Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chicago Tribune: E-cigarette technology is ahead of the laws

By Bryce Alderton
LA Times

SB 648 would amend the state's civil code and classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products, meaning e-cigarettes would be outlawed where regular cigarettes are banned, such as public schools and day-care facilities.

State senators passed the bill, 21-10, moving it to the 17-member Assembly Committee on Government Organization.

The committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the bill Aug. 7, said Eric Johnson, a committee consultant. If committee members approve the bill, it would go to the appropriations fiscal committee, like any other proposed legislation, Johnson said.

An advocacy group that promotes smoke-free alternatives opposes any attempt to regulate e-cigarettes like tobacco.

"E-cigarettes do not emit smoke and the vapor is nontoxic," the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Assn.'s website reports. "There is no evidence to support including e-cigarette use in smoking bans. E-cigarettes do not deliver tar or carbon monoxide because they operate using vaporization rather than combustion."

Read full story >

So much for workplace smoking bans? E-cigarettes, vaper policies and its impact on healthcare



BY Terry Evans

FORT WORTH -- Chris Putnam lights up at his desk several times a day. And, surprisingly enough, nobody seems to care.

"We can pretty much do it anywhere we want," said Putnam, who is allowed to smoke electronic cigarettes while he handles phone and front-counter sales for XL Parts in Fort Worth.

By being allowed to use the e-cigarettes inside the workplace, Putnam and his co-workers at the auto parts distribution company who also use the devices say they get more work done. They are commonly known as "vapers."

...

It's difficult to tell how many employers are pro-vaping, said [Dr.] Carl V. Phillips, a spokesman for Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association.

Unfortunately, there's "an enormous amount of political pressure to shut down the freedom of e-cigarattes that has nothing to do with anything legitimate," he said.

Read full story >

E-cigs debate takes turn: Expert says they may pose less risk than cigarettes

BY Richard Craver/Winston-Salem Journal

A regulatory challenge, in the United States and in Europe, has been how to regulate e-cigs – as a medication or a tobacco product. If the FDA determines e-cigs can be helpful in smoking cessation, they could be regulated both ways.

[Dr. Neal] Benowitz said dual regulation for e-cigs makes little practical sense. “A comprehensive regulatory approach to nicotine-containing products is needed,” he said.

The reaction to Benowitz’ report was mixed, with many analysts saying he either went too far or not far enough in evaluating the potential public-health aspects of e-cigs.

“It is good to see Benowitz join the growing number of academicians and scientists who acknowledge the obvious harm-reduction benefits of e-cigarettes and recognize that pharmaceutical-style regulation would stifle critical innovation,” said Dr. Carl Phillips, scientific director of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association.

“Unfortunately, they stop short of acknowledging that the innovation matters because people like using e-cigarettes, and innovation contributes to this benefit in addition to improving the safety of the product.”

Read full story >

ABC News: E-Cigarette Sales to Hit $1 Billion



By ALAN FARNHAM
July 31, 2013

E-cigarettes—a relative novelty three years ago--are about to hit $1 billion in sales, according to Wells Fargo securities analysts.

While that's only 1 percent of sales of traditional cigarettes, the number of consumers who say they've tried e-smokes is growing fast. The sale of e-cigarettes totaled just $500 million last year.

According to the most recent survey by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, in 2011 about 21 percent of adults who smoke traditional cigarettes said they had tried the electronic alternative, up from about 10 percent in 2010....

...In the eyes of some, the mere appearance of someone smoking - even smoking a non-tobacco, electronic substitute - creates the dangerous impression that smoking is okay.

"The use of e-cigarettes in public areas in which cigarette smoking is prohibited could counter the effectiveness of [smoke-free compliance] policies by complicating enforcement and giving the appearance that smoking is acceptable," the CDC report says.

Gregory Conley, legislative director at the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, scoffs at that attitude, saying, "It looks like smoking…so it must be evil."

Conley's association, he says, represents some 5,000 e-cigarette users. Conley says e-cigarettes "annoy people who don't understand that they're a great advertisement for smoking-cessation" and "people who believe no one should be allowed to have nicotine in any form."

Read full story >

Thursday, July 25, 2013

E-cigarettes : Friend or Foe?

WAMC News Radio
Dave Lucas
July 25, 2013

A decade after Clear Indoor Air Act severely limited indoor smoking in New York, the focus has turned to e-cigarettes —  battery-powered devices that deliver measured doses of vapor to the "smoker" when inhaled.

Sales of e-cigarettes are rising amid a big push by tobacco companies: Marketwatch is reporting that America's number three cigarette-maker Lorillard, which acquired an e-cigarette brand last year, saw blu eCigs boost the company's second-quarter profits by 10 percent.

But there's debate as to whether the devices are harmful or helpful.

Elaine Keller is the president of   CASAA, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, a non-profit clearinghouse for information about alternatives to smoking.

"The main virtue of electonic cigarettes is the fact that so many smokers have found it to be an acceptable substitute for sucking smoke into their lungs from burning cigarettes. There's a growing body of evidence that shows that it can be very useful for that purpose," Keller said.

"Then you have the other effects of the fact that people who are using an e-cigarette are not throwing cigarette butts down on the ground, so there's less litter. Since nothing is set on fire, the fire hazard is reduced greatly, as well. There's also no second-hand smoke. Vapor is not smoke. Vapor doesn't contain the in it the chemicals that cause the lung disease and cancer and cardiovascular disease that's associated with smoking. It may or may not contain nicotine, but nicotine does not cause these diseases - it's the other elements in the smoke," she said.

Listen to replay >

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

LIRR Rules Allow E-Cigs, But LIRR Bans Them Anyway

Gothamist.com
Christopher Robbins
July 17, 2013

New York City--Looks like Stephen Dorff can't suck on his Blu to take the edge off that hellish train ride to the Hamptons. "The LIRR's Legal Department advises that we interpret the ban on lighted cigarettes on outdoor ticketing, boarding or platform areas of a terminal or station to apply to electronic cigarettes," the LIRR's VP for Public Affairs Joe Calderone writes in a letter to the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council.
...

"The LIRR's ban on e-cigarette use is arbitrary and not based on the science," says Gregory Conley, an attorney and legislative director for The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, a group that promotes the use of e-cigs. "E-cigarettes do not burn anything, and therefore it is absurd to claim that the current law covers these products." Conley added that the association is exploring its legal options.

Read full story >

New E-Cigarette Store Takes the Smoke Out of Smoking

Capitola's first e-cigarette store has treats for smokers who miss smoking. Will it be regulated like regular cigarettes?

Capitola-Soquel Patch
by Rachel Stober
July 17, 2013

Capitola, CA--Philip Horne is trying to make smoking cool again. In a community and state where smokers are often treated like criminals, Horne has a new electronic alternative – the e-cigarette.

Capitola’s first store of its kind, e-Smokey Treats, tempts customers with all the benefits of smoking: nicotine, a social bond, and the activity of smoking itself, without any of the drawbacks: tar, chemicals, smelly breath and clothing, second-hand smoke and a hole in your wallet.

“It’s basically smoking, without smoking,” Horne said, taking a drag from pen-like instrument as he sat in a neighboring cafĂ©.
...

State Senator Ellen Corbett introduced legislation this year which would treat e-cigarettes like regular ones, banning them from clubs, restaurants, bars, public buildings and any enclosed workplace.

"These are cigarettes," Corbett told the Sacramento Bee.  "They might be fancy, high-tech cigarettes, but they're still cigarettes."

But opponents of the bill, including the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), the California Association of Alcohol/Drug Educators and thousands of e-smokers across the state, disagree. The Bee reported that over 150 of them filled the hallways of the Capitol building, e-smoking in protest. Corbett claims that passersbys coughed and choked on their byproduct....

Read full story >

Wednesday, July 10, 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-cigarette News
CBS: CASAA’s Greg Conley and Carl Phillips advocate smokefree e-cigarettes for smokers, American Lung Association’s Deb Brown protects cigarette markets.
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/07/02/health-tobacco-companies-introduce-their-first-electronic-cigarettes/

E-cigarettes light up economy
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/video/video-e-cigarettes-light-up-economy/article13060027/

Lou Maiellano: E-cigarettes and the Future
http://www.csdecisions.com/2013/06/28/e-cigarettes-and-the-future/

Fr. Jack Kearney: There's No Such Thing as "Addiction" to Electronic Cigarettes!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-mmTGKMvpU

ASU professor Peter Killeen: Nicotine does not cause cigarette addiction
http://www.statepress.com/archive/node/7194

Boston Public Health Commission issues 61 permits since March to sell e-cigarettes as more adult smokers demand far less hazardous alternatives. E-cigarette prohibitionists Matt Myers and D.J. Wilson falsely insinuate products are target marketed to youth.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2013/07/07/rush-for-permits-sell-cigarettes-boston/Ub4CFrhkyuENsoi1X55dcK/story.html

HI governor signs bill (HB 672) to ban sale of smokefree “electronic smoking devices” to minors (a term drug industry funded e-cigarette opponents ACS/AHA/ALA are now calling e-cigs to deceive people to believe they emit hazardous tobacco smoke).
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=672&year=2013
http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/Bills/HB672_CD1_.HTM

ND Rep. Blair Thoreson correct false claims about tobacco harm reduction resolution
http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/405342/group/Opinion/

Green Smoke sponsoring study on US smokers who try using e-cigarettes
https://www.smokingchannel.net/adstore/index/survey/

Can electronic cigarettes help smokers kick the traditional habit?
http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-ecigs-quitting-20130706,0,7883805.story

Hookah manufacturer sues e-liquid manufacturer in federal court claiming trademark violations, and that e-liquid poses a “clear and present danger” to consumers, the latter of which was rejected by Judge Michael Anello
http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/07/05/59131.htm

E-Cigarette Propaganda
WHO’s Dr. Florante Trinidad commits public health malpractice by falsely claiming e-cigarettes are more hazardous than tobacco cigarettes since the latter contain filters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgayDbRiCUM

Konstantinos Farsalinos exposes and properly criticizes WHO’s false claim that tobacco cigarettes are less hazardous than e-cigarettes.
http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/2013-04-07-09-50-07/who-ecig

Mike Siegel: Another day, another e-cigarette opponent fabricates evidence to deter use; this time, it’s the World Health Organization
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/07/another-day-another-e-cigarette.html

WHO’s Dr. Susan Pineda-Mercado falsely claims e-cigarettes cause hypertension, heart attacks and strokes, falsely claims e-cigarette users switch to cigarette smoking, and falsely claims there’s no evidence e-cigarettes can help some smokers quit.
http://www.interaksyon.com/article/65441/e-cigarettes-wont-help-you-quit-can-also-cause-stroke-hypertension-heart-attack---who

WHO makes even more false fear mongering claims about e-cigarettes (today)
http://www.who.int/tobacco/communications/statements/eletronic_cigarettes/en/index.html 

ECITA: Sorry … WHO??
http://www.ecita.org.uk/blog/index.php/sorry-who/

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority falsely claims e-cigarettes are as dangerous as cigarettes, proposes to ban their use
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/437911/mmda-eyes-e-cigarettes-ban

Palm Beach Cancer Institute’s (OK) Dr. Robert Greene falsely claims e-cigarettes “may actually be more harmful than traditional cigarettes,” drug industry funded ALA repeats lies and fear mongering claims about life saving alternatives for smokers.http://www.kjrh.com/dpp/news/health/Doctors-caution-users-of-e-cigarettes-say-vaping-is-worse-than-smoking-the-real-thing

Mike Siegel: Another e-cigarette opponent fabricates the science to deter e-cigarette use
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/07/another-electronic-cigarette-opponent.html

E-cigarettes: No smoking, but lots of fuming.  Prohibitionist Stella Bialous (who lobbied for Brazil’s e-cig ban) falsely claims products are “untried, untested and unknown”
http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-ecigs-20130706,0,7364980.story

FDA
FDA now planning to propose “deeming” regulation (that would ban all e-cigarettes not on the market before February 15, 2007) in October, 2013
http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201304&RIN=0910-AG38 

Tobacco regulators mull more oversight as e-cigarettes see increased popularity
http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/07/tobacco_regulators_mull_more_o.html

CATO Institute: E-cigarettes, Cigars and FDA’s New Powers (Jacob Grier)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqiMq5NMd_A

Mike Siegel: Anti smoking advocates call FDA action on slightly modified cigarettes “historic”; they are correct, but only for historical stupidity
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/07/anti-smoking-advocates-call-fda-action.html#


Smokeless Tobacco
Brad Rodu: Censorship by the Norwegian Health Directorate (removes invited and accurate commentary on snus by Lars Erik Rutqvist from website)
http://rodutobaccotruth.blogspot.com/2013/07/censorship-by-norwegian-health.html

European Union
Clive Bates: The case for regulating e-cigarettes as medicines (or not)
http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1351

Former Advocate-General to the European Court of Justice Sir Francis Jacob describes the proposed ban on e-cigs as “an unreasonable measure which is liable to be annulled as being contrary to the principle of proportionality and/or the principle of non-discrimination.“
http://www.ecita.org.uk/blog/index.php/counsel-opinion-confirms-no-justification-for-changes-to-e-cig-regulation/

Clive Bates: Call to arms on e-cigarettes in the European Parliament (updated)
http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1326

Electronic Cigarettes could hit BAT and Imperial harder than expected, say analysts
“We think electronic cigarettes will prove to be the most significant development in the history of the organised Tobacco industry, stretching back some 200 years.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/marketforceslive/2013/jul/09/electronic-cigarettes-british-american-imperial

Clive Bates: MEPs – 10 things to think about before you vote
http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1340

E-cigarettes: Is a smoking alternative being choked by regulation?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23196369

Open letter from electronic cigarette users from across the European Union
http://www.scribd.com/doc/152389430/Open-Letter-From-Electronic-Cigarette-Users-From-Across-the-European-Union

French e-cigarette consumers group (Aiduce) issues “The future of vaping in the European Union” opposing proposed EU TPD and “medicines” product regulation.
http://www.aiduce.fr/AIDUCE_ENVI_EN.pdf

EP this week: tobacco, NSA inquiry, music copyright and regional policy
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/content/20130705STO16502/html/EP-this-week-tobacco-NSA-inquiry-music-copyright-and-regional-policy

Nicolites says its e-cigarettes have replaced 200 million tobacco cigarettes, including 140 million in 2012
http://www.midlandsbusinessnews.co.uk/2013/07/nicolites-smashes-e-cigs-milestone/

ACSH: Grassroots activism for public health -- for a change
http://hsdispatch.com/2013/07/03/grassroots-activism-for-public-health-for-a-change/

Former German leader Helmut Schmidt buys 38,000 menthol cigarettes to avoid EU ban
http://www.thecommentator.com/article/3940/former_german_leader_helmut_schmidt_buys_38_000_menthol_cigarettes_to_avoid_eu_ban

Employment Discrimination
WI Governor Scott Walker vetoes his own proposal to charge state workers who use tobacco products $50/month
http://www.channel3000.com/news/Wis-gov-vetoes-tobacco-surcharge/-/1648/20795488/-/lifqan/-/index.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. Mr. Godshall also serves as a non-voting advisor to the CASAA board of directors. He emails subscribers this informative and timely newletter, "Tobacco Harm Reduction Update," every week. To subscribe, please contact him via email.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Call to Action! Ask Governor Chafee to SUPPORT Rhode Island Bill to Ban E-Cigarette Sales to Minors -- SB 622 (UPDATED -- Contact the Governor!)

UPDATE (7/09/2013): SB 622, a sensible bill that would ban sales of "vapor products" (e-cigarettes) to minors, has passed the Rhode Island House and Senate.  If passed, businesses who sell an e-cigarette to a minor would be subject to a $500 fine. CASAA supports SB 622, as we have nearly every proposed State bill addressing sales of e-cigarettes to minors.  

Unfortunately, as reported by the Providence Journal, the Rhode Island Tobacco Control Network (made up of the American Cancer Society and other related groups) is urging Governor Lincoln Chafee to veto SB 622.  Why?  They want to come back with a bill next year to not only ban sales to minors, but also apply Rhode Island's excessive 80% OTP tax to e-cigarette sales and BAN the sale of e-cigarettes in flavors other than tobacco and menthol.
 
CASAA is urging its members to contact Governor Lincoln Chafee at (401) 222-2080 or governor@governor.ri.gov and ask him to SUPPORT SB 622 by signing it into law.  Tell your story about how e-cigarettes changed your life, but let him know that you also support SB 622 because banning sales of e-cigarettes to minors makes sense.

For more information on the American Cancer Society opposing bills to ban e-cigarette sales to minors, see these articles by Dr. Michael Siegel and CASAA's Dr. Carl Phillips.

Rhode Island: Ask Senators to Vote YES on E-Cigarette Sales Ban to Minors -- SB 622
 

This bill would:
  • Ban the sale of "vapor products" (e-cigarettes) to minors
  • NOT define e-cigarettes to be a "tobacco product"
  • NOT unduly restrict the availability of e-cigarettes through online-based retailers 
  • NOT require e-cigarette retailers to obtain a tobacco license  
UPDATE (6/27/2013): Yesterday, the Rhode Island Senate passed SB 622!  We'll be updating this Call to Action in the near future, as this bill still needs to pass the Rhode Island House to become law.  It is no longer necessary to e-mail the Rhode Island Senators listed below.
UPDATE (6/25/2013): Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted a substitute bill for SB 622. The substitute bill removed the sections of the bill that we had expressed concerns over, and thus we were happy to endorse the bill going into the committee meeting.  Please see below this update for details on the new version of SB 622.

SB 622 will likely come before a vote in the full Rhode Island Senate later this week.  This is a great opportunity for those who have had their lives changed by e-cigarettes to voice their support for this technology, while at the same time asking the Senators to vote YES on SB 622 because banning sales to minors makes sense.  

CASAA would like to thank the sponsor of SB 622, Senator Dominic Ruggiero, who is the current Majority Leader of the Rhode Island Senate, as well as his staff.  At a prior meeting of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Ruggiero indicated that he would remove the sections of the bill that were opposed by e-cigarette advocates. He followed through and did just that.

E-cigarettes gain fans and critics

The Gazette
By Tara Baird
July 9, 2013

South Carolina-- Lowcountry resident Ron Sena saw his first electronic cigarette while on a cruise with his wife.

A smoker for 40 years, Sena was aware of the regulations surrounding smoking in restaurants, so he was surprised when a man pulled out what looked to be a cigarette in the dining room.

“Hey, guy, you can’t smoke in here,” he remembers saying. He was intrigued by the answer he got: It’s water vapor, not smoke.

That’s when Sena’s interest in e-cigarettes was sparked, and he isn’t alone.

E-cigarettes broke onto the American market in 2007, and the market has grown every year since. Sales are expected to hit $1 billion in 2013, according to Euromonitor.
...

Angela Nixon of Clemson’s media relations department said the issue has been discussed in meetings about the tobacco-free push, but officials aren’t sure whether e-cigarettes should be banned.

“We’re still trying to define tobacco,” she said. “We still don’t know how harmful they are to people or to the environment, so we aren’t sure yet if we should include them.”

Electronic cigarettes have not been submitted to the Federal Drug Administration for testing.

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, or CASAA, encourages raising awareness, testing and development of smoking alternatives.

Elaine Keller, president of CASAA, said most manufacturers of the devices and products that accompany them have not submitted themselves to the FDA because of cost concerns.

If the products were submitted, the manufacturers would have to stop selling the products until the FDA approves them, said Keller.

“It would cost millions, and would have to go through a clinical trial period for three years,” she said. “Most companies are mom and pop and they can’t afford to do that.”

Keller said the only company she thinks could afford to do it would be Blu, which calls itself the “best-selling electronic cigarette.” Blu could not be reached for comment.

Read full story >

Antismoking groups push for veto of R.I. e-cigarette legislation

Providence Journal
July 9, 2013

PROVIDENCE — Banning the use of e-cigarettes by minors should be the sort of legislation antismoking groups support. Instead they are calling for a veto.

On July 1, two days before the General Assembly ended its 2013 session, state lawmakers passed a bill prohibiting persons under the age of 18 from using or purchasing e-cigarettes and other “vapor products” that heat liquid nicotine into a smokable vapor.

But a coalition that includes some of Rhode Island’s largest health advocacy groups calls the bill a “stalking horse” for tobacco and e-cigarette companies that want to exempt the growing industry from the regulations and taxes imposed on traditional tobacco-based products.
...

“It is unfortunate that some organizations oppose this obviously sensible measure,” said Gregory Conley, legislative director for the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, a non-profit 501c(4) organization that advocates for e-cigarettes and other “smokeless alternatives.” “We are aware of no genuine arguments in favor of the veto.”

Read full story >

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tobacco regulators mull more oversight as e-cigarettes see increased popularity

The Star-Ledger
Stacy Jones
July 8, 2013

New Jersey--"Right now we regulate cigarettes, loose tobacco and smokeless tobacco, but the law does give us a process for adding more products to our jurisdiction," said FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Haliski. "The FDA has publicly said that we intend to make every product that meets the statutory definition of a tobacco product of our authority."

For now, that means the e-cigarette industry has to avoid so much as hinting it is a smoking cessation device. The FDA currently regulates nicotine replacement therapies, known as NTRs, such as gum, patches and lozenges.
...

E-cigarette consumers feel they have a stake in this, too, said Greg Conley, legislative director at the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, an advocacy group for e-cigarette users, because many would be reluctant to go back to smoking cigarettes.

"Any rule that the FDA comes up with should not make e-cigarettes harder to get and not apply the same approval process to e-cigarettes as regular cigarettes," he said. "We are hopeful at this time that the FDA will not institute a rule that would essentially ban all these products that have been introduced since 2007."

Read full story >

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Results of Dr. Polosa's Randomized Clinical Trial Published

Dr. Riccardo Polosa
announces ECLAT study
A team of Italian researchers, directed by Dr. Riccardo Polosa of the University of Catania (Sicily, IT), has published the results of a one-year randomized clinical trial to determine whether electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) could help unwilling-to-quit smokers to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke. Study results were announced at press conference in Boston on June 25.

Even though the goal of the study was smoking reduction, 8.7% of subjects stopped smoking altogether, and an additional 10% reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by 50% of more.

At the Boston press conference, CASAA was represented by president, Elaine Keller, who spoke about the concept of harm reduction -- substituting low-risk products for smoking -- as well as on consumer viewpoints on FDA regulation of e-cigarettes. CASAA recruited two vapers from the Boston area, Jamie Richard, and Demetra Shelton, who each spoke about the effect e-cigarettes have had on their health.

Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University School of public health helped to arrange the venue for the press conference. He was also a speaker.

The study, called ECLAT by the researchers, recruited 300 Italian smokers who wanted to cut down on their smoking, but not quit altogether. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups. received a free electronic cigarette kit and cartridges with different dosage of nicotine depending on the study group to which they were assigned. Group A received  cartridges containing a total of 7.2 mg nicotine cartridges for 12 weeks; Group B received a 6-week supply of 7.2 mg nicotine cartridges followed by a further 6-week supply of cartridges containing a total of 5.4 mg; Group C received no-nicotine cartridges for 12 weeks.

The research included 9 visits in a year, during which general health conditions, levels of exhaled carbon monoxide, psycho-behavioral characteristics of the smoker and product satisfaction level, were evaluated. There were no serious side effects and the researchers documented a general improvement in health.

After the initial 12-week period participants were informed that no more cartridges would be provided by the investigators, but they were advised to continue using their e-cigarette if they wish to do so. Smoking abstinence rates at 12 weeks were 11%, 17%, and 4% for the three treatment groups. At week 52, the rates were 13%, 9%, and 4%. Those who reduced their number of cigarettes per day by 50% or more were 26%, 20%, and 21% at week 12, and 10%, 9%, and 12% at week 52.

CASAA Scientific Director Carl V Phillips observes that this validates a theory about product substitution that he has acted upon since before e-cigarettes were available:  "If a smoker can be persuaded to just substitute a low-risk alternative for just a few weeks -- be that on a bet or as part of a study -- there is a good chance that he will choose to stick with it, even though he was not considering switching in the first place."

Thursday, July 4, 2013

With e-cigarettes, where vapors rise, so does debate

The Sacramento Bee
Jack Newsham
July 4, 2013

With names such as Vapor City and BJz Vape Shop, new businesses popping up around Sacramento make clear they're not selling old-fashioned smokes.

These vendors hawk electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, whose sales have skyrocketed in the past few years. E-cigarette enthusiasts call themselves vapers, and many view "vaping" as a benign alternative to actual smoking – albeit one that still delivers a nicotine kick.

Legislators and health advocates aren't convinced.

State Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, has introduced legislation that would treat e-cigarettes – which use a battery to vaporize a solution of fogging agents, flavors and nicotine when the user drags on them or presses a button – like cigarettes and ban them from restaurants, schools and workplaces.
...

Opponents of Corbett's legislation, which include makers of e-cigarettes, say lumping them in with their traditional counterparts makes no sense. The California Association of Alcohol/Drug Educators, a group that accredits addiction counselors and their training programs, has endorsed the use of e-cigarettes to help people quit smoking, and has announced its opposition to SB 648.

Several studies also suggest e-cigarette vapor is safe for users and those around them. A Swiss study earlier this year concluded that liquid used in e-cigarettes was accurately labeled and that impurities in the vapor were unlikely to be harmful. A Polish study released in March found toxins such as formaldehyde and lead at far lower levels than those in cigarette smoke.
Jan Parcel of Cupertino spoke against Corbett's bill during a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. She's a vaper and a volunteer with the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, or CASAA, a nonprofit group that claims more than 4,000 members nationwide.

In response to a 2011 FDA study that found nicotine in secondhand vapor, Parcel said that chili peppers and tomatoes contain some nicotine, too.

What about other toxic chemicals? Parcel pointed out that nonstick pans and fried foods also have been found to contain carcinogens.

Parcel argued that e-cigarettes are a consumer product and shouldn't be regulated like a tobacco product. "Coffee varies wildly in caffeine, but I don't see anyone saying that Starbucks has to be regulated," she said.

CASAA doesn't reveal where its money comes from, other than to say the majority of its donations are made by e-cigarette users through the group's website. Carl Phillips, the group's scientific director, said in an interview he has received funding from tobacco companies, and said working with the companies themselves is the best way to reduce the harm of tobacco.

"You gotta go where the money and the power and the marketing ability are," he said. "To maintain some sense of purity at the expense of practicality – well, people are dying in the meantime."

Phillips said smokeless options such as e-cigarettes are "the single most potentially beneficial public health innovation in the Western world."

Such alternatives pose "so close to zero risk that it hardly matters," comparable to occasionally breathing exhaust fumes while walking on the street, he said.

Read full story >

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

CASAA directors featured on CBS Philly Health Segment

Health: Tobacco Companies Introduce Their First Electronic Cigarettes


By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Coming to a store shelf near you: The latest offering from some major tobacco companies is an electronic cigarette. They’ve been on the market for years, but as Health Watch reporter Stephanie Stahl show us, this is the first time tobacco companies are getting in the game.
[CASAA Legal Policy Director] Gregory Conley says his electronic cigarette changed his life.
“I picked up an electronic cigarette and overnight, I had stopped smoking,” Conley said.
Instead of smoking, he puffs on this.  An electronic cigarette. It uses a battery to heat liquid with nicotine. People inhale the vapor. Advocates say e-cigarettes are a great alternative to traditional cigarettes.
Advocates say e-cigarettes are a great alternative to traditional cigarettes. Conley said, “The other option for about half of all smokers is to smoke until they die.”

Traditional cigarette companies are hopping on the e-cigarette bandwagon. Altria, the parent company of Phillip Morris, will start selling the MarkTen e-cigarette later this summer.  Reynolds American, makers of Camel cigarettes, just introduced VUSE, its own e-cigarette.
E-cigarette advocate [and CASAA Scientific Director] Carl Phillips, Ph.D., says this is big news.
“They’re big players,” Phillips said. “They have the enormous marketing strength the cigarette industry has used to sell their cigarettes for decades.”
E-cigarette makers have to walk a fine line with regulators. The FDA says they cannot claim e-cigarettes help people cure disease or quit smoking until studies prove it.
In documents obtained by Eyewitness News, some e-cigarette users and health professionals reported side effects to the FDA such as allergic reactions, shortness of breath, heart problems, headaches, rashes, vomiting, and more
“There still needs to be a lot of research done, a lot more research done, I should say, on whether these are effective ways to help people quit smoking as well,” said Deb Brown of the American Lung Association. The association doesn’t support e-cigarettes. It’s also concerned about the effects of secondhand vapor.
“I really think that in the future, there is going to be some recognition that there are many public health groups that got this issue wrong,” said Conley.
The FDA regulates tobacco, so it’s expected to eventually propose new rules for e-cigarettes. Advocates hope they don’t muzzle the message of e-cigarettes.

Full Story: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/07/02/health-tobacco-companies-introduce-their-first-electronic-cigarettes/

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tobacco Companies Introduce Their First Electronic Cigarettes

CBS Philly
Stephanie Stahl
July 2, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Coming to a store shelf near you: The latest offering from some major tobacco companies is an electronic cigarette. They’ve been on the market for years, but as Health Watch reporter Stephanie Stahl show us, this is the first time tobacco companies are getting in the game.

Gregory Conley [Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association] says his electronic cigarette changed his life.

 “I picked up an electronic cigarette and overnight, I had stopped smoking,” Conley said.

Instead of smoking, he puffs on this. An electronic cigarette. It uses a battery to heat liquid with nicotine. People inhale the vapor.

Advocates say e-cigarettes are a great alternative to traditional cigarettes. Advocates say e-cigarettes are a great alternative to traditional cigarettes. Conley said, “The other option for about half of all smokers is to smoke until they die.”

Traditional cigarette companies are hopping on the e-cigarette bandwagon. Altria, the parent company of Phillip Morris, will start selling the MarkTen e-cigarette later this summer.  Reynolds American, makers of Camel cigarettes, just introduced VUSE, its own e-cigarette.

E-cigarette advocate Carl Phillips, Ph.D. [Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association], says this is big news.

“They’re big players,” Phillips said. “They have the enormous marketing strength the cigarette industry has used to sell their cigarettes for decades.”
...

“There still needs to be a lot of research done, a lot more research done, I should say, on whether these are effective ways to help people quit smoking as well,” said Deb Brown of the American Lung Association. The association doesn’t support e-cigarettes. It’s also concerned about the effects of secondhand vapor.

“I really think that in the future, there is going to be some recognition that there are many public health groups that got this issue wrong,” said Conley.

Read full story >