Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rising e-cigarette sales spur call for regulations

The Hill
Washington DC
by Megan R. Wilson
February 28, 2013

An anti-smoking group is renewing pressure on federal regulators to examine the safety of electronic cigarettes.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate how the devices work, what ingredients they contain and the potential effects they could have on users.

The request comes after the release of a study by the Centers for Disease Control that found adult use of e-cigarettes increased by 88 percent from 2010 to 2011, to a total of 6 percent. Use by current smokers “more than doubled” during that period, to 21.2 percent.

Chris Hansen, the president of American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said the increase “adds even more urgency to the need for the FDA to regulate these products.”
...

In January, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) filed a petition with the White House to oppose the FDA’s regulatory efforts.

“The FDA should not propose or approve any regulation that would deny cigarette smokers legal or affordable access to less hazardous smoke-free alternatives,” Bill Godshall, an adviser with the CASAA, wrote in the petition. This month, the measure gained more than the necessary amount of signatures to warrant a reply from the White House.

“E-cigarettes and associated accessories and liquids are less hazardous than cigarettes and can reduce the risks of smoking. With the use of these devices millions have successfully reduced the use of cigarettes. Don't let the FDA deny us access to these alternatives to smoking,” the petition says.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

E-cigarettes: a safer alternative to smoking?

The following video and article features an interview with CASAA Science Director, Dr. Carl Phillips and members of the White Rose Vaper's Club.

by Trang Do
Fox43 Central Pennsylvania




Sales of electronic cigarettes are expected to reach $1 billion this year.

Though they’re increasing in popularity, they’re not without controversy.

“Finally, smokers have a real alternative,” a narrator says on a commercial for NJOY electronic cigarettes.

Some even have celebrity endorsements, like actor Stephen Dorff for Blu e-cigs.

“C’mon guys! Rise from the ashes,” Dorff says in one commercial.

These products are designed to look, feel and even taste like traditional cigarettes, but they’re battery-powered devices that convert doses of nicotine called juice, into a vapor that’s inhaled by the user.

It’s also called “vaping.”

There are an estimated 2.5 million e-cigarette users in the United States, and in increasing numbers, people are vaping as a way to quit smoking.

Dave Norris was a smoker for 25 years. At his worst, he smoked a pack-and-a-half a day.

“I knew I should quit and I tried many different ways to quit,” he said. “I tried cold turkey, I tried the patches, the gums, hypnosis, the prescriptions, all of that.”

But none of those things worked long-term for Norris, until he picked up an electronic cigarette about two years ago.

“For 25 years, I’ve had this hand to mouth oral fixation, and this satisfies that as well as the nicotine cravings,” Norris said.

He’s not alone. Every third Saturday of the month, the White Rose Vaper’s Club meets at Cobblestone’s Restaurant in York.

Around 40 to 50 people show up to socialize and try out different products with like-minded people.

“We’re kind of a social gathering, a support group for each other,” said Norris, who helps to organize the gatherings. “So that we’re all here together and we’re all going to keep each other from ever smoking again.”

At Lancaster General Health, smoking cessation experts say the jury is still out on whether these products are safe and effective, because the industry is largely unregulated.

“It’s the safety and the potency of the nicotine,” said Mary LeVasseur, manager of Lancaster General Health’s free smoking cessation program. “So those are the things when we’re talking about what we can recommend to patients. Again, we want to be recommending things that we know have been tested.”

The liquid products that go into electronic cigarettes are at the center of the debate.

The juices come in varying nicotine dosages, some have none at all, and a variety of flavors that would probably surprise you.

Through his role as science director of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Assocation, or CASAA, Epidemiologist and health researcher Dr. Carl Phillips is working on summarizing all of the existing research on e-cigarettes.

Phillips said about a dozen studies have found e-cigarettes do not carry significant risks for users.

“Yes, there are trace amounts of harmful chemicals to be found in the liquid or the vapor. And by trace, I mean tiny,” Phillips said. “And you know what? There are trace amounts of harmful chemicals to be found in an apple, to be found in the air.”

In April 2011, the FDA announced plans to expand regulations of e-cigarettes under the Tobacco Control Act, but that has yet to happen.

As of now, several state and local governments have passed their own restrictions on the products.

Norris said whatever the research eventually shows, he’s okay with taking his chances.

“Can I sit here and tell you this will never have a long-term, ill health effect? No,” he said. “But, can I be absolutely comfortable in saying that this is a lot healthier for me than smoking? Without question.”

The FDA has an April 1 deadline to update Congress on its plans to expand regulation of e-cigarettes and other products containing nicotine.

Read more: http://fox43.com/2013/02/25/e-cigarettes-a-safer-alternative-to-smoking/#ixzz2M2fSKzLH

Monday, February 25, 2013

E-cigarettes: a safer alternative to smoking?

Fox New 43 Pennsylvania
Trang Do
February 25, 2013



Sales of electronic cigarettes are expected to reach $1 billion this year. Though they’re increasing in popularity, they’re not without controversy.

 “Finally, smokers have a real alternative,” a narrator says on a commercial for NJOY electronic cigarettes. Some even have celebrity endorsements, like actor Stephen Dorff for Blu e-cigs.

 “C’mon guys! Rise from the ashes,” Dorff says in one commercial.

 These products are designed to look, feel and even taste like traditional cigarettes, but they’re battery-powered devices that convert doses of nicotine called juice, into a vapor that’s inhaled by the user. ... 

Through his role as science director of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Assocation, or CASAA, Epidemiologist and health researcher Dr. Carl Phillips is working on summarizing all of the existing research on e-cigarettes.

 Phillips said about a dozen studies have found e-cigarettes do not carry significant risks for users.

 “Yes, there are trace amounts of harmful chemicals to be found in the liquid or the vapor. And by trace, I mean tiny,” Phillips said. “And you know what? There are trace amounts of harmful chemicals to be found in an apple, to be found in the air.”

Read full story >

Monday, February 11, 2013

CASAA Launches Research Fund, E-cigarette Study Review

CASAA is launching our first fund-raiser to support an important scientific research project, described below, that will help clear up the the some of the debate about e-cigarettes.

There have been numerous studies testing the chemistry of e-cigarette vapor and liquids, including the well-known report by the FDA, all of which have found no cause for serious concern. However, because most people are not scientific experts, the FDA and those who wish to see e-cigarettes banned have been able to untruthfully portray many of these studies as having found significant health risks.

CASAA has secured the interest of an internationally respected professor of environmental and occupational health at a major university to study and write a review of all of the existing chemistry research on e-cigarettes. The results of this work will be made available to the public immediately upon completion and it will be published in one or more scientific journal articles.

This research paper will explain what the results of those existing studies really mean.  It will make clear what the levels of the detected chemicals mean, how they compare to other sources of those chemicals and what are believed to be the levels that would be considered harmful.  Many of the anti-tobacco/nicotine researchers have tried to trick readers by not making clear how small the detected quantities were, compared to the levels produced by smoking or allowed by regulations.  CASAA is confident that this research will be useful for both health science and in arguing for the reasonable regulation of e-cigarettes.

The researcher is familiar with tobacco harm reduction and unlike many other researchers, he will not be intimidated by pressure from the tobacco control industry, but has no history of advocacy and thus there would be no basis for suggesting he is biased.  He is known for being an impeccable scientist.  These factors will make it difficult for regulators and anti-THR activists to dismiss the analysis.

A grant of $15,000 will allow him to conduct this research. If CASAA can raise the money within the next month or two we can have a result by late summer, in time for it to be considered in discussion of new e-cigarette regulations.  

By using the information already available in existing studies, the cost is a fraction of what it would cost for someone to perform another chemistry test, yet it will produce results that are much more useful, and that we believe will immediately become the most important single source of scientific analysis about e-cigarettes.


Find out more about the new Research Fund and donate to this first project at: http://casaa.org/researchfundlaunch.html

E-cigarettes a healthier choice for smokers who can't quit

AZ Central
Elaine Keller
Opinion Article
February 11, 2013

Bill Pfeifer is president of the American Lung Association of the Southwest, not the director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Therefore, his concerns would be more properly focused on lung health than on addiction ("Electronic-cigarette ads on television should end," Saturday).

Nobody has ever been arrested for driving under the influence of nicotine or become physically abusive due to nicotine in their system. In fact, nicotine from a non-smoked source has about the same level of harmful physical effects as caffeine.

But it's nicotine's beneficial health effects that make it so attractive.

Nicotine subdues aggression, eases anxiety, improves memory recall, concentration, and the ability to pay attention, and helps to ward off depression. It is also being studied as a preventive measure against dementia. With an aging society prone to develop Alzheimer's or Parkinson's Disease, you should begin to understand why so many smokers in their 50s, 60s and 70s have such difficulty becoming abstinent from nicotine.

In Sweden, where tobacco use is higher, the lung-cancer mortality rate is among the lowest in the European Union because so many smokers have switched to smokeless tobacco products.

The world-recognized expert on nicotine safety and toxicity, Dr. Neal Benowitz, testified at the FDA's hearing on long-term use of NRTs that we can extrapolate from the population-level studies of smokeless tobacco users to conclude that long-term nicotine-replacement therapy use would be low-risk because smokeless-tobacco users have nearly the same rate of smoking-related diseases as non-tobacco users.

Numerous toxicology tests have confirmed that e-cigarette vapor more closely resembles the output of a Nicotrol inhaler than it does smoke. With 3.5 million adult users, don't you think that if vapor contained any seriously harmful chemicals, we would have heard about it by now? But instead of getting sick, e-cigarette consumers are getting healthy, experiencing reduced coughing and wheezing, less need for a rescue inhaler, and better peak-flow meter numbers.

Think about this: An FDA-approved nicotine patch contains about the same quantity of carcinogens (8 ng) as the FDA found in a few of the e-cigarette cartridges they tested. Many health practitioners have heard good things about e-cigarettes from their patients who finally stopped smoking and have now begun recommending e-cigarettes to those who can't quit.

Those of us who used the methods Pfeifer recommended, including FDA-approved over-the-counter and prescribed medications, found it nearly impossible to quit despite numerous attempts, until we switched to an e-cigarette.

Thanks, but I would much rather be a nicotine addict than a lung-cancer or COPD patient.

If some people are addicted, then isn't it better than they use a product with very low risk instead of smoking? Smoking for just a couple more months creates more health risk, on average, than a lifetime of using a smoke-free alternative.

Elaine Keller is president of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association.

Read full story >

Friday, February 8, 2013

Public demand for FDA recognition of e-cigarettes as "safer alternative" increases dramatically


WASHINGTONFeb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The White House petition website seems to be heating up over more than secession and Death Stars these days.  In fact, it's about blowing smoke – or should we say vapor? Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) consumers have submitted a petition to urge the White House to take action to prevent the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from enacting unnecessary, burdensome regulations that could effectively ban the sale of many e-cigarettes.

The White House required 25,000 signatures to be collected in one month to receive an answer. The petition was filed on January 14 and hit the 25,000 mark on February 6. Signatures will continue to be collected through February 13.

"The FDA first tried to remove all e-cigarettes from the market by calling them 'drug delivery devices,'" said Elaine Keller , president of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), a non-profit, volunteer organization formed in 2009 by e-cigarette consumers to promote tobacco harm reduction policies.

Elaine Keller
CASAA President
"Having failed in their attempt to ban e-cigarettes, the FDA has announced its intent to propose a 'deeming' regulation to apply Chapter IX of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to e-cigarettes," said Keller.  "However, portions of Chapter IX would essentially ban all e-cigarettes from being sold and other provisions would decimate the e-cigarette industry, protect cigarette markets and otherwise threaten public health."

In 2011, consumers submitted a petition that called on the Obama administration to "Recognize electronic cigarettes as an effective alternative to smoking and support job creation in this new industry." The petition garnered 6,000 signatures—well over the 5,000 required at that time. Unfortunately, the administration punted to the FDA, and the Agency's response was largely non-responsive. In the time since, the White House increased the number of required signatures and has just announced another increase to 100,000 signatures.

"The current petition has already collected nearly 5 times the signatures of just over a year ago. Clearly, the word is spreading that these products are successfully replacing tobacco cigarettes for hundreds of thousands of smokers, and all without any serious adverse health effects being reported to the FDA MedWatch system since the administration began to monitor their health effects in 2008."

"In spite of all of the rhetoric and scaremongering coming from the FDA and the tobacco control industry, e-cigarettes are not causing youth to start smoking, poisoning children, affecting the enforcement of smoking bans or causing any kind of public health hazard. They are being used as intended – by adult smokers looking for a far less hazardous long-term alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes," said Keller.

Based on the previous White House response, Keller said that she and most tobacco harm reduction experts and advocates are not optimistic about receiving a markedly different response from the White House or FDA this time around.  However, CASAA is still encouraging people to sign the petition.

"CASAA believes the petition will help heighten awareness about the upcoming FDA public comment period, which is expected to be opened after the FDA announces its intended regulations sometime around April," Keller explained. "It will be imperative that consumers submit comments at that time. We cannot allow the FDA to regulate a scientifically-proven safer alternative to smoking out of existence while leaving its far more hazardous cousin on the market. Anyone can see how ridiculous that would be."

Keller said that CASAA will be issuing a "Call to Action" once the FDA makes its announcement, so people who are interested are encouraged to subscribe to the CASAA email list at http://casaa.org/Become_a_Member.html

SOURCE Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1zwv6)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bill Godshall's Tobacco Harm Reduction Update



Opinions expressed in Bill Godshall's Tobacco Harm Update do not necessarily reflect the views of CASAA.

E-Cigarettes

Petition to White House to "Prevent the FDA from regulating or banning the sale and use of electronic cigarettes, accessories and associated liquids" has 18,566 signatures in first two weeks, needs 6,434 more signatures in next two weeks for White House to respond.
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/prevent-fda-regulating-or-banning-sale-and-use-electronic-cigarettes-accessories-and-associated/RQLBYRsd

Mike Siegel: Problem is Not that Electronic Cigarette Companies are Making False Claims; Problem is that Anti-Smoking and Health Groups Are
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/01/problem-is-not-that-electronic.html

Bill Godshall's presentation for SFATA's 2013 E-Cig Summit (that wasn't presented)
http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/legislation-news/375585-bill-godshalls-presentation-sfatas-e-cig-summit-2013-wasnt-presented.html#post8490689

Mike Siegel: New Study on Electronic Cigarette Use Among Youth Fails to Find a Single Nonsmoking Youth Who Has Even Tried an Electronic Cigarette
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.ca/2013/01/new-study-on-electronic-cigarette-use.html

E-cigarettes not just a fad for Johnson Creek Enterprises
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/print-edition/2012/12/28/e-cigarettes-not-just-a-fad-for.html?page=all

Mike Siegel: Usefulness in Smoking Cessation or Reduction is Not Necessarily a Therapeutic Claim; Electronic Cigarette Companies Should Be Allowed to Tell the Truth
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/01/usefulness-in-smoking-cessation-or.html

NSRA's Melodie Tilson admits e-cigarettes are less hazardous alternatives for smokers, then protects cigarette markets by demonizing e-cigarettes, defending Health Canada's sales ban, complaining that smokers can still buy them, calling for a usage ban in public places and for banning most marketing of no-nicotine e-cigarettes. Health Canada declines invitation to NSRA's e-cigarette prohibition and propaganda rally in Toronto today.
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2013/01/29/the-rise-of-e-cigarettes-helping-to-quit-or-encouraging-to-smoke/

Paul Bergen: Two ways in which vaping will clear more than just the air
http://smokles.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/two-ways-in-which-vaping-will-clear-more-than-just-the-air/
Unregulated, Addictive, And Enticing: E-Cigarettes Suck In Smokers But Risks Remain
(great article, except for intolerant and false claims by nicotine prohibitionists)
http://gothamist.com/2013/01/22/e-cigs_e-cigarettes_njoy_vaping_vap.php
Tom Novotny "I really think that we shouldn't support any new nicotine delivery product"
Constantine Vardavas "Nicotine is a toxic substance that is seriously harmful to one's heath"

2010/2011 survey data of 20-28 year old Midwestern adults found 70% were aware of e-cigarettes, 7% had ever used an e-cigarette, 1.2% had used in past 30 days. Among those aware of e-cigarettes, 45% agreed that e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking, 53% agreed that e-cigarettes are less hazardous than cigarettes. But authors unsubstantiated and unwarranted conclusion states: "Health communication interventions to provide correct information about e-cigarettes and regulation of e-cigarette marketing may be effective in reducing young adults’ experimentation with e-cigarettes."
http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2012.300947

Do electronic cigarettes really work? (consumers say so, but not the prohibitionists)
http://www.salon.com/2013/01/17/do_electronic_cigarettes_really_work/

Paul Bergen: Canadian Lung Association says reducing health risks not as important as quitting nicotine
http://smokles.wordpress.com:80/2013/01/23/canadian-lung-association-says-reducing-health-risks-not-as-important-as-quitting-nicotine/

Laboratory Equipment News repeats Canadian Lung Association's fear mongering comments about e-cigarettes
http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/01/e-cigarettes-are-potentially-harmful

Canadian substance abuse prevention counselor Doug Rogers urges smokers to keep smoking instead of using e-cigarettes, repeats false and misleading fearmongering propaganda.
http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/community/188202891.html

Daily Mail (UK) editor falsely claims e-cigarettes are more harmful than cigarettes, deceived by prohibitionist propaganda
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2268702/E-cigarettes-cause-harm-smoking-experts-say.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Philippine Health Dept and FCTCA urges smokers to keep smoking instead of using e-cigarettes
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/01/21/899285/e-cigarettes-not-advisable-smokers-doh

Pravda claims Russian legislation would ban e-cigarettes, but says legal experts disagree
http://english.pravda.ru/news/russia/21-01-2013/123530-electronic_cigarettes-0/

Smokeless Tobacco
Amendment proposed in Russian Parliament would ban snus and other smokeless tobacco, Ministry of Health's Alexei Nadezhdin falsely claims smokeless tobacco product is more hazardous than cigarettes.
http://rapsinews.com/legislation_news/20130125/266182476.html

Russian Duma approves ban on smokeless tobacco product (nasvai), which if given final approval, would prompt many users to switch to far more hazardous cigarettes, LDPR Deputy Dmitry Nosov falsely claims that 95 percent of users of nasvai in Russia are children and teenagers.
http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-smoking-legislation-central-asians-nasvai-tobacco/24883936.html

MA State Rep. Jonathan Hecht accuses smokeless tobacco companies of target marketing to youth, but provides no evidence of any violation of laws or legal settlements that strictly prohibit marketing to youth. Anti tobacco extremists want MA to spend more public dollars on abstinence only propaganda and ineffective smoking cessation drugs.
http://necir-bu.org/investigations/up-in-smoke-anti-smoking-dollars-diverted-in-massachusetts/

Tobacco Harm Reduction

Brad Rodu: A Call To Action
http://rodutobaccotruth.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-call-to-action_29.html

CDC's Tim McAfee delineates high risks of smoking, but refuses to inform smokers that e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products are far less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes and pose no harm to others.
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/putting-a-number-to-smokings-toll/

BAT announces former White House physician Dr Richard Tubb appointed Non-Executive Director of BAT
http://www.bat.com/group/sites/UK__3MNFEN.nsf/vwPagesWebLive/DO94EC2W?opendocument&SKN=1

FDA
FDA to invite public comments about its false and misleading warning labels on smokeless tobacco products
http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/healthcare/279713-drag-seen-on-smokeless-tobacco-regulations

Federal appeals court denies FDA's request for rehearing in graphic cigarette label case
http://legalnewsline.com/tobacco/239032-federal-appeals-court-denies-fdas-request-for-rehearing-in-graphic-tobacco-label-case

Judge Kessler schedules hearing on corrective cigarette warnings for February 7, 2013
http://www.tobacco-on-trial.com/2013/01/29/5999-order-35-remand/

Tobacco companies appeal Judge Kesslers' order for text of corrective cigarette warnings
http://www.tobacco-on-trial.com/wp-content/uploaded/2013/01/2013-01-25-doj-6000-def-appeal.pdf
http://www.tobacco-on-trial.com/2013/01/29/6000-defendants-notice-of-appeal-to-dc-circuit-court-12513/

Legislative update on cigarette graphic warning labels
http://www.csdecisions.com/2013/01/25/legislative-update-on-cigarette-graphic-warning-labels/

FDA to hold Third Party Governance of Industry-Sponsored Tobacco Product Research - A Public Workshop on March 19-20
http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/NewsEvents/ucm336166.htm?source=govdelivery

FDA Warns Online Cigarette Retailers for Marketing Violations
http://giannamore-law.com:80/?p=414

Cigarettes

Alrtia to appeal court order on cigarette warnings for past wrongdoing
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-25/altria-to-appeal-court-order-on-cigarette-ads-packaging.html

82.4 million legal cigarettes consumed in Germany in 2012, 6% fewer than in 2011, and 41% fewer than in 2000.
http://www.thelocal.de/national/20130122-47473.html#.UP7LAY5SXAR

Cigarette consumption in South Korea declines in 2012
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/business/2013/01/21/77/0501000000AEN20130121002900320F.HTML

EU

Alberto Alemanno: EU Tobacco Control 2.0
The Limits of EU policymaking have been tested by the draft tobacco directive. Bold legislation may nonetheless emerge.
http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/imported/eu-tobacco-control-2-0/76123.aspx

Robert West: Two steps forward, one step back
http://www.thetimes.co.uk:80/tto/business/industries/health/article3668906.ece

Tobacconists protest proposed EU cigarette restrictions
http://www.euronews.com/2013/01/22/tobacconists-fume-at-eu-cigarette-restrictions/
http://www.france24.com/en/20130122-europes-tobacconists-march-against-eu-smoking-crackdown

European coalition advocates graphic cigarette pack warnings (the only provision in the proposed EU Tobacco Products Directive that has proven effective in reducing cigarette consumption), but fail to criticize proposed e-cigarette and snus bans that prevent smokers from quitting and reducing cigarette consumption.
http://www.epha.org/a/5538

EU Tobacco Products Directive proponents to host seminar on February 19 called "The Battle against Big Tobacco" even though proposed TPD's ban on e-cigarettes and snus protects cigarettes markets and threaten public health.
http://www.epha.org/a/5535

Taxation

MA Governor Deval Patrick proposes increasing cigarette tax by $1/pack (from $2.51 to $3.51) and increasing OTP tax by similar amount.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/24/us-massachusetts-budget-idUSBRE90N02220130124
http://www.newburyportnews.com/opinion/x1746083222/State-caught-in-tobacco-tax-shell-game

MN Governor Mark Dayton proposes increasing cigarette tax by $.94/pack (from $1.58 to $2.52), and OTP tax (presumably including e-cigarettes).
http://brainerddispatch.com/news/2013-01-22/dayton-wants-94-cent-pack-cigarette-tax-hike
http://www.twincities.com/health/ci_22429022/health-groups-praise-budget

Legislation introduced in North Dakota (HB 1387) would increase cigarette tax by $.56/pack (from $.44 to $1)
http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/06e7e9dbdacc45468c667c3f4eedae56/ND--Legislature-Cigarette-Taxes
http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/63-2013/documents/13-0726-02000.pdf

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and others submit proposal to CA AG for 2014 ballot initiative to raise cigarette tax by $1/pack (with similar increase in OTP tax, but not e-cigarettes) to fund higher education
http://www.news10.net/news/local/article/226176/2/Tobacco-tax-hike-eyed-for-2014-state-ballot
http://ag.ca.gov/cms_attachments/initiatives/pdfs/i1066_12-0018_(tax_to_fund_higher_education).pdf?
http://www.nacsonline.com/NACS/News/Daily/Pages/ND0123134.aspx

Mark Gimein: Smuggling Facts Into the Tax Wars
http://go.bloomberg.com/market-now/2013/01/15/smuggling-facts-into-the-tax-wars/

Danny McGoldrick: Mackinac Center stats on cigarette smuggling are seriously flawed, biased
http://www.mlive.com/opinion/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2013/01/new_cigarette_tax_mcgoldrick.html

Healthcare Insurance Discrimination
Obamacare could keep tobacco users out of health overhaul, could increase insurance premiums by up to 50% for any tobacco user even though daily smokers incur about 20% higher healthcare expenditures than non tobacco users, while the other 35 million tobacco users in America incur similar healthcare expenditures as non tobacco users.
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/penalty-could-keep-smokers-out-health-overhaul

Do penalties for smokers and the obese make sense?
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/01/26/do-penalties-for-smokers-and-the-obese-make-sense?page=2
(Polemic article debates penalization versus subsidization, but ignores only fair solution of healthcare insurance premiums based on actual behavioral risks instead of lobbying and propaganda.)

CA Assemblyman Richard Pan to introduce bill to limit healthcare insurers' premium increases for tobacco users
http://medicalxpress.com:80/news/2013-01-penalty-smokers-health-overhaul.html

Employment Discrimination

Supporter of hospital hiring bans for tobacco users fails to cite any evidence that policies improve employee or public health, confuses cigarette smoking with tobacco/nicotine use.
http://www.clinicaladvisor.com/discriminating-against-smokers-perfectly-legal-in-healthcare-hiring/article/277069/#

Nicotine Deception

Legacy survey (claiming nearly half of Americans support government mandated nicotine reductions in cigarettes) deceived participants to believe reducing nicotine in cigarettes helps smokers quit (by asking them if they agreed with the statement: "The government should reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to help smokers quit."
http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2012.300890
http://www.legacyforhealth.org/5255.aspx
http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2013/01/27/Many-favor-cutting-nicotine-in-cigarettes/UPI-29421359339568/?spt=hs&or=hn
In fact, many/most smokers increase consumption (and inhale more often and intensely) to compensate after switching to lower nicotine cigarettes, increasing their morbidity/mortality risks and exposing nonsmokers to more secondhand smoke. Falsely claiming that banning e-cigarettes and mandating nicotine reductions in cigarettes improve public health conflicts with and contradicts Legacy's Foundation Functions in the MSA, including: "educate consumers about the cause and prevention of diseases associated with the use of Tobacco Products"

Flavorings

Are cigars with "characterizing flavors" next on the public health crusades hit list? (FDA and NJ)
http://www.tobaccolawblog.com/2012/10/are-cigars-with-characterizing-flavors-next-on-the-public-health-crusades-hit-list/

Tobacco companies appeal unsuccessful challenges to local ordinances (Providence, RI)
http://www.tobaccolawblog.com/2013/01/tobacco-companies-appeal-unsuccessful-challenge-to-local-ordinances/

Wakulla County (FL) Board of Commissioners approve emergency ordinance to rescind unwarranted, but previously enacted, flavored tobacco sales ban.
http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/wtxl.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/97/b9775dbe-64ce-11e2-8b43-001a4bcf6878/50fef0ca7fbb3.pdf.pdf
http://www.wtxl.com/news/local/update-wakulla-county-votes-to-repeal-flavored-tobacco-ban/article_2f26ed22-64fc-11e2-bfe6-001a4bcf6878.html
http://www.wtxl.com/news/wakulla-business-owners-concerned-about-flavored-tobacco-ban/article_8bf25d8a-64f6-11e2-8793-001a4bcf6878.html

Safer Cigarettes?

Philip Morris study exposes how nonsensical 2008 WHO TobReg proposal for "safer" cigarettes (via mandated limits on smoke constituent yields) is facilitating another "light" and "low tar" cigarette fiasco.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691513000549

Indoor Smoking Bans
Russian Duma votes to ban smoking in workplaces
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russia-moves-toward-strict-smoking-limits/2013/01/25/4d66e276-6720-11e2-9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_story.html
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/multimedia/pictures/detail.dot?mediaInode=05669840-f839-44fc-8e03-8e3e893e597d
http://en.ria.ru/russia/20130125/179025008.html
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-25/russian-parliament-backs-anti-smoking-bill-in-key-ruling.html

Tobacco marketing restrictions dropped from Russian legislation to ban workplace smoking
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-01-25/russian-parliament-backs-anti-smoking-bill-in-key-ruling

Mike Siegel: New Study Reports Decline in Heart Attacks After Smoking Ban, But There Was No Decline in Heart Attacks After Smoking Ban
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-study-reports-decline-in-heart.html

Forney (TX) City Council approves smokefree workplace law, also bans outdoor smoking at stadia, playgrounds and parks.
http://inforney.com/home/politics/item/913-breaking-news-forney-city-council-approves-restaurant-smoking-ban

Coroba (Argentina) bans smoking while driving a car
http://www.worldcrunch.com/culture-society/in-argentina-busted-by-the-highway-patrol-for-driving-and...-smoking/cordoba-law-accident-pablo-farias/c3s10708/

St. Joseph (MO) City Council considers proposed smokefree workplace ordinance
http://stjoechannel.com/fulltext?nxd_id=323042

Opponents urge Casper (WY) City Council to revisit workplace smoking ban
http://k2radio.com/city-council-says-it-will-revisit-caspers-indoor-smoking-ban/

Outdoor Smoking Bans

Bangor (ME) City Council rejects proposed ordinance to ban smoking in parks
http://www.wabi.tv/news/37186/bangor-city-council-rejects-smoking-ban-in-parks

Bills introduced in Florida (HB 141, HB 439 & SB 258) would allow local governments to ban outdoor smoking on local government property
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20130122/ARTICLE/130129867/-1/sports?Title=Bills-would-bring-back-ban-on-beach-smoking
http://wlrn.org/post/hagers-bill-could-ban-smoking-beach
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=49356&
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=49353&
http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=49583&

Melbourne (Australia) City Councillor Richard Foster proposes banning smoking at all public outdoor locationshttp://www.bordermail.com.au/story/1266911/butt-out-wherever-you-are-push-for-worlds-toughest-smoking-ban/?cs=12

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) strongly opposes banning smoking campuswide at Northeastern Universityhttp://huntnewsnu.com/2013/01/letter-ssdp-opposes-smoke-free-nu-2/

Prohibitionist Karen Blumenfeld continues lobbying for intolerant, unwarranted and unenforceable outdoor smoking (and e-cigarette use) bans in New Jersey to purportedly protect children.
http://www.northjersey.com/news/188464861_Secaucus_considers_extension_of_smoking_ban_to_all_parks__play_areas.html

Winston-Salem (NC) Recreation and Parks Director urges City Council to ban smoking at parks http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/article_6ea655e8-69b4-11e2-a402-0019bb30f31a.html

University of Texas to ban smoking on campus, but has no plans to enforce policy. http://dailytexanonline.com/news/2013/01/25/no-more-smokers-on-campus-starting-in-march

University of Colorado at Boulder plans to implement, but not enforce, smoking ban on campus http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_22465606/cu-boulder-plans-implement-campus-wide-smoking-ban

City Council Montgomery County (MD) Council considers proposal to ban smoking outside of libraries, in parking garages and outdoor recreation areas, on county golf courses and in areas like Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring.
http://washingtonexaminer.com/montco-residents-unhappy-with-proposed-smoking-ban/article/2519426
http://www.gazette.net/article/20130122/NEWS/130129766/1070/two-support-one-opposes-montgomery-x2019-s-new-smoking-restrictions&template=gazette

Smoking Cessation Drugs

Pfizer CEO Avoids Testifying with Another Chantix Settlement
http://www.topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/prescription/3438-pfizer-ceo-avoids-testifying-with-another-chantix-settlement

NHS nurses give skin patches to children as young as twelve without informing parents (UK)http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9823681/Children-as-young-as-12-given-nicotine-patches-on-the-NHS.html


Study finds Zyban (bupropion) ineffective for smoking cessation among recent heart attack sufferershttp://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/MyocardialInfarction/37051?
http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1559966

ACSH: No Surprise -- Drug doesn't help smokers quit after heart attack
http://www.acsh.org/no-surprise-drug-doesnt-help-smokers-quit-after-heart-attack/

Transparency Hypocrisy

Drug industry funded prohibitionist groups criticize NY Gov. Cuomo's budget proposal for lacking transparency, but groups don't disclose their own conflicts of interest
http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Anti-smoking-groups-assail-budget-4227743.php

Plain Packaging

Australian government website provides documents on plain packaging arbitration
http://www.ag.gov.au/Internationalrelations/InternationalLaw/Pages/Tobaccoplainpackaging.aspx

Hookah/Shisha

45 Shisha smokers arrested in Rawalpindi (Pakistan)
http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/29-Jan-2013/45-shisha-smokers-arrested-in-rawalpindi

Turkey bans hookah use in restaurants, cafes and bars; news reporter repeats false WHO propaganda claiming hookah is more hazardous than cigarettes
http://www.france24.com/en/20130127-after-tobacco-turkey-bans-hookah-public-places

Farming

Tobacco farmers urge Indonesian government to revise regulations they claim threatens their livelihoods and benefits foreign competitors
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/01/23/govt-urged-revise-tobacco-regulation.html

Contraband

Six million counterfeit cigarettes from China seized in Brooklyn (NY)
http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2013/5/all_counterfeitcigarettes_2013_02_01_bk.html

VA legislators claim concern about interstate cigarette smuggling created by VA legislature (by keeping VA's cigarette tax at $.30/pack), but propose harsher penalties for smugglers instead of reducing huge cigarette price disparity.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/va-lawmakers-aim-cigarette-trafficking-18316222

Prohibition

Oregon State Rep. Greenlick reintroduces tobacco prohibition bill, would eliminate all tobacco tax revenue, create huge black market, increase crime and corruption.
http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2013/01/smoke_a_cigarette_go_to_jail_t.php
http://tdn.com/news/opinion/oregon-should-scrap-latest-anti-tobacco-proposal/article_f4a8122c-69a4-11e2-b22e-001a4bcf887a.html

Contact

Bill Godshall
Executive Director
Smokefree Pennsylvania
1926 Monongahela Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
412-351-5880
billgodshall@verizon.net


Bill Godshall founded SmokeFree Pennsylvania in 1990 and serves as its executive director. SmokeFree Pennsylvania has advocated policies for smoke-free air, reducing tobacco marketing to youth, expanding nicotine addiction treatment services and educating smokers about less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes such as electronic cigarettes and modern, smoke-free tobacco products. He emails subscribers this informative and timely newletter, "Tobacco Harm Reduction Update," every week. To subscribe, please contact him via email.

Ex-Smokers Organize to Keep Electronic Cigarettes on the Market, Easily Accessible

Broward/Palm Beach New Times
By Deirdra Funcheon
Feb. 7 2013

This week, New Times reported on the electronic cigarette business, which is currently booming but faces a crossroads this April, when the Food and Drug Administration is set to release proposals on how it will regulate the industry. A Wells Fargo analyst who studies the tobacco industry told us that sales of e-cigarettes could surpass sales of traditional cigarettes in the next few years. The coming FDA rules could largely influence how the market is divided among online retailers, small brick-and-mortar shops, and/or Big Tobacco.
...

We focused on a store called Vapor Shark, which opened a lounge in Miami last year and expanded to Broward County (Hallandale Beach) in January.  But one person who didn't make it into that story is Elaine Keller, president of Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives (CASAA), which she says has 3,000 members. A consumer with no financial stake in the e-cigarette market, she met friends through the website ecigaretteforum.com, and they formed a nonprofit "when we got the message that the FDA was trying to ban the very product that helped us quit smoking."

Keller, 67, who spent her career in computer-based education and as a writer for science research organization Battelle, said, "I smoked for 45 years, and believe me, it wasn't for lack of trying that I didn't quit earlier. I had become dependent on the beneficial effects of nicotine. I get very ill when I try to go without it. I become terribly depressed and confused, couldn't remember things and so forth.

"I found electronic cigarettes on the internet before they were very well-known, around 2007. Actually, the first thing I ordered was an electric cigar. It tasted just like a cigar. A year later, I got a call from the company. They sent me a starter kit for their new product. I didn't quit right away -- I was using it occasionally. But I switched March 27, 2009, and I've been free of smoke ever since."

Keller and her group mobilized people to attend an FDA hearing in Maryland in December, and CASAA's calls to action prompted 5,300 pro-e-cig comments on the FDA's website.

Like many smokers who have converted to electronic cigarettes, Keller has trouble fathoming why the FDA would want to impede people from switching from tobacco. She cited a study that found carcinogens in e-cigarettes and said, "The guy who constructed this was very good at propaganda. He said they had a detectable level of carcinogens -- what he left out was the quantity. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines would appear in any product made from nicotine. They found eight nanograms in a milliliter of e-liquid. How many in the FDA-approved nicotine patch? Eight nanograms. How many in a pack of Marlboros? 126,000 nanograms."

Keller suspects the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society "get funding from pharmaceutical companies that make stop-smoking products. Otherwise, their opposition is illogical." Keller says her group is "very much in favor of reasonable regulations." For instance, they would support measures like childproof packaging (so long as it was not too hard to open, because a lot of ex-smokers are elderly).

Because of a quirk in the FDA regulatory process, Keller fears that the FDA could classify any product that was not on the market by February 2007 as a "new product," which would make it subject to a complex approval process. If newer, more sophisticated devices could not get to market, e-cig smokers -- or "vapers," as they call themselves -- would then be stuck smoking more primitive e-cigarettes, many of which lack the feel of real cigarettes, thus potentially driving people back to conventional cigs.

Keller also fears that in its haste to protect children, the agency could ban flavored vapors. "Most of us started with [tobacco-flavored electronic cigarettes] but, when we tried a new flavor, switched completely away."
...

Read full story >

Ex-Smokers Organize to Keep Electronic Cigarettes on the Market, Easily Accessible

Excellent article out of Florida featuring CASAA President Elaine Keller. If you have a chance, please leave a comment on the article commending this newspaper for their great coverage.


By Deirdra Funcheon
Brower Palm Beach News Times

This week, New Times reported on the electronic cigarette business, which is currently booming but faces a crossroads this April, when the Food and Drug Administration is set to release proposals on how it will regulate the industry. A Wells Fargo analyst who studies the tobacco industry told us that sales of e-cigarettes could surpass sales of traditional cigarettes in the next few years. The coming FDA rules could largely influence how the market is divided among online retailers, small brick-and-mortar shops, and/or Big Tobacco. 

So far, there are few studies on the effects of inhaling e-cigarette vapor. The FDA is moving cautiously in case it proves dangerous, and some cities and states have moved to ban the sales of e-cigs entirely. But some doctors and health policy experts have said that e-cigarettes show tremendous promise as a "harm reduction" measure -- meaning that while while it's best to smoke nothing, e-cigs could probably help divert people from conventional ciggies, which definitely cause cancer, emphysema, and death. 

We focused on a store called Vapor Shark, which opened a lounge in Miami last year and expanded to Broward County (Hallandale Beach) in January.  But one person who didn't make it into that story is Elaine Keller, president of Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives (CASAA), which she says has 3,000 members. A consumer with no financial stake in the e-cigarette market, she met friends through the website ecigaretteforum.com, and they formed a nonprofit "when we got the message that the FDA was trying to ban the very product that helped us quit smoking." 


Keller, 67, who spent her career in computer-based education and as a writer for science research organization Battelle, said, "I smoked for 45 years, and believe me, it wasn't for lack of trying that I didn't quit earlier. I had become dependent on the beneficial effects of nicotine. I get very ill when I try to go without it. I become terribly depressed and confused, couldn't remember things and so forth.
Elaine Keller
CASAA President
"I found electronic cigarettes on the internet before they were very well-known, around 2007. Actually, the first thing I ordered was an electric cigar. It tasted just like a cigar. A year later, I got a call from the company. They sent me a starter kit for their new product. I didn't quit right away -- I was using it occasionally. But I switched March 27, 2009, and I've been free of smoke ever since." 
 
Keller and her group mobilized people to attend an FDA hearing in Maryland in December, and CASAA's calls to action prompted 5,300 pro-e-cig comments on the FDA's website. 

Like many smokers who have converted to electronic cigarettes, Keller has trouble fathoming why the FDA would want to impede people from switching from tobacco. She cited a study that found carcinogens in e-cigarettes and said, "The guy who constructed this was very good at propaganda. He said they had a detectable level of carcinogens -- what he left out was the quantity. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines would appear in any product made from nicotine. They found eight nanograms in a milliliter of e-liquid. How many in the FDA-approved nicotine patch? Eight nanograms. How many in a pack of Marlboros? 126,000 nanograms."  

Keller suspects the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society "get funding from pharmaceutical companies that make stop-smoking products. Otherwise, their opposition is illogical." Keller says her group is "very much in favor of reasonable regulations." For instance, they would support measures like childproof packaging (so long as it was not too hard to open, because a lot of ex-smokers are elderly). 

Because of a quirk in the FDA regulatory process, Keller fears that the FDA could classify any product that was not on the market by February 2007 as a "new product," which would make it subject to a complex approval process. If newer, more sophisticated devices could not get to market, e-cig smokers -- or "vapers," as they call themselves -- would then be stuck smoking more primitive e-cigarettes, many of which lack the feel of real cigarettes, thus potentially driving people back to conventional cigs. 
Keller also fears that in its haste to protect children, the agency could ban flavored vapors. "Most of us started with [tobacco-flavored electronic cigarettes] but, when we tried a new flavor, switched completely away."...MORE>>