Monday, April 30, 2012

Saugus, MA Call to Action

Smoking in Public Places
Link to news article

 The Saugus Board of Health has proposed restricting the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and the use of electronic cigarettes in public places.

This ordinance would:
Restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, and ban the use of e-cigarettes in any public place where smoking is prohibited.

UPDATE: The Saugus Board of Health is meeting April 2, 2012 to vote on a final draft. The meeting Monday is open to the public, but there is no assurance anyone will be given the opportunity to speak.  The vote will be whether to accept the draft--if accepted, it will be the subject of a public hearing the first Monday in May--and after that, the regulation will be voted upon. 
We strongly encourage local electronic cigarette users to contact the the Board of Health. If you would like assistance with what to say, please contact us at board@casaa.org.


Please call, e-mail, write or fax the Director of Public Health (see information below)

What to say:
1. You agree that this product should not be sold to minors, but request that they not ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco has changed your life. You may want to tell of an experience with vaping in public, if you have one that would display the difference between using e-cigarettes and smoking.

3. Explain how electronic cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. It is easy to tell when someone lights a cigarette, from the smell of smoke. E-cigarette vapor is practically odorless, and generally any detectable odor is not unpleasant and smells nothing like smoke.

4. 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. There is also no ash or litter. With so little evidence of use, enforcing indoor use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.

5. 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, completely replace tobacco cigarettes with the electronic cigarettes, reducing their health risks by 98-99%.

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

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



Contact information:

Frank P. Giacalone, CEHT
Director of Public Health
Address:298 Central Street
Saugus, MA 01906
Phone:781-231-4115
Fax: 781-231-4109

fgiacalone@saugus-ma.gov

Joyce Redford of the North Shore/Cape Ann Tobacco Alcohol Policy Program, who is also attempting to initiate bans in other other towns in Massachusetts: putitout@ntcp.org 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Old moralism in new packaging

Chris Snowden
Spiked Online 


 There is little to say about the plain packaging of cigarettes that wasn’t said by Sir Humphrey in Yes, Prime Minister: ‘Something must be done. This is something, therefore it must be done.‘ Every year, the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) PR machine whirrs into action demanding that politicians take ‘bold steps’ based on ‘overwhelming evidence‘. Every year, the policies get more surreal. Graphic health warnings didn’t work? Put the cigarettes behind shutters. Shutters won’t work? Ban colourful packaging. What next year’s campaign will be is anyone’s guess, but if events in Australia are any guide it might involve forcing smokers to register for a license.


Photo credit: Wikipedia
One obvious question is never asked - does this strategy of hyper-regulation and ‘denormalisation’ actually work? By one measure, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. In 2006, the anti-smoking movement created a ‘Tobacco Control Scorecard’, a hit parade which Britain and Ireland have consistently topped thanks to uncompromising smoking bans, sky-high tobacco taxes and retail-display bans. Plain packaging should help the UK maintain the top spot next time the list is compiled.


Trebles all round, then? Not quite. After declining steadily for years, Britain’s smoking rate has been flatlining since 2007, while Ireland’s eye-wateringly high cigarette prices have made the Emerald Isle the capital of black-market tobacco in Western Europe. If stigmatising smokers and annoying the tobacco industry is the aim of tobacco control, our two countries reign supreme, but if the goal is to improve public health we should take a lesson from the country that comes a mediocre ninth on the scorecard: Sweden.


"According to the most recent EU statistics, the smoking rate is just 16 per cent in Sweden, compared to 28 per cent in the UK and 23 per cent in Ireland. (Figures vary significantly across datasets, but Sweden has been consistently shown to have the lowest rate in Europe.) Unsurprisingly, Sweden also has the lowest rate of lung cancer in the EU. Why, then, does it sit in mid-table obscurity on the tobacco-control scorecard?"


It receives black marks for having exemptions to its smoking ban, allowing advertising of smokeless tobacco and having more affordable cigarettes than our own. The Swedish government also chooses not to subsidise nicotine-replacement therapy and doesn’t put pictures of tumours on cigarette packs.


But if it flunks so many tests, why does Sweden have the lowest smoking rate in Europe? Firstly, because the criteria used by the anti-smoking movement in its scorecard do not reflect best practice, but merely reflect the obsessions of its leadership, such as the belief that smoking bans lead to mass abstinence and that massive, gruesome warnings succeed where simple, evidence-based warnings fail. Neither of these articles of faith stands up against the facts and - crucially - there is no correlation between high Tobacco Control Scale scores and low smoking rates. In other words, when it comes to reducing the smoking rate - the only measure that counts - the orthodox tobacco-control model simply does not work.


[Read More]

Friday, April 20, 2012

American Legacy Foundation Called for Removal of E-Cigarettes from Market Without Disclosing its Financial Ties to Big Pharma


Dr. Michael Siegel
Boston University School of Public Health
The American Legacy Foundation released a policy statement on electronic cigarettes, in which it called for the removal of these products from the market. The statement was entitled "The FDA Should Take Electronic Cigarettes Off The Market Until It Is Satisfied That They Are Safe and Effective."



According to the statement: "While we remain open to promising products that can help smokers quit smoking, a consideration of all of the available evidence combined with important unanswered questions strongly supports our call on the FDA to prohibit the marketing and sale of e-cigarettes unless and until the FDA is satisfied that they are safe and effective."

I have already explained why this is an inappropriate policy suggestion that would result in severe public health harm. There is little doubt that these products are helping literally thousands of people to remain smoke-free and that removing them from the market would result in thousands of ex-smokers returning to cigarette smoking because e-cigarettes are no longer available. I have also explained how this policy statement misrepresents the scientific evidence, as it suggests that electronic cigarettes present a carcinogenic risk, although the actual laboratory findings show that only trace levels of carcinogens are present in these products, comparable to the levels of carcinogens present in nicotine gum and nicotine patches -- products which the American Legacy Foundation has no concerns regarding safety. Moreover, the levels of carcinogens in electronic cigarettes are more than 1000 times lower than in Marlboros, meaning that these products can dramatically reduce a smoker's cancer risk.


This commentary, however, focuses on another issue: the question of the objectivity of the policy statement and whether or not Legacy appropriate revealed conflicts of interest that may be perceived as affecting Legacy's position and its reporting of the scientific evidence.
[Read More]

Thursday, April 19, 2012

EU moves against snus


Written by Larry Waters
for SnusCentral.org


A confidential document from the EU Commission´s Health Directorate leaked today has all of Sweden in an uproar.   The document describes banning all flavors in tobacco products including Swedish Snus in the upcoming EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

“It would mean the end of Swedish snus,” said EU Parliamentarian Christofer Fjellner bluntly.

Fjellner's statement was echoed by Patrik Hildingsson, Swedish Match AB Vice President of Group Public Affairs-EU.  “This would mean the end of Swedish snus as we know it today. For us, this affects our entire portfolio – a number of flavors that have been used for more than 200 years.”

Swedish Match which is for all practical purposes synonymous with Swedish snus, produces top Swedish snus brands General, Ettan, Grov, Göteborgs Rapé, and 16 other top selling snus brands today.  Swedish Match snus brands own an 85% market share in Sweden.  General Snus is the top selling brand of Swedish Snus in the world. [Read More...]
"While cigarettes are still smoked globally and Big Pharmaceutical's ineffective and even dangerous products like Chantix are praised by the anti-nicotine extremists, any form of smokeless or reduced risk tobacco products are hamstrung by bureaucratic hurdle after hurtle."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vapers take over Chicago

Hundreds of electronic cigarette users swooped into the Chicago area last weekend to attend not one but two "vape meets" being held for their enjoyment. VapeBash was sponsored by the Windy City Vapers Club at the Holiday Inn Express in Rosemont, IL and VapeFest was held at the nearby Hyatt Regency O'Hare.

The popular e-cigarette internet show, "Vapeteam Live," was on hand at VapeBash to capture some of the fun and interview many community personalities.

(Warning: Some adult language)

Web site/Forum Designer Needed

CASAA is looking to hire someone to ramp up the look of our casaa.org web site and forum. An ideal candidate will be highly experienced with CSS code and phpBB forums.

We are not looking for a new web server or a complete build from scratch, but an expert who can upgrade the current Website Tonight template site CASAA has on GoDaddy. (The template site is customizable with CSS.) We also want the new CASAAforum.org to be redesigned to match the look and feel of the web site.

Please contact Kristin at board@casaa.org.

Next CASAA Member Meeting

Due to the holiday, the CASAA Member Meeting has been moved to  April 15th, 2012 at 7:30PM EST.

[Read More...]

Monday, April 2, 2012

Indianapolis-Marion County, IN Call to Action

PROP 136 - A PROPOSAL FOR A GENERAL ORDINANCE amending Sec. 616 with respect to nonsmoking areas. 
Link to proposed ordinance

This ordinance would:
Ban the use of electronic cigarettes in any public place where smoking is disallowed.

Prop 136 was sent to the Rules and Public Policy committee. Their next meeting is Tuesday, April 3, at 5:30 PM. Their agenda is not posted yet. Live and archived video is here. So it is extremely important to call and write! If you can, get a face-to-face meeting with your councilman to tell your story and demonstrate why e-cigarettes should NOT be included in the smoking ban. If you would like assistance with what to say, please contact us at board@casaa.org.

UPDATE: City Councilman Michael J. McQuillen has informed CASAA that he intends to "offer an amendment to exempt e-cigarettes from the smoking ban language" during the Rules and Public Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday April 3rd.

He also told us, "a good showing of concerned citizens would have the most effectiveness during the meeting." So, if you live in the area and can attend, please contact us ASAP! 

Please call or write the members of the City-County Council listed below.


UPDATE: During the Jan. 17th Committee meeting, one of the sponsors of the bill implied that all of the emails they had been receiving were from people who had financial interest in the e-cigarette industry.  When writing to the Council members, please emphasize your personal story and that you are a consumer, not an industry representative.
What to say [Read More...]