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.

Ordinance No. 24-12: An Ordinance to Establish Clean Air Standards for Workplaces and Public Places Within the City of South Bend, Indiana (

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 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 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.


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

2nd District
Henry Davis, Jr.

3rd District
Valerie Schey

4th District
Dr. Fred Ferlic

5th District
Dr. David A. Varner

6th district
Oliver J. Davis (Vice-President)

At Large
Derek D. Dieter (President)

At Large
Gavin Ferlic
At Large
Karen L. White  

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