Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Marshall County, WV Call to Action!

In 2010, the Marshall County, West Virginia Board of Health amended its Clean Indoor Air regulation to falsely redefine "smoking" to include the use of smoke-free electronic cigarettes. The Marshall County Board of Health is currently considering a regulation that would ban smoking and e-cigarette use in all vehicles used for employment, hotels and motels (but not in bars, private clubs, bingo operations, video lottery rooms or tobacco stores), on all outdoor property owned by healthcare service providers (including parking lots and sidewalks, requiring smokers and vapers to cross streets to legally smoke or use an e-cigarette), public parks, outdoor serving areas of restaurants, and other outdoor places where people congregate.

The Marshall County Board of Health has a great opportunity to stand for public health and vote to *remove* e-cigarettes from the Clean Indoor Air regulation's definition of "smoking."

Public comments are being accepted until January 31, 2013. As of now, there will be no public hearing on this matter. Testimony can be e-mailed to Ronda.L.Francis@wv.gov.

LINKS:
http://www.marshallcountyhealthdepartment.com/headlinesandannouncements.php?id=364 (public comment information)
http://www.marshallcountyhealthdepartment.com/uploads/12-20-12_wo_MCBOHCleanAirRegProposal2013.pdf (proposed Marshall County CIA Regs)
http://www.marshallcountyhealthdepartment.com/uploads/08-11-11_f6_CIARegs.doc (Current Marshall County CIA Regs)

Please contact the members of the Marshall County Board of Health by sending a letter to Ronda.L.Francis@wv.gov.

What to say:1. You would like them to amend any proposed ordinance to remove the prohibition on e-cigarette use.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarettes have changed your life.

3. 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.

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 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.

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 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

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.

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


Again, public comments should be e-mailed to Ronda.L.Francis@wv.gov.


1 comment:

Ryan Donovan said...

Are there any updates on this? I don't think that tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes should be mentioned in the same breath. Vapor and second hand smoke are definitely unalike. E-cigarettes has not only affected the life of smokers but also the people around them, that I think is a valid reason.

Ryan Donovan III