Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Call to Action: Washington D.C. City Council E-Cigarette Usage Ban Proposal -- Bill 20-233 (Hearing November 21st!)

Washington D.C. City Council members are trying to equate vaping with "smoking" and we need your help to stop it.

Bill 20-233, which the authors have preposterously named the "Electronic Cigarette Parity Amendment Act of 2013," would ban e-cigarette use everywhere smoking is banned, including in outdoor areas.  A hearing will be held on Bill 20-233 before the Committee on Health at 11 AM on Thursday, November 21, 2013 in Room 412 of the D.C. Council building (1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.).

Those who wish to testify should contact Rayna Smith, Committee Director, at (202) 741-2111 or via e-mail at and provide their name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business on Tuesday, November 19, 2013. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. If submitted by the close of business on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the testimony will be distributed to Councilmembers before the hearing. Witnesses should limit their testimony to four minutes; less time will be allowed if there are a large number of witnesses.

If you may be able to attend this important hearing, please respond to this e-mail. 

Regardless of whether you can attend, please reach out to the Council members and encourage them to vote NO on Bill 20-233. Please see below for details.
You can read the proposed bill here.  If the bill is passed by the Health Committee, it will not become law, but instead continue through the legislative process.  Most likely it would go before the full D.C. City Council.

Urge Opposition to the Washington D.C. E-Cigarette Usage Ban

Comma delimited e-mail list:,,,,,,

Members of the Committee on Health  

Councilmember Yvette Alexander (Ward 7):
(202) 724-8068 (phone) / (202) 741-0911 (fax) / @CMYMA (Twitter) 
Councilmember Anita Bonds (At-Large):
(202) 724-8064 (phone),(202) 724-8099 (fax) / @AnitaBondsDC (Twitter) 

Councilmember Vincent Orange (At-Large):
(202) 724-8174 (phone), (202) 727-8210 (fax) / @VincentOrangeDC (Twitter) 

Councilmember David Grosso (At-Large):
(202) 724-8105 (phone), (202) 724-8071 (fax) / @cmdgrosso (Twitter) 

Councilmember David Catania (At-Large):
(202) 724-7772 (phone), (202) 724-8087 (fax)

Rayna Smith (Committee Director):  
(202) 741-2111 /  

What to say to the members of the D.C. City Council:

1. You are a D.C. or nearby citizen and would like them to vote NO on Bill 20-233, which would ban e-cigarette use in everywhere smoking is banned in Washington D.C.. (Remember to be respectful) 
2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life.

3. Explain how smoking bans are enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been shown to cause harm to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with e-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, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, 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.
For example, a study by the Roswell Park Center that was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the levels of chemicals and toxicants in the vapor produced by 12 different e-cigarettes 9-450x less than in cigarette smoke.  The authors noted that the trace levels of chemicals present were comparable to what is found in a FDA-approved nicotine inhaler.    
Additionally, a comprehensive review by a Drexel University professor based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found "no apparent concern" for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under "worst case" assumptions about exposure.    

4. Detail 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. Additionally, e-cigarette users can decide whether to release any vapor ("discrete vaping").  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 website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.


Buy E Cigarette said...

Banned e cigarette in public place is acceptable but banned at every place is not good. Government only think about non-user of e cigarette. They have to think for all, if they do then they will take right decision.

mainusch said...

If there is no secondhand smoke issue, what is the basis for banning in public places. The vapor from a personal vaporizer is more closely related to the steam that comes off of a starbucks coffee. Should coffee be banned in public places as well. They present the same risk to bystanders. The DC council needs to get their facts straight about what vaping is, and more importantly, what it is not. It is NOT the same as smoking therefor it should NOT be treated the same.

Kyly Boldy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patty Piazza said...

Perfectly stated!