Call to Action! New York City E-Cigarette Usage Ban --
Proposed Int. 1210-A
(Health Committee Vote Wednesday, 12/18/13
with a Vote by City Council Expected as Early as 12/19/13)
UPDATE 12/15/13: regarding upcoming Health Committee vote WEDNESDAY, 12/18/13
UPDATE 12/12/13: regarding upcoming Health Committee vote and contact lists.
[legislative tracking + full text]
If enacted, these ordinances would:
- Include e-cigarettes in New York City's "Smoke-Free Air Act”
- Ban e-cigarette use in all locations where smoking is prohibited in New York City, including bars, restaurants, private workplaces, outdoor dining areas and parks.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and Councilman James F. Gennaro are both just a few weeks away from the end of their terms as NYC officials. Bloomberg and company, having failed in their push to enact a de facto ban on flavored e-cigarette sales in the city, have decided to again bully ex-smokers in NYC by attempting to push through an ordinance that would ban the use of electronic cigarettes in all indoor and outdoor areas of the city where smoking is banned.
On Wednesday, December 4th, the New York City Council held a hearing on these ordinances, with approximately 50 harm reduction advocates attending and many speaking in opposition to the plan. Following the hearing, two positive articles on e-cigarettes were published in the New York Times (“Two Cheers for E-Cigarettes,” “The Case for Tolerating E-Cigarettes”). Additionally, on Monday, December 9th, a committee in the Chicago City Council declined to railroad through a ban similar to one proposed by the Bloomberg administration ("Surprise Opposition Derails Emauel's E-Cigarette Ban").
The NYC ordinance was originally set to be voted on by the Health Committee on Wednesday, December 11th. However, we’ve learned that the vote has been delayed,
perhaps until (16th Floor Hearing Room at 250 Broadway). The goal is to then have the full Council immediately vote on it on at their meeting at at City Hall (260 Broadway).
Important Note for New York City Residents: Vapers and advocates cannot wait until the Health Committee acts on this ordinance to decide whether to contact other members of the NYC Council. It is imperative that NYC residents who respond to this Call to Action not just contact the full Council, but also the Council member who represents each individual person's district. Click here to find out who represents you on the New York City Council. We highly recommend calling their legislative office and respectfully making clear that you are in the legislator’s district and have a strong opinion about the e-cigarette ordinance. You can even ask for a meeting or return phone call.
NYC and Nearby Residents: Please Contact All the Members of the New York City Council
1. You would like them to OPPOSE the proposed ordinance to falsely redefine "smoking" to include use of a smoke-free electronic cigarette.
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.
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.
Additionally, 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.
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 ("discreet 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 CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.
Please Contact the Members of the New York City Council
Health Committee Below:
While e-mails are easier, phone calls will have a larger impact, even if you are simply leaving a message after hours.
Comma delimited email list:
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BROOKLYN COUNCIL MEMBERS
Margaret Chin (D) [District 1]
Rosie Mendez (D) [District 2]
Christine C. Quinn (D) [District 3]
Daniel R. Garodnick (D) [District 4]
Jessica S. Lappin (D) [District 5]
Gale A. Brewer (D) [District 6]
Robert Jackson (D) [District 7]
Melissa Mark-Viverito (D) [District 8]
Inez Dickens (D) [District 9]
Ydanis Rodriguez (D) [District 10]
Oliver Koppell (D) [District 11]
Andy King (D) [District 12]
James Vacca (D) [District 13]
Fernando Cabrera (D) [District 14]
Joel Rivera (D) [District 15]
Vanessa L. Gibson [District 16]
Maria del Carmen Arroyo (D) [District 17]
BRONX COUNCIL MEMBERS
Annabel Palma (D) [District 18]
Daniel Halloran (R), (C), (I), (L) [District 19]
Peter Koo (D) [District 20]
Julissa Ferreras (D) [District 21]
Peter F. Vallone Jr. (D) [District 22]
Mark S. Weprin (D) [District 23]
James F. Gennaro (D) [District 24]
Daniel Dromm (D) [District 25]
MANHATTAN COUNCIL MEMBERS
Jimmy Van Bramer (D) [District 26]
Leroy Comrie (D) [District 27]
Ruben Wills (D) [District 28]
Karen Koslowitz (D) [District 29]
Elizabeth Crowley (D) [District 30]
Donovan Richards Jr [District 31]
Eric Ulrich (R) [District 32]
Stephen Levin (D) [District 33]
Diana Reyna (D) [District 34]
Letitia James [District 35]
QUEENS COUNCIL MEMBERS
Albert Vann (D) [District 36]
Erik Martin Dilan (D) [District 37]
Sara M. González (D) [District 38]
Brad Landers (D) [District 39]
Mathieu Eugene (D) [District 40]
Darlene Mealy (D) [District 41]
Charles Barron (D) [District 42]
Vincent J. Gentile (D) [District 43]
David G. Greenfield (D) [District 44]
Jumaane D. Williams (D) [District 45]
Lew Fidler (D) [District 46]
Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. (D) [District 47]
Michael Nelson (D) [District 48]
STATEN ISLAND COUNCIL MEMBERS
Deborah Rose (D) [District 49]
James S. Oddo (R) [District 50]
Vincent Ignizio (R) [District 51]