Friday, January 10, 2014

Call to to Action: Los Angeles E-Cigarette Usage Ban

Call to Action! Los Angeles E-Cigarette Usage Ban

 (Committee hearing to be held February 24, 2014)

UPDATED 3/6/14:  Tuesday, March 4th, 2014, the Los Angeles City Council voted to prohibit e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.  A limited exemption was provided for vape shops/lounges.  

We're asking vapers to:

  • Contact Mayor Garcetti:  While the mayor has indicated he'll sign the ordinance into law, we're nonetheless asking vapers to contact him to let him know you oppose this ordinance and ask him to reject it as unnecessary and against the interests of genuine public health.  (See talking points below in the main Call to Action.)
    • Contact information for Mayor Garcetti:  (213) 978-0600,
  • Show up and make your voice heard. Rally is this Saturday, March 8th, 2014, 1:30 - 4:00 PM, Pershing Square 532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, CA 90013.  Link to Details on Rally

UPDATED 2/21/14 11:50 PM eastern:  Note time and place for meeting has changed.  The meeting will begin at 1:30 P.M. on Monday, February 24th, and the Room No. is now 340.

Monday, February 24, 2014
John Ferraro Council Chamber - Room 340, City Hall - 1:30 PM


UPDATED 2/21/14:  

  • First, we still haven't seen the agenda, but we have heard from credible sources that it is possible that the Los Angeles City Council's Arts, Parks, Health, Aging & River Committee meeting will actually begin at 1:30 p.m. instead of 2:00 p.m. on MONDAY, February 24, 2014.  
  • Second, vapers are encouraged to attend a community outreach meeting TOMORROW,  SATURDAY, February 22, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon at 848 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA  90038.  This will be an opportunity to share your thoughts and concerns with Council member Mitch O'Farrell, one of the sponsors of the ordinance that would ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is not permitted.   Link for details on event
  • Third, as a sign of respect, we are requesting that you refrain from vaping during both the committee meeting as well as the community outreach meeting.

UPDATED 2/14/14:  The agenda is not yet available, but the City has confirmed that Los Angeles City Council's Arts, Parks, Health, Aging & River Committee expects to consider an ordinance that would ban use of e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited at its next regular meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, February 24, 2014 at 2 PM, in Room 340 1060, City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA  90012.

Report from City Attorney and Text of Proposed Ordinance
Council File: 13-1204-S1
Council File: 13-1204-S2

Please (1) call and email council members (with particular emphasis on the members of the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and River Committee highlighted in yellow below), and (2) plan on attending the hearing to offer testimony to the Committee to explain why banning use of e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited would work against the interests of public health.   See below for contact information and talking points.

UPDATED 2/6/14:  We have received information that it is likely (but not certain) that this matter will be set for a hearing on Monday, February 24th.  The agenda will not be available until Friday, February 21, 2014, and we will update this Call to Action then.

UPDATED 1/11/14 to include link to ordinance.

Last month (December 2013) the Los Angeles City Council directed staff to prepare an ordinance that would ban vaping wherever smoking is banned, including thousands of outdoor locations in the city (view Los Angeles' current smoking prohibitions here on page 20).  CASAA has just learned that the ordinance has been completed (although not released publicly) and that the Los Angeles City Council's Arts, Parks, Health, Aging & River Committee is being pushed to consider the proposed ordinance as soon as possible.
Report from City Attorney and Ordinance

The date when the ordinance will be considered has not yet been released, but this is an extremely important fight for California vapers and we are urging our membership to strongly oppose this proposed ban.  

It is imperative that Los Angeles vapers reach out to their City Councilperson (find out who represents you here) and tell them:  

1. You are a Los Angeles, Los Angeles area, or California resident, and you would like them to OPPOSE the proposed ordinance which would ban smoke-free e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.  (If you are responding to this Call to Action and are not a state resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel to Los Angeles on vacation or have friends/family in the area.)

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life.

3. Explain that:

  • 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 are comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.
  • The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.
  • A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found "no apparent concern" for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under "worst case" assumptions about exposure.
  • Electronic cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. It is easy to tell when someone lights a cigarette from the smell of smoke. E-cigarette vapor is practically odorless, and generally any detectable odor is not unpleasant and smells nothing like smoke. Additionally, e-cigarette users can decide whether to release any vapor ("discreet vaping").  With so little evidence of use, enforcing use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.
  • 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 an estimated 99%.
  • By switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.

4. Direct them to the website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.

While e-mails are easier, phone calls will have a larger impact, even if you are simply leaving a message after hours.  (Council members highlighted in yellow are members of the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging & River Committee, which committee will be considering the ordinance on February 24th, 2014)

Comma delimited email,,,

District 1 - Gil Cedillo(213)
District 2 - Paul Krekorian, 213-473-7002,
District 3 - Bob Blumenfield,
District 4 - Tom
District 5 - Paul Koretz,
District 6 - Nury Martinez,
District 7 - Felipe Fuentez,
District 8 - Bernard Parks,
District 9 - Curren Price
District 10 - Herb J. Wesson,
District 11 - Mike Bonin,
District 12 - Mitch Englander,
District 13 - Mitch O’Farrell, 213-473-7013,
District 14 - Jose Huizar, (213) 473-7014,
District 15 - Joe Buscaino, 213-473-7015,


Care said...

I have sent my emails. This is really bad for us vapors. A need to be united with this.

Fr. Jack Kearney said...

I will be there....

Matt Tom Sun said...

Emails sent!! They need to throw in there that fires caused by cigarettes can be greatly reduced as well. There are plenty of fires that are caused by careless smokers every year.