Monday, May 13, 2013

Call to Action! Kitsap County, Washington E-Cigarette Usage Ban

Kitsap County, WA: Attempt to Add Smoke-Free Electronic Cigarettes to "Smoking" Ban

According to a report in the Kitsap Sun, Kitsap County's Public Health Board appears to be gearing up to ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is banned. As stated by members of the Health Board, the ban would be so draconian that it would not even permit vaping in e-cigarette stores.  

If you are from the Kitsap County area and could attend the hearing when it is scheduled, please e-mail us at with the subject line "Kitsap County Testimony."  In the meantime, please attempt to make contact (phone calls and letters preferred to e-mails, but any communication is good communication) with all the members of the Public Health Board. 

When Seattle-King County, Washington proposed banning e-cigarette usage in public places in 2010, very few vapers showed up to testify.  The ban was passed.  When Tacoma-Pierce County tried the same thing in 2011, well over 50 vapers attended and the issue garnered some significant local media attention.  A far less harsh 'compromise' bill was then passed.  

What will the response be like in 2013?  We're anticipating far more this time around.  But  before the hearing, civic engagement with members of the Public Health Board is needed

What to say:

1. You would like them to vote NO on any ordinance that would ban the use of smoke free electronic cigarettes
wherever smoking is banned.

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

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. Refer them to the recent study, "Levels of selected carcinogens and toxicants in vapour from electronic cigarettes," which was funded in part by the U.S. National Institute of Health. The study tested 12 different e-cigarettes, as well as a medicinal nicotine inhaler, and found that the levels of toxicants in the e-cigarette products were "9–450 times lower than in cigarette smoke and were, in many cases, comparable with trace amounts found in the reference product [nicotine inhaler]." This study, as well as others, show that there is no threat to bystanders from e-cigarette use.

5. If you are a Kitsap County resident and currently vape in public, talk your experience. Do businesses you frequent allow you to vape? What about your office?

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

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.

Members of the Kitsap County Public Health Board 

Kitsap County residents are strongly encouraged to make one-on-one contact with the members of the Public Health Board.  Please note that the Call to Action includes the names of the cities that these legislators represent. 

Comma delimited list:,,,,,, 

Mayor Patty Lent (Mayor of Bremerton)
Norm Dicks Government Center
345 6th Street, Suite 600
Bremerton, WA 98337
Phone: (360) 473-5266
Fax: (360) 473-5883

Mayor Becky Erickson (Mayor of Poulsbo)
City of Poulsbo
P.O. Box 98
Poulsbo, WA 98370
Phone: (360) 394 9700

Mayor Tim Mathes (Mayor of Port Orchard)
City of Port Orchard
216 Prospect Street
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Phone: (360) 876-4407
Fax: (360) 895-9029

Councilwoman Sarah Blossom (Bainbridge Island City Council)
280 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Phone: (206) 715-3204

Commissioner Josh Brown (Kitsap County Board of Commissioners)
(Silverdale, Tracyton, Seabeck, Illahee, Brownsville, Crosby, Holly, Rocky Point, majority of Bremerton) 
Kitsap County Courthouse
614 Division Street, MS-4
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Phone: (360) 337-7146
Fax: (360) 337-4632

Commissioner Robert Gelder (Kitsap County Board of Commissioners) 
(Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Bangor, Keyport, Kingston, Navy Yard City, Port Gamble)
Kitsap County Courthouse
614 Division Street, MS-4
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Phone: (360) 337-7146
Fax: (360) 337-4632

Commissioner Charlotte Garrido (Kitsap County Board of Commissioners) 
(Port Orchard, Bethel, Burley, Chico, Manchester, Parkwood)
Kitsap County Courthouse
614 Division Street, MS-4
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Phone: (360) 337-7146
Fax: (360) 337-4632

1 comment:

Jake said...

Here is the letter I sent out:

To All Mayors, Board Members and Elected Officials in Kitsap County:

I am surprised and appalled to find that Kitsap County is considering adding e-cigarette products to the same smoking ban as tobacco products. The output from electronic devices is nothing like what is produced by tobacco and does not have the same harmful effects.

Over twenty years ago my dad informed me that he had been diagnosed with cancer. He was able to have that removed, but eventually died from lung cancer a few years later. At the time he was originally diagnosed I stopped smoking my pipes, fearing I would suffer the same fate if I continued. Now, with the invention of e-pipes I can safely enjoy my relaxing repast of "blowing smoke rings" without fear of getting cancer. Many people I know use e-cigs in one form or another and this has helped them to quit smoking cigarettes. We have all discovered the vapor exhaled from these products does not have the same effect on others around us as second-hand smoke does from tobacco.

My wife and I, along with some of our friends, often travel to the various restaurants and bars in Kitsap County's cities. All of us have begun using e-products and enjoy being able to sit back, relax and vape while enjoying each other's company. A ban on e-products will force us to vacate these chosen amenities in favor of other cities and counties where we are still allowed to so relax.

I urge you to vote NO on this ban of e-products and allow those of us who frequent your cities and county the free access of your various amenities while using our e-products. It would be a terrible mistake on your part to pass this ban.

Jacob Drake
Olympia, WA resident and business owner