Thursday, August 29, 2013

R.J. Reynolds launching TV commercial to promote Vuse

Winston-Salem Journal
Richard Carver

WINSTON-SALEM — For the first time since the Nixon administration, a Reynolds American Inc. tobacco product is going to be advertised on television.

...

The large e-cig marketers may be trying to get as much exposure and adult smoker trial as they can before FDA regulation is set, said Roger Beahm, executive director of the Center of Retail Innovation at Wake Forest Schools of Business.

“Typically when tobacco regulations come out, they can serve to freeze or dictate market share,” Beahm said. “Reynolds may not be national with Vuse when regulations go into effect, but the advertising it can do could help separate Vuse.”

Bill Godshall, an industry analyst and executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania, has said he is concerned the FDA may try to ban e-cigs in what he considers a “misguided attempt to apply the quit-or-die approach to all tobacco products.”

Anti-tobacco advocates pushing for the ban of online e-cigs sales say it is necessary to keep the products out of the hands of minors. Some of the same advocates consider e-cigs – as well as smokeless tobacco and dissolvable tobacco products – as potential gateways to traditional cigarettes use.

“It is a more sophisticated ad that is less blatant in targeting young people and non-smokers than many of the others we have seen,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told Bloomberg News.

“It does glamorize smoking. It does make the act of smoking Vuse a 21st-century activity clearly designed to appeal to a broader public than committed smokers.”

E-cigs “likely pose less direct hazard to the individual smoker than tobacco cigarettes and might help smokers quit smoking or reduce harm by smoking fewer tobacco cigarettes,” former FDA adviser Dr. Neal Benowitz co-wrote in a July 15 report. “On the other hand, there are potential harms, including promoting continued smoking of cigarettes and renormalizing cigarette smoking behaviors.”

Beahm said Reynolds has done a good job in the Vuse TV ad of “trying to minimize the actual smoking aspect of Vuse and making no health claims, which they can’t. But you can’t eliminate the temptation and appeal to try any new product.”

Gregory Conley, legislative director for the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, said Reynolds may be willing to trade off a new wave of criticism over the Vuse TV ad for the publicity the ads may gain among Colorado smokers. “After all, who would turn down free publicity?” he asked.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

French e-cigarette study, media misrepresent facts

An article published Monday in The Daily Mail announced "E-cigarettes are as harmful as cigarettes and could cause cancer, claims study." The article stated that a French consumer magazine, 60 Millions Consommateurs (60 Million Consumers), had branded the devices as 'far from the harmless gadgets they're sold as by manufacturers'. Soon, news outlets from all over the world were reporting that "E-cigarettes may be carcinogenic" and "E-cigarettes as harmful as cigarettes."

According to the 60 Millions Consommateurs, which is published by the National Consumers' Institute (a government-funded organization somewhat similar to Consumer Reports in the U.S.), their researchers tested 10 e-cigarettes. This "report" comes after the French government announced in May this year its intent to ban electronic cigarette use in public places, which has outraged French e-cigarette consumers and sellers.

After the news broke, Clive Bates, former head of ASH-UK and a tobacco harm reduction advocate, announced on his blog that he had issued a complaint about the Daily Mail article to the Press Complaints Commission .

"There are many flaws in the Mail article, mostly shoddy health journalism and lack of balance or proportion, and life is too short to go into them all," Bates wrote in a post titled "Lazy, stupid, wrong – the Mail can’t stop itself."

The web version of the article has since been re-titled "E-cigarettes contain chemicals that make some 'as harmful as normal tobacco'."

On Tuesday, the magazine posted another article with a few more details about its test results, which allowed experts to partially evaluate the findings.

MSN.com reported an interview with Drexel University Professor Igor Burstyn, who told them he is skeptical of the study. The article was titled "Rumor: E-cigarettes are as harmful as the real things," and it concluded that the rumor was "unconfirmed" and that "the bulk of research says they're much safer."

According to the MSN article:
Dr. Burstyn recently published the largest, most comprehensive assessment of research on E-cigarette safety released thus far. (Peering through the mist: What does the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tell us about health risks?) That meant looking at dozens of studies done all over the world involving more than 9,000 subjects. His conclusion: “Current data do not indicate that exposures to vapors from contaminants in electronic cigarettes warrant a concern.” A conclusion supported by other health researchers in Palgrave Macmillan, a journal of public health policy. 
After reviewing all available information, the Scientific Director for The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives, Dr. Carl V Phillips, surmised that "it is almost certain that they used faulty methods, overheating in particular, because that is what produces high levels of acrolein. In previous studies, high levels of formaldehyde have been identified as lab errors, not output from the e-cigarettes.  As for the metals, Burstyn has already explained that without knowing what molecular form they were in, the information is useless."

"This is why real scientific publications include a methods section," he continued. "We basically have no idea what they did, though it is pretty clear their methods were faulty to the point of this being almost completely junk.  The 'almost' refers to the fact that perhaps high levels of acetaldehyde are created by certain flavorings.  But, again, since we have no idea what they tested or how, we can make no sense of what was reported."

Dr. Phillips concluded, "this is more of a marketing con than a scientific study."

"The same chemicals were tested in 12 brands of e-cigarettes in a study by Goniewicz and coworkers that was published earlier this year," added  Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, a researcher at Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens-Greece, in a commentary on Ecigarette-Research.com. "So, nothing new was tested in the French study. More importantly, the results of the French study are almost identical to those of Goniewicz."

"I cannot explain why worldwide media refer to this study as if it is the most important discovery about e-cigarettes," he wrote.

In the MSN article, Burstyn said his professional research has even informed his personal life, as he told them that he's worked hard to convince his wife to quit traditional cigarettes in favor of the newer e-versions. "Smoking a regular cigarette is like running on the highway in flip-flops," he said. "E-cigs is taking a taxi."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Call to Action! Union City, CA May BAN E-Cigarette Stores (UPDATED 11-25-13)

Union City, California: City May Treat E-Cigarettes like Hookah, Ban All Future Sales Licensing Requirements Will Limit Sales Within the City



UPDATED 11/25/13  

TOMORROW, November 26th, 2013 the City Council in Union City, California is poised to pass an ordinance (see page 44) that would explicitly ban e-cigarette lounges in every district of the city and treat them the same as hookah lounges and medical marijuana dispensaries as well as require licensing for e-cigarettes sales (which will serve as a mechanism to severely limit sales within the city).

The Union City City Council will holds its meeting on the ordinance tomorrow, Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 at 7:00 PM at the Council Chambers, 34009 Alvarado Niles Road in Union City. There will be an opportunity to make a public comment at the meeting.  CASAA is requesting that all of its members in the Union City, CA area attend and speak in opposition to limiting adult access to e-cigarettes.  If you can attend, please e-mail us at board@casaa.org with the subject line "Union City." 

Policies like these are contrary to public health and the Union CIty City Council needs to hear from YOU to know that there are people out there who have benefited in tremendous ways from the availability of electronic cigarettes. 

Tonight (Tuesday, August 27, 2013) the City Council in Union City, California will consider an ordinance (see page 94) that would place a 45 day moratorium on the issuance of any new zoning permits for stores that wish to allow customers to use electronic cigarettes and hookah products.  For all intents and purposes, enactment of this ordinance would BAN the establishment of an electronic cigarette store within the Union City, while allowing stores that sell cigarettes to continue to open in the city.

Policies like these are contrary to public health and the Union CIty City Council needs to hear from YOU to know that there are people out there who have benefited in tremendous ways from the availability of electronic cigarettes. 

The Union City City Council will holds its meeting on the ordinance tonight, Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 7:00 PM at the Council Chambers, 34009 Alvarado Niles Road in Union City. There will be an opportunity to make a public comment at the meeting.  CASAA is requesting that all of its members in the Union City, CA area attend and speak in opposition to cigarettes being made more freely available than e-cigarettes.  If you can attend, please e-mail us at board@casaa.org with the subject line "Union City." 

Please note that even if Union City adopts this ordinance tonight, enactment will only stop e-cigarette stores from opening until mid-October and another vote will have to be taken to continue the moratorium.  Therefore, continued action is needed against this ordinance and there will be other opportunities to speak if you cannot attend tonight. 

Please contact the Union City City Council at the below e-mail addresses / phone numbers. Tell them your story about how electronic cigarettes helped you quit, send them some snippets from CASAA's vast library of scientific literature on e-cigaretes, and urge them to reject any ordinance that would impact the availability of e-cigarettes in Union City. 

Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci
ucmayor@unioncity.org
     
Vice Mayor Emily Duncan
emilyd@unioncity.org
     
Councilmember Lorrin Ellis
lellis@unioncity.org
     
Councilmember Pat Gacoscos
pgacoscos@unioncity.org
     
Councilmember Jim Navarro
jimn@unioncity.org
 

Comma delimited e-mail list: ucmayor@unioncity.org, emilyd@unioncity.org, lellis@unioncity.org, pgacoscos@unioncity.org, jimn@unioncity.org

Monday, August 26, 2013

Anti-‘vaping’ legislation goes adrift

Law that would have regulated smokeless devices put off until 2014

Thousand Oaks Acorn
Darleen Principe

Sacramento--Electronic cigarette users are breathing a sigh of relief this week after a proposed state law that would regulate the smokeless devices the same as tobacco cigarettes was tabled until 2014.

Senate Bill 648 seeks to define e-cigarettes as a tobacco product and ban “vaping” in places where smoking is prohibited by state law. It passed the state Senate in May.

But last week, the California Assembly Committee on Government Organization postponed its Aug. 14 hearing on SB 648 after Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett (D-Fremont), the bill’s author, decided it needed more work.

“It is now on a two-year cycle, and it will not come back (to the state Legislature) until the next calendar year,” said Sergio Reyes, a spokesperson for Corbett, who introduced the bill in February.

Reyes would not say specifically why Corbett decided to pull the bill.

...

After the Assembly hearing was postponed last week, the Consumer Advocates for Smokefree Alternatives Association—a nonprofit group of activists in support of e-cigarettes—released a statement saying they helped “defeat” the ban.

“The news from Sacramento is that Sen. Corbett pulled the bill from the agenda because the members of the Committee on Governmental Organization were prepared to vote it down in great numbers,” said Gregory Conley, CASAA’s legislative director. “While this bill may be resurrected for the 2014 legislative sessions, all indications are that it is dead for the rest of 2013.”

Read full story >

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wall Street Journal clarifies report of FDA "online sales ban"

An article published Friday in the Wall Street Journal that stated that the "Food and Drug Administration has been in discussions with the e-cigarette industry about a possible online-sales ban of the product" was updated with a correction later in the day. The article was changed from its original version to reflect that the Food and Drug Administration did not actually initiate the idea of a proposed ban on online sales of e-cigarettes. It also clarified that the FDA did not make nonpublic information available in its discussions with e-cigarette makers.

 According to the updated article:
 "Mr. Zeller said the FDA didn't release any nonpublic information in the listening sessions and didn't weigh in "on potential regulatory options—including any potential restrictions on e-cigarettes or any other particular product category." He said that any proposed rules will be issued to all interested parties at the same time."
Because CASAA will be meeting with an FDA panel for a listening session on Monday (to discuss the ramifications for its members with potential regulations), the organization asked its members via its social media outlets to refrain from contacting the FDA regarding the Wall Street Journal article until more information was available.

CASAA has stated that it will issue a Call to Action regarding the deeming regulations once the FDA actually posts the proposed regulations for public comment. The FDA has announced that those proposed regulations should be made public in October.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vero council delays vote to ban flavored tobacco (including e-cigarettes)

VERO BEACH — The city council Tuesday decided to table a vote to schedule a public hearing on a proposed prohibition on the sale of flavored tobacco products within the city limits.

Gregory Conley, board member of
Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free
 Alternatives Association, uses
 an electronic cigarette.
Photo: CASAA.
Council members and legal staff said they intend to keep researching the issue, including looking into ramped-up enforcement of the current laws on the books regarding sales to minors.

Councilman Jay Kramer also mentioned that the city police department should coordinate with Sheriff Deryl Loar regarding enforcement and Councilwoman Pilar Turner said, "I don't think what we're doing in restricting our 11 square miles is going to make a difference," but that it needs to be addressed at a county or state level."

Another reason why the council did not forward the ordinance along for a public hearing is that, in drafting the proposed regulations, city leaders did not anticipate a question that arose about electronic cigarettes, which are also available with flavor additives. E-cigarettes, it was stated during the meeting, contain an extract of tobacco which delivers nicotine.

Dr. Barry Hummel of the Tobacco Prevention Network of Florida in Gainesville spoke about the e-cigarettes, noting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet regulated e-cigarettes. Hummell had spoken to the council previously, emphasizing how the tobacco companies target young people with the flavoring, colorful packaging and even the placement of their products.

Vice Mayor Tracy Carroll pointed out that flavored tobacco products are showing up in local schools.
Representatives from local convenience stores were present, but did not speak.

CASAA general member, Jeffrey Eaton, of Hobe Sound, who uses e-cigarettes spoke on behalf of people trying to quit smoking, who sometimes add flavors to their devices because they no longer like the taste of tobacco, bringing up a use of the products by adults.

Read full story >

Monday, August 19, 2013

Call to Action: Please participate in the CASAA E-cigarette Consumer Survey TODAY!

CASAA has just released its 2013 Electronic Cigarette Consumer Survey!

You may recall that CASAA did an informal survey in 2010 that has been put to great use over the years. This updated survey has been designed by professional researchers to help us better understand the demographics and preferences of electronic cigarette consumers. This valuable information will help us answer questions from legislators, the media and government officials such as age, dual use, non-tobacco flavors, smoking cessation, health effects, devices, nicotine strengths and more.

We will use this information to help us answer questions on e-cigarette use during CASAA's meeting with the FDA on August 26th, 2013, as well as for other purposes (so if you are seeing this after that date, please still go ahead and complete the survey). In order to have this information in time for the FDA meeting, we need as many completed submissions as possible within the next day or two. So, please do not delay! The survey is mostly multiple choice and takes less than 10 minutes. Please be sure to also share this blog post or the link with other electronic cigarette consumers.

Note: This survey is separate from and in addition to the "Testimonial Survey" recently done by CASAA.

Take the survey:  http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/casaa-Z/e-cigarette-use

Thursday, August 15, 2013

CASAA helps defeat California e-cigarette use ban


Sacramento, CA -- California Senate bill 648, which would have banned the use of vapor products wherever smoking is prohibited and declared that the devices "may be a hazard to the health of the general public," had already passed in the California Senate and was scheduled to be discussed yesterday by the California Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization.

CASAA members, consumers and California NORML members called their representatives and sent hundreds of emails and letters in opposition to the proposed bill.

"The news from Sacramento is that that Senator Corbett pulled the bill from the agenda because the members of the Committee on Governmentlal Organization were prepared to vote it down in great numbers," said CASAA Legislative Director Gregory Conley. "While this bill may be resurrected for the 2014 legislative sessions, all indications are that it is dead for the rest of 2013," he said.

Conley said that having SB648 pulled from the agenda is a victory that was "all thanks to the great amount of pressure put on legislators by e-cigarette users and supporters."

CASAA member Jan Parcel was in Sacremento yesterday, to speak before the Committee, when she was approached by a state assemblyman.

"He recognized us and said SB648 was off the agenda until January at the earliest," she reported.

"The Representative said Senator Corbett might have decided that she did not have enough votes to get through committee at this time. A speaker that we recognized as being one of Senator Corbett's co-speakers from the Senate Health Committee hearing was there 1/2 hour early and, unlike us, was clearly surprised at the cancellation," Parcel said.

CASAA will be watching for SB648 to be reintroduced in the January session, but encourages members to continue to contact their representatives asking them to oppose the bill. More information can be found at http://blog.casaa.org/2013/03/call-to-action-california-e-cigarette.html

Canton toughens stance against smoking

The Boston Globe
Dave Eisenstadter
August 15, 2013

Massachusetts -- Canton toughened its stance against tobacco and nicotine on Monday but backed away from a proposal to ban electronic cigarettes.

The Board of Health voted to raise the age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21, and banned so-called nonmedical nicotine-delivery products. This includes dissolvable nicotine tablets and snus, a powder tobacco product.

The main purpose of the new restrictions is to keep tobacco and nicotine away from minors, according to Director of Public Health John L. Ciccotelli.

“They are getting a lot of their tobacco from older siblings and other adult friends of the family, and most of the people doing the purchasing are between the ages of 18 and 21,” Ciccotelli said on Monday.

Electronic cigarettes were originally included among the banned items, but the Board of Health changed that Monday. Electronic cigarettes and nicotine patches and gum are exempt from the ban, but the age to purchase these items also was raised to 21.

Ciccotelli said he thought electronic cigarettes were not an effective quitting aid, but he received hundreds of e-mails and calls pointing to research to the contrary, he said. The same sentiment was expressed at Monday’s hearing.

Karen Carey of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association said electronic cigarettes should be available to people age 18 and older.

“Every adult smoker has the right to have available reduced-risk alternatives,” Carey said.

Read full story >

Chicago Tribune CASAA "Letters to the Editor"

Chicago Tribune
Local Voices
August 14,2013

Quitting smoking

In the Aug. 1 "Medical Edge From Mayo Clinic," Dr. Jon Ebbert advised a smoker not to use an e-cigarette, claiming there is not enough known about them, they are not proven safe and they are not effective in helping people stop smoking.

Ebbert needs to keep up with the growing body of survey research showing that e-cigarettes are serving as an acceptable substitute for smokers who want to reduce their risks, with up to 80 percent switching completely and no serious side-effects reported.

Furthermore, e-cigarettes are proving effective even for smokers who have no intention of quitting. A recent study recruited 300 smokers who had no desire to quit to determine whether e-cigarettes could help them reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke. At week 52, 12.5 percent, 8 percent and 4 percent were completely abstinent in the high, low and no-nicotine groups.

The Food and Drug Administration failed to point out that the "substances that are known to cause cancer" are present in same amount in an approved nicotine patch.

Most people who have smoked for years have already tried the FDA-approved products, and they didn't work. If Ebbert succeeds in persuading them not to try e-cigarettes, he is, in effect, advising them to continue smoking.

Michael Cozzi, director secretary, Consumer Advocates for Smoke Free Alternatives Association, Chicago

Read on web site >

How dangerous are e-cigarettes, if at all?

Queens Chronicle
Peter C. Mastrosimone
August 14, 2013

The growing use of electronic cigarettes is sparking serious debate among health professionals, regulators, users and the public.

E-cigarettes, which contain nicotine but not tobacco, are battery-powered devices that use heat to produce a vapor and smoking sensation designed to be similar to regular cigarettes.

But are they an effective smoking substitute and cessation device? Are they just the opposite, a gateway product that leads to real smoking? Is the vapor they emit harmful to second-hand inhalers?

These are some of the questions that have been the focus of recent studies and news reports on e-cigarettes.

The city, which has aggressively regulated the use and sale of traditional cigarettes, and has more legislation in the pipeline, has no regulation against the use of e-cigarettes in places like bars and restaurants where regular smoking is banned.

A notice on NYC311, a city website, reads in full:

“There is no regulation in the City that prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) by patrons in food service establishments or individuals in other private businesses. It is up to individual establishments to set rules about whether e-cigarettes may be used on their premises. However, food establishment workers are prohibited from smoking any substance in food service establishments. E-cigarettes may not be sold to minors under the age of 18 anywhere in New York State.”
That could change, however, under two pieces of legislation that have been sitting in the City Council — if the warnings from a group called the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association are correct. The CASAA says the bills “would effectively outlaw e-cigarettes by regulating them into extinction.”

They would do that by redefining “tobacco products” to include e-cigarettes and related components, parts and accessories, the group said.

How dangerous e-cigarettes are is up for debate, however. While some studies have noted that the vapor contains harmful chemicals, a new analysis by Drexel University says the concerns are overblown.

According to the Drexel study, the exposures to chemicals from e-cigarette vapor “fall well below the threshold for concern for compounds with known toxicity. That is, even ignoring the benefits of e-cigarette use and the fact that the exposure is actively chosen, and even comparing to the levels that are considered unacceptable to people who are not benefiting from the exposure and do not want it, the exposures would not generate concern or call for remedial action.”

The study cited other evidence that e-cigarettes are not harmful, but did say that exposure to two chemicals used in them, propylene glycol and glycerin, warrants further study because “the magnitude of the exposure is novel.”

The study was funded by the CASAA.

Read full story >

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Call to Action! California E-Cigarette Usage Ban -- SB 648 (UPDATED -- Hearing Canceled!)

IMPORTANT UPDATE (3/30/2014): In 2014, California is not only still facing SB 648 (the e-cigarette usage ban), but also AB 1500 (banning all Internet sales of e-cigarettes and tobacco products).  Please take action by clicking HERE to see CASAA's new Call to Action. 
 

----

UPDATE (8/14/2013): Today's hearing on SB 648 before the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization was canceled just an hour before it was set to begin.  Word on the ground is that SB 648 is dead until at least January.  Those in California should continue to respond to this Call to Action.

UPDATE (8/9/2013): The hearing for SB 648 is scheduled for Wednesday, August 14th at 1:30 P.M. in the State Capitol Building at 10th Street and L Street in Sacramento. The hearing will be held in Room 437. If you can attend, please plan to be there 30 minutes early.


UPDATE (7/30/2013): SB 648, which has already passed the California Senate, has been assigned to the California Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization.  Please see below for how to submit testimony directly to the committee.

The hearing on SB 648 has been set for Wednesday, August 14th at the California State Assembly in Sacramento, California.  If you can attend this hearing, please e-mail us at board@casaa.org.  This is a critical hearing and we are encouraging all California vapers to attend.
 
California citizens should not only submit testimony in opposition to SB 648, but you should also begin the process of contacting your own California State Assembly representative directly to encourage a NO vote on SB 648.  In these communications, make sure to include your address and phone number.  If possible, CASAA recommends asking for a face-to-face meeting with your Assembly member about this bill.

Vapers must remain vigilant against this legislation every step of the way. 

---

California: Attempt to Add E-Cigarettes to "Smoking" Ban -- SB 648

 
[full text] [legislative tracking]

If enacted, this bill would: 
Ban the use of vapor products wherever smoking is banned. Among those provisions most likely to impact users are those that would:
  • Ban e-cigarette use in virtually all workplaces in California, including in hospitals. Violations would be punishable by fines of $100, $200, and $500. (Section 12)
  • Ban e-cigarette use inside or within 20 feet of any public building or in a vehicle owned by the state. (Section 4
  • Declares that the use of electronic cigarettes “may be a hazard to the health of the general public,” and would include e-cigarettes in all future smoking bans passed in California. (Section 11)
  • Ban e-cigarette use in railroads and air carriers. (Section 13)
You can watch the April 17, 2013 meeting of Senate Health Committee hearing here (beginning at the 34-minute mark). Featured speakers include CASAA Legislative Director Gregory Conley and Father Jack Kearney of the California Association for Alcohol & Drug Educators (CAADE). CASAA would like to thank the 40+ others turned out to oppose the bill, as well as the California Senators who opposed this bill when it was in the Senate.

If you are in California and can travel to Sacramento to attend a future hearing, please e-mail us at board@casaa.org with the subject line "California Testimony." We are going to need vapers throughout California to organize trips to Sacramento. Please help out in any way you can.

Please call or write the members of the California Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization

What to say:
1. You would like them to vote NO on SB 648.

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. Eisse
nberg of Virginia Commonwealth,
Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand 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.

At the April 17th meeting of the Health Committee, Senator Corbett cited a study finding trace levels of metals in e-cigarettes as a reason to support banning e-cigarettes in public places.  Please urge the legislators to read Dr. Michael Siegel's two articles on that study (here and here). 

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 ("stealth vaping").  With so little evidence of use, enforcing indoor use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.

5. If you are a California resident and currently vape in public, talk about your experience.  Do businesses you frequent allow you to vape?  What about your office? Be sure to include your address and full name.

6. Inform them that the ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch. Surveys of thousands of users indicate that the majority of those who switch, completely replace tobacco cigarettes with the electronic cigarettes, reducing their health risks by 98-99%.

7. Tell them that by switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.

9. Direct them to the CASAA.org website for more information.

How to Submit Testimony to the Committee on Governmental Organization

Please submit testimony on SB 648 directly to Eric.Johnson@asm.ca.gov with the subject line "SB 648 Testimony."  If you have already submitted testimony, please resubmit it to ensure that members of the Governmental Organization Committee are sent it.

CASAA also encourages California citizens to call and e-mail the representatives on the Governmental Organization Committee. 

Rep. Isadore Hall (D-Los Angeles) [Chair]
Office Phone: (916) 319-2064

Email

Rep. Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert) [Vice Chair]

Office Phone: (916) 319-2042
Email

Rep. Franklin E. Bigelow (R-O’Neals)

Office Phone: (916) 319-2005
Email

Rep. Nora Campos (D-San Jose, Santa Clara) 

Office Phone: (916) 319-2027 
Email
 

Rep. Wesley Chesbro (D-North Coast)
Office Phone: (916) 319-2002
Email


Rep. Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova)
Email 

Office Phone: (916) 319-2008

Rep. Adam C. Gray (D-Merced)

Office Phone: (916) 319-2021
Email

 

Rep. Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) 
Office Phone: (916) 319-2055
Email

Rep. Roger Hernández (D-West Covina)

Office Phone: (916) 319-2048
Email

Rep. Brian W. Jones (R-Santee)

Office Phone: (916) 319-2071
Email
 

Rep. Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles)
Office Phone: (916) 319-2059
Email
 

Rep. Marc Levine (D-San Rafael)
Office Phone: (916) 319-2010
Email

Rep. Jose Medina (D-Riverside)

Office Phone: (916) 319-2061
Email


Rep. Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno)

Office Phone: (916) 319-2031
Email

Rep. V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella)

Office Phone: (916) 319-2056
Email

Rep. Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield)

Office Phone: (916) 319-2032
Email

Rep. Marie Waldron (R-Escondido)  

Office Phone: (916) 319-2075
Email

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

CASAA Public Service Announcement


Note: This is the first in a series of blog posts featuring CASAA's public service announcement graphics.

According to the most recent CDC report, only 6.2% of smokers had successfully quit in the previous year. That means 43 million smokers kept smoking, with most believing that they had no safer alternatives. Ignoring this fact, anti-THR advocates continue to push abstinence-only policies and pharmaceutical products, leading the public to believe that those policies are the safest course for smokers. This is simply not true. Every day that someone inhales smoke, instead of using a smoke-free alternative, they are significantly increasing their health risks. Low-risk, smokeless options (such as modern, smoke-free tobacco products and electronic cigarettes) can hep reduce the health risks for those 43 million smokers who cannot or will not quit smoking this year.

CASAA believes that those who are in between quit attempts and those who will not even try to quit this year deserve to know the truth - there are better alternatives to smoking and there are far safer choices if they want them. Let's not dismiss those who continue to smoke as if they "deserve to die" because they can't or won't quit - harm reduction policies work!

Please support tobacco harm reduction policies! Share this blog post on social media, blogs and online communities or download our public service announcements from casaa.org to post on your own site. Help us get the message out!

Canton board may ban electronic cigarettes

The Patriot Ledger
Jessica Trufant
August 12, 2013

Canton, MA —
Canton could become the first community in the country to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes.
Some towns and cities regulate electronic cigarettes, but the Canton Board of Health will consider banning the sale of e-cigarettes when it meets at 7 tonight at town hall.
The board will also consider raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco to 21.
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Members of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, a volunteer group that fights legislation regulating electronic cigarettes around the country, has been a vocal opponent of the Canton proposal.

Greg Conley, legislative director for the group, said a Massachusetts-based member plans to attend the hearing on Monday.

"Our stance is that smoke-free alternatives should never be less available than tobacco that is smoked," Conley said. "We think (electronic cigarettes) should be held to less standards (than tobacco products) and certainly shouldn't have higher standards."

In January, officials in West Springfield briefly contemplated banning e-cigarettes, but an ordinance was not even drafted, Conley said.

"We heard it was under consideration (in West Springfield), so we submitted testimony and (officials) backed away," he said.
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Read full story >

Hooked On Peach Schnapps E-Cigs? Enjoy It While It Lasts

The wall Street Journal
Stephen Drill
August 13, 2013

This could really upset Leonardo DiCaprio’s daily puff.

The star, who was recently spotted sucking away on an e-cigarette while riding through Soho in New York on a rented Citibike, may soon have less flavored-nicotine-vapor options to choose from. The New York City Council has received a draft bill that would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco in the city — including flavored e-cigarettes — unless it is  consumed in a smoking establishment, like a hookah lounge.

The new rules, which were leaked to the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, only take aim at flavored tobacco. The cancer-causing real stuff will still be available, and so will the traditional tobacco flavored e-cigarettes.

...

Sales of e-cigarettes have doubled from $300 million in 2011 to $600 million in 2012, according to the bills filed with the New York City Council.

The rationale for the hit on e-cigarettes is detailed in the documents:

The bills before the council would also raise the legal age to buy cigarettes to 21, and restrict the amount of advertising, while also cracking down on illegal smuggling of cigarettes from lower tax states into New York, where packs can cost around $15.

This is all coming from the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a prominent crusader against unhealthy choices ranging from transfatty baked goods to unacceptably salty food and improperly large sodas.

The clamp on e-cigarettes sales may have implications for companies producing the product, which uses a battery to heat up a nicotine fluid that is then turned into a smoke-like water vapor. Many have advertised the choice of many different flavored nicotine cartridges — including tastes like “Peach Schnapps” and Vivid Vanilla” — as an advantage of their product.

Gregory Conley, legislative spokesman for The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association — which gets some funding from the e-cigarette industry —  says a ban on flavored e-cigarettes does not make sense. “If people can’t buy flavored e-cigarettes and they have to use menthol , then they’re less likely to quit,” he said.

Mr Conley, who used e-cigarettes to give up his smoking habit three years ago, says there was no evidence e-cigarettes led to higher youth smoking rates.

Read full story >

Friday, August 9, 2013

New study confirms that chemicals in electronic cigarettes pose minimal health risk



 [UPDATE: The peer-reviewed journal version of this paper is now published: Burstyn I. Peering through the mist: systematic review of what the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tells us about health risks. BMC Public Health 2014, 14:18 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-18]

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 8, 2013/PRNewwire-USNewswire -- E-cigarette users can breathe a little easier today.  A study just released by Professor Igor Burstyn, Drexel University School of Public Health, confirms that chemicals in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) pose no health concern for users or bystanders.  This is the first definitive study of e-cigarette chemistry and finds that there are no health concerns based on generally accepted exposure limits.  


E-cigarettes are devices that heat a nicotine solution to create an aerosol (called “vapor”) that the user inhales, similar to smoking a cigarette.  They are used as a low-risk substitute for smoking by millions of former smokers, and their increasing popularity seems to account for the current downward trend in smoking in the U.S. and some other countries.  While experts agree that the risks posed by e-cigarettes are significantly less than those posed by smoking, there had been some debate about how much lower the risk was.  


By reviewing over 9,000 observations about the chemistry of the vapor and the liquid in e-cigarettes, Dr. Burstyn was able to determine that the levels of contaminants e-cigarette users are exposed to are insignificant, far below levels that would pose any health risk.  Additionally, there is no health risk to bystanders.  Proposals to ban e-cigarettes in places where smoking is banned have been based on concern there is a potential risk to bystanders, but the study shows there is no concern.


This was the first study funded by the by The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives (CASAA) Research Fund.  CASAA, the leading consumer advocacy group promoting the availability and use of low-risk alternatives to smoking, is an all-volunteer, donation-funded organization.  CASAA President Elaine Keller said of the study, “Over the years, there have been a lot of small studies of e-cigarette liquid and vapor, but those studies were either ignored or misinterpreted.  Those that showed even the slightest contamination were used for propaganda by those who object to e-cigarettes because they look like smoking. We realized that an expert review was needed to give an unbiased explanation of the available scientific evidence for our membership and policy makers.  We reached out to our membership and they enthusiastically donated to make it possible.”


CASAA Scientific Director, Carl V. Phillips, summarized the importance of the study, saying “It has always been clear that e-cigarettes were much lower risk than smoking, but there was uncertainty about whether continuing to inhale a mix of chemicals posed a measurable risk. Even those of us who have long encouraged smokers to switch are a bit surprised that even the worst-case-scenario risks are so low. This study assures us that e-cigarettes are as low risk as other smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products, like smokeless tobacco and NRT.  All of these products are about 99% less harmful than smoking, and so smokers who switch to them gain basically the same health benefits as if they quit tobacco and nicotine entirely.”  


Dr. Phillips added that “there has been a call for ‘regulatory science’ by the FDA.  This is exactly the type of science that is needed to make good regulation and informed individual decisions: it summarizes all of the available knowledge and puts the numbers in a useful perspective.”


The study did caution that e-cigarette users are inhaling substantial quantities of the main chemicals in e-cigarette liquid (propylene glycol and glycerin).  While these chemicals are not considered dangerous and the levels are far below occupational exposure limits, Dr. Burstyn did suggest ongoing monitoring to confirm that there is no risk.  The chemical contaminants are of even less concern.  While there have been many claims that formaldehyde, acrolein, nitrosamines, metals, and ethylene glycol found in e-cigarette vapor poses a health hazard, the study concluded that all of these have been found only at trivial levels that pose no health concern.


The study did not address the effects of nicotine because e-cigarette users are consuming it intentionally.  Nicotine, when it does not involve smoking, is very low risk and has not been clearly shown to cause any disease. However, like caffeine and other common indulgences, it may cause some tiny risk of heart attack and stroke, and so e-cigarettes, along with other tobacco and nicotine products, are probably not risk-free.  If there is any risk from nicotine, however, it is so low that it is similar to everyday hazards like drinking coffee or eating dessert, and is far less than the risk from smoking.


For summary and discussion go to
http://antithrlies.com/2013/08/08/breaking-news-new-study-shows-no-risk-from-e-cigarette-contaminants/

Contact: Prof. Igor Burstyn Igor.burstyn@drexel.edu

Breaking News: Tobacco Consultant Blasts NYC’s Silent War On E-Cigarettes

Convenience Store Decisions
CSD Staff

Leaked drafts of three New York City tobacco bills show an e-cigarette ban could be on the horizon.

It’s no secret Mayor Michael Bloomberg is on a crusade to stop New York City residents from smoking, with proposed anti-cigarette legislation to hide packs, ban coupons, and raise the tobacco age to 21. But it turns out e-cigarettes are also unexpectedly on the chopping block.

In a newly leaked draft of three tobacco-related bills soon to be voted on by the NYC City Council, the new definition of “tobacco products” under city law would be changed to include e-cigarettes and related components, parts and accessories.
...

The documents were leaked by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), an advocacy group aimed at raising awareness and protecting rights to access to reduced harm alternatives.  What’s more, while tobacco and menthol flavored e-cigarettes would still be available in retail stores, all other flavored e-cigarettes could only be sold in age-restricted “tobacco bars.” Unfortunately,  New York City prohibits the operation of “tobacco bars” unless they were already in operation prior to  Dec. 31, 2001.

In May, an official from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stood before the Council Health Committee and stated that it was not their intention to regulate e-cigarette or ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. Greg Conley, legislative director for Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), told Convenience Store Decisions today that approximately 20 e-cigarette users spoke before the Health Committee and it was strongly implied by the Council members that the ordinances would be amended to protect consumer access to low-risk alternatives.

“For three months, there was silence from the Mayor’s office, the Department of Health, and the City Council on the e-cigarette issue,” Conley said. “Now, with local media attention focused on the Mayoral race and other issues, a new draft of the ordinances has been leaked. The new drafts completely ignore the written and verbal comments made by e-cigarette users. Worse, the new drafts absurdly claim that e-cigarette marketing is designed to deter smokers from quitting, despite the fact that clinical trial and survey data show that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.”

Conley also indicated that the city’s effort to target e-cigarettes alone may not have had enoguh support. “Mayor Bloomberg’s office likely realizes that a standalone bill to stringently regulate the sale of e-cigarettes would be a tough sell,” he said. “It appears that the Bloomberg administration is banking on the City Council rubber stamping their new ordinances, the passage of which would constitute a backdoor, unannounced ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and e-cigarette liquid in New York City. Banning flavored e-cigarettes will do absolutely nothing to protect public health. Indeed, considering the clear evidence that e-cigarettes are helping smokers quit or greatly reduce their cigarette consumption, restricting availability could lead less smokers to quit.

Like Maiellano, Conley called New York’s effort puzzling. “Electronic cigarettes are one of the most significant public health and technological breakthroughs of the last half-century and it would be a terrible mistake for the NYC Council to enact these ordinances.”

Read full story >

Is NYC Quietly Trying to Ban E-Cigarettes?

New York Magazine
Joe Coscarelli

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's pushy, ongoing crusade to stop you from slowly killing yourself includes anti-cigarette legislation that would hide packs, ban coupons, and raise the tobacco age to 21. But, unlike previously believed, electronic cigarettes are not safe either: An update to the Health Committee's ordinances adds much stricter rules for Leonardo DiCaprio's preferred way of inhaling nicotine that could stamp out the arguably (massively?) lame trend before it gets any more out of hand.

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association leaked the following proposals being considered by the City Council:

-Redefine "tobacco products" under New York City law to include e-cigarettes and related components, parts, and accessories (both ordinances)
-Ban the display of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in retail stores (Int 1020-2013)

-Ban the sale of e-cigarettes or e-liquid in flavors other than tobacco, menthol, mint and wintergreen in areas other than an age-restricted "tobacco bar." New York City law prohibits "tobacco bars" that were not open in 2001, and thus even an e-cigarette store in New York City would be prohibited from selling flavored e-cigarettes! (Int 1021-2013)

-Mandate that e-cigarette products and parts, components, and accessories only be sold in their original packaging (Int 1021-2013)

Read full story >

Does New York City Mayor Bloomberg want to ban e-cigarettes too?

FOX News -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t just want to limit the use of cigarettes – but electronic cigarettes as well.

In a newly leaked draft of three tobacco-related bills soon to be voted on by the NYC City Council, the new definition of “tobacco products” under city law would be changed to include e-cigarettes and related components, parts and accessories.  If the ordinances pass, the display of e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco would be banned in retail stores.
...

The documents were leaked by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), an advocacy group aimed at raising awareness and protecting rights to access to reduced harm alternatives.  They argue that electronic cigarettes are far less harmful than regular cigarettes and have helped many former adult smokers to quit smoking by switching to less harmful alternatives.

Read full story >




Bloomberg Is Trying To Snuff Out Your E-Cigs

The Gothamist
Christopher Robbins
August 9, 2013

New YorkCity, NY --

The Bloomberg administration is quietly working to explicitly categorize electronic cigarettes as tobacco products and enact a sweeping ban on flavored e-cigs.

The details of the plan come from a newly leaked draft of three tobacco-related bills currently making their way through the City Council; one would raise the tobacco age to 21, while another would prohibit the display of cigarette advertising in stores. A third bill would prohibit the use of tobacco coupons, create a $10.50 price floor for cigarette packs, and increase the fines against those selling illegal cigarettes.

Initially the bills, drafted by the Health Department and introduced into the Council at the request of Mayor Bloomberg, were silent concerning the City's position on electronic cigarettes.

"The bills were written with no intention of addressing electronic cigarettes at all," Health Department Commissioner Thomas Farley told e-cigarette proponents [PDF] at a hearing in May.

The draft language reveals that this is no longer the case. While menthol and tobacco flavored e-cigarettes would ostensibly remain available at convenience stores, the burgeoning flavored e-cig market would ironically be relegated to "tobacco bars," of which there are very few in New York City—mostly because they must have been in existence before December 31, 2001.
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Gregory Conley, an attorney and legislative director for The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, the organization that leaked the draft, said he was surprised at the proposed bill's language given the tenor of the meeting in May.

"Approximately 20 e-cigarette users spoke before the Health Committee and it was strongly implied by the Council members that the ordinances would be amended to protect consumer access to low-risk alternatives," Conley said.

"It appears that the Bloomberg administration is banking on the City Council rubber stamping their new ordinances, the passage of which would constitute a backdoor, unannounced ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and e-cigarette liquid in New York City."

Read full story >

E-Cigarette Business Is Booming

Richmond, VA --

Listen to radio host Jimmy Barrett interview CASAA Scientific Director, Dr. Carl Phillips, about electronic cigarettes.


Laguna Beach council uses common sense, refuses to ban e-cigarettes

Laguna Beach, CA  (August 8, 2013)--

City officials in Laguna Beach acted with commendable common sense and restraint in rejecting an ordinance that would have restricted the use of e-cigarettes to smoking areas.  As noted by Councilman Steven Dicterow, "I am not convinced that e-cigarettes are dangerous."

It is rare these days to see such a reasonable and cautious approach to e-cigarette regulation, especially in California, where several communities have included e-cigarette use in smoking bans.   In fact, California state legislators are currently working to pass SB 648 which declares that the use of electronic cigarettes “may be a hazard to the health of the general public.”  (SB 648 would include e-cigarettes in all future smoking bans passed in California, effectively tying the hands of local municipalities who might want to take a more moderate approach. **add clickable link in here to CTA for CA**)  Even faced with mounting scientific evidence that e-cigarette vapor actually poses no health risk to bystanders and very little risk to consumers, many legislators continue to embrace anti e-cigarette rhetoric and misinformation. Most have not even seen an e-cigarette in use in person.

Apparently, several council members in Laguna Beach have seen e-cigarettes in use, and that is at least in part what convinced the Council not to include e-cigarettes in the smoking ban.   For example, Laguna Beach Mayor Kelly Boyd was quoted as saying a friend of his uses an e-cigarette and Councilwoman Toni Iseman told reporters that she once sat next to someone using one of the devices and didn't smell anything.   (See Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot for full story.)

The Laguna Beach officials seem to have actually looked at the evidence, educated themselves about e-cigarettes, and came to understand that banning the public use of e-cigarettes would be counter-productive.  Councilwoman Isen quite correctly noted “We could possibly be helping someone quit smoking.”   Allowing relatively unrestricted use of e-cigarettes clearly provides an incentive for smokers to consider switching to a reduced harm alternative if they are unwilling or unable to quit.   And, at the end of the day, why should e-cigarette use by adults be restricted given there is no credible evidence of harm to either the e-cigarette user or bystanders?

We too often focus on the state and local governments that are abusing their authority, and so it’s a genuine pleasure to be able to praise the Laguna Beach City Council for doing what all governments should be doing—making an educated decision rather than a knee-jerk reaction.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Call to Action: Tooele, Utah proposed e-cigarette use ban URGENT! -


UPDATE (8/07/2013): The Tooele City Council decided to table an ordinance regulating the use of e-cigarettes on Wednesday. (See article.) CASAA will issue an update if it comes up for consideration again in the future.
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The Tooele City Council (Utah) is proposing an e-cigarette use ban at public parks, playgrounds and sporting areas.

Information given to a local reporter by the city Council and relayed to CASAA is that they have been told that exhaled vapor is harmful to bystanders. 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.  Banning use outdoors is not evidence-based government.

The proposed ban will be addressed tomorrow (Wednesday, August 7th) at the city council meeting and their work session, which are both open to the public. The Council meeting at is at 5:00 PM and the work session follows at 7:00 PM at 90 North Main, Tooele, Utah.

If you live in the area and can attend the meeting, please contact us at board@casaa.org 

CASAA Regional Representative Aaron Frazier will be attending the meeting. If you would like to join him, he can be reached at afrazier5@utahvapers.com.

Forbes: What Are Electronic Cigarettes And How Safe Are They?

Marijke Vroomen Durning, Contributor

If you haven’t seen the strangely-sleek barrel of an electronic cigarette yet, or its peculiar vapor cloud, chances are you will soon. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported earlier this year that the number of American adults who use electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, rose from 10% in 2010 to 21% in 2011.
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Proponents for e-cigarettes believe that people who want the option of using the devices should be able to. “E-cigarettes are part of a larger phenomenon known as tobacco harm reduction,” says Carl Phillips, PhD, scientific director of Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), a consumer and vendor* advocacy group that promotes the use of non-tobacco products. Phillips sees e-cigarettes as a desirable alternative to combustible cigarettes.
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If the point of the e-cigarette is to replace the combustible cigarette, not to use it as a smoking cessation tool, then it appears to be working. Phillips claims that people who switch to e-cigarettes and no longer smoke combustible cigarettes are former smokers. “The key part of that word there is “smoke,” and using e-cigarettes, just like using smokeless tobacco doesn't involve inhaling smoke.” This results in a very close to 100% quit-smoking rate by people who switch to e-cigarettes and they can legitimately call themselves former or ex-smokers, according to Phillips. Some argue that this is a question of semantics. For example, water-delivery methods of inhaling tobacco, such as hookahs, are considered to be smoking by the medical community.

Read full story >

*NOTE: CASAA is a consumer advocacy group. Vendors are allowed to join, but CASAA has no financial or policy agreements with the electronic cigarette, tobacco or pharmaceutical industries. CASAA's bylaws strictly limit the number of retailers allowed on the board to 1/3 or less to prevent industry interests having a majority vote. 

U.S. extracted nicotine will soon be available

According to our research, including industry sources, the nicotine currently used in e-cigarette liquid (even those advertised as "U.S. Made") is extracted by companies located in China, Japan, India, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and Norway and shipped to U.S. distributors.  As far as we can tell, this will be the first company to extract nicotine from US-grown tobacco within the U.S. and it is pure extract intended for labs and businesses, not for retail sale.

Universal Corporation Announces Joint Venture to Produce Liquid Nicotine

RICHMOND, VA., AUG. 6, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Corporation (NYSE: UVV), the leading global leaf tobacco supplier, announced today that its subsidiary, Virginia Tobacco Company, Inc., has joined Avoca, Inc., one of the world's premier botanical extraction companies, in the formation of AmeriNic, Inc. to produce liquid nicotine for the electronic cigarette industry. This new business will produce high quality, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) grade liquid nicotine in the United States using fully traceable and compliant tobaccos.  AmeriNic, Inc. expects to begin production of liquid nicotine before the end of the calendar year.

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/08/06/5089824/universal-corporation-announces.html#storylink=cpy

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Call to Action! Canton, MA Ordinance to BAN E-Cigarette Sales (Hearing August 12th!)

Canton, Massachusetts: Ordinance Would Ban E-Cigarette Sales in the City 




[proposed ordinance] [Board of Health website]

If enacted, this ordinance would:
  • Make Canton, MA the first and only city to prohibit the sale of all modern smoke-free products -- including e-cigarettes, dissolvable tobacco and any other non-pharmaceutical nicotine product -- to adults. The ordinance may also ban the sale of snus.
  • Specifically exempts the most hazardous tobacco products (cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products). The sale of a few smoke-free products would be permitted, but these (chewing tobacco and loose snuff) are not the harm-reduction products that smokers choose to switch to.
  • Raises the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, but still bans these adults from purchasing e-cigarettes and other less hazardous products.
The Canton Board of Health in Canton, Massachusetts is currently considering an ordinance that would forever ban the sale of electronic cigarettes in the city, all while allowing cigarettes to continue to be sold.  The Board of Health will consider the ordinance on Monday, August 12, 2013 at 7pm at the Canton Town Hall in the Salah Meeting Room at 801 Washington Street in Canton.

CASAA Director Karen Carey will be in attendance. If you are in the area and could attend and possibly speak, please e-mail CASAA at board@casaa.org.

Enactment of this ordinance would protect cigarette markets at the expense of smokers' health. Vapers from across the United States are encouraged to tell their story.  Please see below on how to oppose this ordinance.

What to say:

1. Let them know that you strongly oppose banning all sales of electronic cigarettes and other modern tobacco products, but that you would support such a ban on sales to minors.

2. Tell your story on how switching from smoking cigarettes to a far less hazardous alternative product has changed your life. When and why did you start using an e-cigarette? What effect has this had on your smoking of tobacco cigarettes? What has been the effect on your health?


3. Explain that research has consistently shown that virtually all e-cigarette users are using them as a substitute for smoking. The vast majority tried to quit smoking multiple times, using the other methods available and failed. 


4. Tell them that there are thousands of e-cigarette users in Massachusetts who have benefited from the availability of e-cigarettes.

5. Direct them to the CASAA.org website and research library for more information.

CASAA is urging its members to contact Canton, MA's Director of Public Health (who will distribute your comments to the Board of Health members). Please try to get your testimony in before 4:00 PM Eastern on Friday, August 9th.

John L. Ciccotelli, R.S., C.H.O.  
Public Health Director -- Canton, Massachusetts 
Phone: (781) 821-5021
E-mail: jciccotelli@town.canton.ma.us