard, Deputy City Attorney (FAX: 402-444-5125)
Buster Brown, City Clerk (FAX: 402-444-5263)
City Council Members:
District 1: Pete Festersen
District 2: Ben Gray
District 3: Chris Jerram
District 4: Garry Gernandt
District 5: Jean Stothert
District 6: Franklin Thompson
District 7: Thomas Mulligan

Dear Omaha City Council Members and Officials:

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) encourages the City Council of Omaha to correct scientifically inaccurate information in the proposed ordinance to amend Chapter 12, Article VII of the Omaha Municipal Code pertaining to the sale of tobacco products. Once this has been accomplished, it will become evident that, as currently structured, the proposed ordinance will endanger the physical health of citizens and damage the economic health of the city.

Section 12-135(a), Findings and Intent, fails to acknowledge the scientific evidence that cigarettes are by far the most hazardous type of tobacco product. Cigarettes are burned and inhaled, which makes them far more harmful than tobacco and nicotine products that do not produce lung-damaging, carcinogenic smoke. 

A 2007 report by the Royal College of Physicians noted that a large percentage of smokers may never be able to give up all use of nicotine.(1) The practice of substituting a low-risk nicotine product for smoking is called Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR). Such low risk products include smokeless tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and long-term use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products.(2) Rather than treat all tobacco products as equally dangerous, politicians and health care advocates should embrace THR. For those who are unable or unwilling to completely quit tobacco and/or nicotine use, switching to a smokeless alternative can achieve substantial health benefits, with many such products carrying less than 1 to 2% of the risk posed by smoking.

During the past several decades, millions of Swedish smokers switched to snus, a type of spit-free moist snuff. As a result, adult daily smoking (age 15 and older) has dropped to 12% for men and 17% for women, which represent reductions of 44% and 29%, respectively, between 1995 and 2008.(3) Not coincidentally, Sweden has the lowest lung cancer mortality rate in the European Union.(4) 

In a 2010 FDA workshop, Dr. Neal Benowitz reviewed the scientific evidence on the health benefits of switching to smokeless tobacco (ST) products as proof that NRT would be safe for long-term use. His presentation noted, “The lack of increase in common cancers in lifelong ST users indicates that nicotine is not a general cancer promoter,” and “studies indicate minimal if any increased CV risks (i.e., heart attacks and strokes) with ST.”(5)

The Omaha City Council needs to revise the description of health risks and economic impacts in Section 12-135(b), Findings and Intent, to reflect the fact that there are no increased costs to the City or to Omaha’s private employers related to the use of smoke-free alternatives. Furthermore, the proposed ordinance may actually result in unintended consequences: reducing the City’s revenue and increasing the health risks of its citizens. 

Higher prices on all tobacco products may result in closure of Omaha’s tobacco specialty stores, e-cigarette vendors, and other small businesses as consumers seek lower prices outside the city. It may also result in continued smoking among those who might have switched to a lower-risk product if those products had remained conveniently available and affordable on a local level.

CASAA urges the Omaha City Council to revise the proposed ordinance so as to achieve the stated purpose of just, proper, and equitable distribution of tax burdens within the city. If this cannot be accomplished, the ordinance should be tabled altogether because, as structured, it stands to do more harm than good.

CASAA is a non-profit organization that works to ensure the availability of low-risk alternatives to smoking and to provide the public with truthful information about such alternatives. Please feel free to contact us if you require any additional scientific information on relative risks of various tobacco and nicotine products.

Sincerely,
Elaine Keller, President ekeller@casaa.org
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association
CASAA - The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association 
(202) 241-9117

----------------------
1. Royal College of Physicians. Harm reduction in nicotine addiction: helping people who can’t quit. A report by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians. London: RCP, 2007. http://www.tobaccoprogram.org/pdf/4f...239b09c5db.pdf
2. Rodu B. The scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction, 2006-2011. Harm Reduct J. 2011 Jul 29;8:19. The scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction, 2006-2011
3. OECD/European Union (2010), “Tobacco Consumption among Adults”, in Health at a Glance: Europe 2010, OECD Publishing. Tobacco Consumption among Adults - Health at a Glance: Europe 2010 - OECD iLibrary
4. OECD/European Union (2010), “Mortality from Cancer”, in Health at a Glance: Europe 2010, OECD Publishing.Mortality from Cancer - Health at a Glance: Europe 2010 - OECD iLibrary
5. Benowitz N. Smokeless Tobacco and Disease: Evidence Related to Long-term Safety of Nicotine.http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/N.../UCM232147.pdf

Friday, September 7, 2012

CASAA responds to untruthful e-cigarette propaganda

CASAA recently filed a complaint against Ellen Hahn, director of the Tobacco Policy Research Program and the Clean Indoor Air Partnership including the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy in the College of Nursing, for attempting to influence a hotel to cancel an e-cigarette meet in Lexington, KY. (Hahn also is the Project Director for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (NRT manufacturer Johnson & Johnson)-funded project, "Northern Kentucky Clean Indoor Air Collaborative for Healthy Communities.")

Around the same time, under the guise of an organization called "Tobacco-Free UK," which appears to be a University of Kentucky Tobacco-Free Task Force also headed by Ellen Hahn, a poster began springing up around campus as students were returning to start classes. The poster (shown right) was titled "E-Cigarettes - 3 strikes. You're out." and ridiculously attempted to portray e-cigarettes as having no supporting evidence that they help people quit smoking, will cause cancer and are as harmful as breathing in the fumes of nail polish remover, paint thinner and fluid for "embalming dead bodies."

CASAA took some time to research the story behind these claims because, unlike Tobacco-free UK, we pride ourselves in disseminating truthful accurate, scientific and sourceable facts. The resulting flyer (shown left) was first conceptualized and then designed to reveal the falsehoods put forth on the TFUK poster. Because CASAA membership is made up completely of volunteers, the flyer was designed on a white background with very little graphics to keep costs down when printing.

The TFUK poster cited one source for its claims: "E-Cigarettes: Promise or Peril?" co-authored by none other than...Ellen Hahn. So we found the sources listed in her paper and posted them (with actual links) on the corresponding web page for our flyer at casaa.org/TFUK.html. Now you can actually see for yourself how twisted and innacurate the "facts" listed on the TFUK poster really are. If you are in the University of Kentucky area, please help get these counter-flyers out on and around the campus!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Study of e-cigarette use finds no short-term effect for some measures of heart function

Electronic cigarettes may have no acute adverse effects on cardiac function, according to research presented at an ESC Congress 2012 press conference by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos from Greece.

Abstract
Electronic cigarettes simulate the effect of smoking by producing an inhaled vapor. The device consists of a battery, a cartridge containing liquid and a heating element which gets warm and evaporates the liquid. Laboratory analyses of the liquids show that they are less toxic than regular cigarettes. Most studies have found no nitrosamines, but even in studies where nitrosamines were found, the levels detected were 500-1400 times less than the amount present in one tobacco cigarette. This means that electronic cigarettes must be used daily for 4-12 months to get the amount of nitrosamines present in a single tobacco cigarette.

A Greek research team decided to perform the first clinical study of the acute effects of electronic 
cigarettes on cardiac function. They decided to compare their results with the acute effects of regular cigarettes on cardiac function since electronic cigarettes are marketed to smokers only, as an alternative habit.

The small study measured myocardial function in 20 healthy young daily smokers aged 25-45 years 
before and after smoking one tobacco cigarette and 22 daily electronic cigarette users of similar age before and after using the device for 7 minutes.

Experienced users of electronic cigarettes were studied because they use the device more 
intensively than first-time users. Although both groups were of equal age, users of electronic cigarettes had a 44% higher lifetime tobacco smoking exposure compared to current smokers.

For the electronic cigarettes, a commercially available liquid with a nicotine concentration of 11mg/ml 
was used (NOBACCO USA Mix). This was tested by an independent toxicology laboratory and found to contain no nitrosamines or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Myocardial function was examined using cardiac ultrasound (echocardiography) and hemodynamic measurements (blood pressure and heart rate).


The researchers found that electronic cigarettes produced only a slight elevation in diastolic blood 
pressure. Dr Farsalinos said: “This is an indication that although nicotine was present in the liquid used (11mg/ml), it is absorbed at a lower rate compared to regular cigarette smoking.”

He added: “It is too early to say whether the electronic cigarette is a revolution in tobacco harm 
reduction but the potential is there. It is the only available product that deals with both the chemical (nicotine delivery) and psychological (inhaling and exhaling ‘smoke’, holding it, etc) addiction to smoking, laboratory analyses indicate that it is significantly less toxic and our study has shown no significant defects in cardiac function after acute use.”

Dr Farsalinos continued: “More clinical studies need to be done before suggesting that this is a 
revolutionary product. However, considering the extreme hazards associated with cigarette smoking, currently available data suggest that electronic cigarettes are far less harmful and substituting tobacco with electronic cigarettes may be beneficial to health.”

Dr Farsalinos will also present his results during an ESC Congress 2012 scientific session tomorrow.


Contributors: Konstantinos Farsalinos, MD1, Dimitris Tsiapras, MD1, Stamatis Kyrzopoulos, MD1, 
and Vassilis Voudris, MD1 
1 Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, Greece


Authors: Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos (Greece), Onassis Cardiac Surgery CenterRefers to session: Tobacco: from early damage to late impact 

Refers to press conference:  First-hand smoke, second-hand smoke or electronic cigarettes

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tobacco harm reduction advocacy organization fights back against Hahn's disinformation



Ellen Hahn
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) has begun a new initiative to expose false and otherwise misleading information that is distributed by opponents of tobacco harm reduction (THR). As part of that initiative, CASAA recently filed a formal complaint with the President of the University of Kentucky (UKY) and with the Kentucky State Attorney General asking for an investigation into UKY faculty member Ellen J. Hahn's dissemination of disinformation, including a recent attempt to trick a hotel into breaking a legal contract for hosting a THR gathering.

THR is the public health strategy of encouraging smokers to switch to low-risk alternatives like smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes ("e-cigarettes"). It is the only strategy that has proven able to reduce smoking rates below about one-fifth of the population once smoking has become popular, and appears to be responsible for most of the reduction in smoking in the US for the last decade. Despite this, there is a small, but vocal and lavishly funded, group of extremist activists who oppose THR and whose strategy focuses on lying about it.

"I have been studying and promoting THR for more than a decade," said Carl V. Phillips, PhD, CASAA's Scientific Director, "and during that time, the truth about THR has been buried by a well-funded and orchestrated campaign of lies. Our simple truth-telling could never break through the noise. But THR advocates are finally numerous and organized enough that we can fight back directly."

In its 26-page letter of complaint about Hahn (available at casaa.org/HahnUKYletter.html), CASAA points out how Hahn presented herself as an official representative of UKY and made false claims in an attempt to intimidate a Lexington, Kentucky hotel manager into canceling a scheduled conference of e-cigarette users, supporters, and merchants. The conference was eventually allowed to proceed thanks to the efforts of the local CASAA member who organized it, though Hahn was almost successful and her efforts resulted in substantial harms.

Most important, from the perspective of public health and academic integrity, the CASAA letter details how Hahn apparently violated UKY research ethics rules by making numerous false and otherwise misleading scientific claims about the risks posed by e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes have never been definitively linked to any health risk and are generally estimated to be about 99% less harmful than smoking. Anyone reading Hahn's claims, however, would believe that they are a proven serious hazard, comparable to cigarettes.

Some of Hahn's other claims that were not addressed in the formal complaint are the focus of a series of posts at CASAA's new "Anti-THR Lie of the Day" blog (antiTHRlies.wordpress.com). "We launched the anti-THR lies blog to coincide with the start of our new strategy," says Phillips, "and it should evolve into a catalog of the lies and liars, and provide a starting point for future formal complaints like the one to the University of Kentucky." Information about why there is opposition to THR, a question which often baffles people who are new to the topic, can be found in the first post on the blog.

CASAA is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, funded entirely by donations, which educates the public on the benefits of switching from cigarettes to smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Elaine Keller
CASAA
8094 Rolling Rd, #200,
Springfield VA 22153
202‐241‐9117
http://casaa.org

Friday, July 27, 2012

Massachusetts Call to Action on E-Cigarette Tax Bill

UPDATE (9/5/2012): The formal legislative season has concluded in Massachusetts.  No action was taken on this bill.  Letters, e-mails, and phone calls are no longer required.  CASAA thanks those who reached out.

Massachusetts Bill H.4291
(link:
http://www.mass.gov/legis/journal/desktop/Current%20Agenda%202011/H4291.pdf)
would change Massachusetts' definition of 'smokeless tobacco' for tax purposes to include electronic cigarettes and dissolvable tobacco. 

This bill would also:

Increase the MA smokeless tobacco tax rate from 90% to 110% of wholesale price, and also tax electronic cigarettes and dissolvables at 110% of wholesale price.

The bill has been introduced by the Massachusetts legislature's Joint Committee on Heath Care Financing as a substitute amendment to H2452, which has been referred to Joint Committee on Rules.


Please call, write or fax the members of the Joint Committee on Rules below.

What to say:
1. You oppose H.4291 because it would redefine the state's definition of "smokeless tobacco" to include new life-saving products like smoke-free electronic cigarettes.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco has changed your life.

3. Explain that the purpose of increasing cigarette taxes has been to cover governmental healthcare expenditure caused by smoking and to discourage smoking.  But since electronic cigarettes, dissolvables and smokeless tobacco products are 98-99% less hazardous than cigarettes, there is no fiscal or public health justification for such a hefty tax.

4. Point out that this bill also would tax "any component, part, or accessory" of e-cigarettes (e.g. hardware, batteries, rechargers, etc.), regardless of whether it contains nicotine.  This would be the unfair equivalent of taxing items such as matches, cigarette lighters, ashtrays, etc. at the same rate as cigarettes.

5. Since many/most e-cigarette sales are made online, enactment of this legislation would devastate brick-and-mortar e-cigarette retailers in MA and destroy e-cigarette companies in MA, as they could no longer compete against out-of-state and international online suppliers.

6. Many smokers who switch to less hazardous electronic cigarettes do so because e-cigarettes are less expensive than cigarettes.  Increasing the costs of e-cigarettes to that of cigarettes would discourage many smokers from switching to  e-cigarettes.  It could also encourage some e-cigarette consumers to go back to cigarette smoking.


Senate Members

Frederick E. Berry (Senate Chair) (D)
Phone: 617-722-1410
Fax: 617-722-1347
Email: Frederick.Berry@masenate.gov

Karen Spilka (Senate Vice Chair) (D)
Phone: 617-722-1640
Fax: 617-722-1077
Email: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov

Stephen M. Brewer (D)
Phone: 617-722-1540
Fax: 617-722-1078
Email: Stephen.Brewer@masenate.gov


Jack Hart (D)
Phone:  617-722-1150
email: Jack.Hart@masenate.gov


Michael R. Knapik (R)
Phone: 617-722-1415
Fax: 617-722-1506
Email: Michael.Knapik@masenate.gov
Richard J. Ross (R)
Phone: 617-722-1555
Fax: 617-722-1054
Email: Richard.Ross@masenate.gov

House Members

John J. Binienda (House Chair) (D)
Phone: 617-722-2692
Fax: 617-722-2822
Email: John.Binienda@mahouse.gov

Cory Atkins (House Vice Chair) (D)
Phone: 617-722-2692
Fax: 617-722-2822
Email: Cory.Atkins@mahouse.gov

Byron Rushing (D)
Phone: 617-722-2783
Fax: 617-722-2238
Email: Byron.Rushing@mahouse.gov

Thomas M. Petrolati (D)
Phone: 617-722-2255
Fax: 617-722-2846
Email: Thomas.Petrolati@mahouse.gov

Ronald Mariano (D)
Phone: 617-722-2300
Fax: 617-722-2750
Email: Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov
 
Ellen Story (D)
Phone: 617-722-2012
Fax: 617-570-6577
Email: Ellen.Story@mahouse.gov

Eugene L. O'Flaherty (D)
Phone: 617-722-2396
Fax: 617-722-2819
Email: Gene.O'Flaherty@mahouse.gov

David M. Nangle (D)
Phone: 617-722-2575
Fax: 617-722-2215
Email: David.Nangle@mahouse.gov

Kathi-Anne Reinstein (D)
Phone: 617-722-2180
Email: KathiAnne.Reinstein@mahouse.gov

Garrett J. Bradley (D)
Phone: 617-722-2520
Email: Garrett.Bradley@mahouse.gov

Patricia A. Haddad (D)
Phone: 617-722-2600
Fax: 617-722-2313
Email: Patricia.Haddad@mahouse.gov

John V. Fernandes (D)
Phone: 617-722-2396
Fax: 617-626-0706
Email: John.Fernandes@mahouse.gov

Donald F. Humason, Jr (R)
Phone: 617-722-2803
Fax: 617-722-2390
Email: Donald.Humason@mahouse.gov

Paul K. Frost (R)
Phone: 617-722-2489
Email: Paul.Frost@mahouse.gov

Geoffrey G. Diehl (R)
Phone: 617-722-2810
Email: Geoff.Diehl@mahouse.gov

Comma-delimited e-mail list:
frederick.berry@masenate.gov, karen.spilka@masenate.gov, stephen.brewer@masenate.gov,  Jack.Hart@masenate.gov , michael.knapik@masenate.gov, richard.ross@masenate.gov, john.binienda@mahouse.gov, cory.atkins@mahouse.gov, byron.rushing@mahouse.gov, thomas.petrolati@mahouse.gov, ronald.mariano@mahouse.gov, ellen.story@mahouse.gov,  gene.o'flaherty@mahouse.gov, david.nangle@mahouse.gov, kathianne.reinstein@mahouse.gov, garrett.bradley@mahouse.gov, patricia.haddad@mahouse.gov, john.fernandes@mahouse.gov, donald.humason@mahouse.gov, paul.frost@mahouse.gov, geoff.diehl@mahouse.gov

Semicolon-delimited e-mail list:

frederick.berry@masenate.gov; karen.spilka@masenate.gov; stephen.brewer@masenate.gov;  Jack.Hart@masenate.gov ; michael.knapik@masenate.gov; richard.ross@masenate.gov; john.binienda@mahouse.gov; cory.atkins@mahouse.gov; byron.rushing@mahouse.gov; thomas.petrolati@mahouse.gov; ronald.mariano@mahouse.gov; ellen.story@mahouse.gov; gene.o'flaherty@mahouse.gov; david.nangle@mahouse.gov; kathianne.reinstein@mahouse.gov; garrett.bradley@mahouse.gov; patricia.haddad@mahouse.gov; john.fernandes@mahouse.gov; donald.humason@mahouse.gov; paul.frost@mahouse.gov; geoff.diehl@mahouse.gov

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Swisher Sweets releases new e-cig products to the market.

According to a report by Convenience Store Decisions, tobacco company Swisher Sweets has introduced a line of "e-Swisher" electronic cigarettes and cigars.

Photo Credit: CSDecisions.com
The line plans to provide "high quality" e-cigarettes and an e-cigar that are "assembled, tested and filled in the U.S."
Swisher Sweets are known for its line of flavored cigarellos, including grape, peach, cherry, wine, rum, white grape and strawberry. While many existing electronic cigarette brands currently on the market are also offered to adult smokers in hundreds of non-traditional flavor combinations, the Swisher Sweets e-cigarettes will be available only in "natural" and menthol flavors, while the e-cigar offers "a unique Swisher Sweets taste."  
The e-cigarettes will be available as disposables or as a rechargeable kit in only lower 12 milligram and 18 milligram nicotine levels. The company claims that each e-cigarette is equal to about two packs of cigarettes, which would be about 40 cigarettes and two day's worth for a typical smoker, but recent testing strongly suggests that similar electronic cigarette cartridges equal closer to 6-7 cigarettes for an average smoker. The report did not mention the price the company plans to charge for the devices.
The Swisher Sweets entry into the e-cigarette market is the second by a traditional tobacco company in recent months. Lorillard announced its acquisition of "blu e-cigs" this past April.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

South Bend, Indiana Call to Action (Ended)

Update: On July 20, 2012, sponsor Valerie Schey announced that the proposed 'smoking' ban has been postponed 'indefinitely,' perhaps until February of 2013. http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines/Proposed-SB-smoking-ban-postponed-indefinitely--163207386.html



Ordinance No. 24-12: An Ordinance to Establish Clean Air Standards for Workplaces and Public Places Within the City of South Bend, Indiana (http://www.scribd.com/doc/99820687)

This ordinance would: 
Ban smoking in a small number of workplaces in South Bend (mostly bars) not currently covered by Indiana's recently-passed smoke-free air law.  However, the ordinance would also ban the use of smoke-free electronic cigarettes (which are not covered by Indiana's law) in thousands of workplaces in South Bend.
According to an article in the South Bend Tribune, the South Bend Common Council is likely to vote on Ordinance No 24.12 on Monday, July 23rd at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers located on the 4th floor of the County-City Building (227 West Jefferson Blvd).  There will be time for public comment at the meeting.  Vapers in the area are strongly encouraged to attend and testify.  
If you are in the South Bend area, please contact us at board@casaa.org for more ideas on how to help.    
Please call or write the members of the City-County Council listed below.

What to say:
1. You would like them to amend the proposed ordinance to remove the prohibition on e-cigarette use, specifically: in Section I, Definitions, item (q) needs to have the text "Smoking also includes the use of an e-cigarette, which creates a vapor, in any manner or in any form," deleted.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco has changed your life.
3. Note that the statewide ban on smoking recently passed the Indiana legislature did not include electronic cigarettes in the definition of "smoking," and that a much more deliberative process should take place before the common council expands the ban to include a smoke-free product.
4. Explain how smoking bans are enacted to protect the public from the harm of second-hand smoke, but electronic cigarettes have not been shown to cause harm to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with electronic cigarettes is comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.
This is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth and Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.
5. Let them know that vapor does not behave in the same manner as smoke. There is no "side stream" vapor like the side stream smoke coming from the lit end of a cigarette and unlike cigarette smoke, The vapor is virtually odorless and dissipates quickly. There is also no ash or litter. Because of these facts, it is not difficult for people to differentiate between smoking and use of a smoke-free e-cigarette.
6. Inform them that the ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch. Surveys of thousands of users indicate that the majority of those who switch very quickly completely replace tobacco cigarettes with the electronic cigarettes, reducing their health risks by 98-99%. So even if smokers think they are using electronic cigarettes just for indoor use, the chances are high that they will stop using tobacco cigarettes altogether
7. Tell them that by switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.
8. Direct them to the CASAA.org website for more information.
9. If you are from the South Bend area, make sure to point it out by leaving your address and/or phone number.


CONTACT INFORMATION:  

Those who are local to the South Bend area can find phone numbers for the council members at South Bend's website

1st District
Tim Scott
tscott@southbendin.gov

2nd District
Henry Davis, Jr.
hdavis@southbendin.gov

3rd District
Valerie Schey 
vschey@southbendin.gov

4th District
Dr. Fred Ferlic
fferlic@southbendin.gov

5th District
Dr. David A. Varner 
dvarner@southbendin.gov

6th district
Oliver J. Davis (Vice-President)
odavis@southbendin.gov

At Large
Derek D. Dieter (President)
ddieter@southbendin.gov

At Large
Gavin Ferlic
gferlic@southbendin.gov
At Large
Karen L. White