Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Call to Action: San Diego E-Cigarette Usage Ban

URGENT UPDATE 6-16-14:  On Wednesday June 18th at 2 PM, the San Diego City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee will hold a critical public hearing on a proposed ordinance that would senselessly ban the use of smoke-free e-cigarettes  everywhere that smoking is banned. 

To stop this ordinance, please (1) attend and testify at the June 18th hearing in San Diego on the 12th Floor of City Hall (202 C Street) and/or (2) call or e-mail the City Council members to express your opposition. (Contact information for City Council members as well as talking points are included in the full Call to Action below.)

We ask that if you attend the hearing, you refrain from vaping as a sign of respect.


Link to Agenda for February 26th, 2014 meeting

The Committee on Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods of the San Diego City Council will be receiving a report from Council District Five regarding updating San Diego’s municipal code to regulate e-cigarettes at its meeting tomorrow.  It is likely that there will be a discussion about amending the municipal code to, among other things, ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.

The matter is currently on the agenda for the Committee’s meeting on WEDNESDAY, February 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM in the Council Committee Room, located on the 12th Floor of the City Administration Building, 202 C Street, San Diego, California.
  • Vapers are encouraged to attend the Committee meeting and respectfully provide testimony and help inform the discussion.  It is possible at this meeting, the Committee will provide direction to staff on what kind of ordinance to draft, so it is important for vapers to attend and speak.  (As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the meeting.)
  • Please take this opportunity to send the members of the City Council accurate information about e-cigarettes and your story about how the product has improved your life.  (Members of the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee are highlighted in yellow.)


CASAA strongly encourages vapers to call and email the members of the City Council, with particular attention being paid to members of the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee, highlighted in yellow.

What to say:

1. You are a San Diego, San Diego-area, or California citizen and while you support banning sales of e-cigarettes to minors, you OPPOSE banning e-cigarette use where 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 San Diego 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.

  • 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.

Contact Information for the Members of the San Diego City Council (members of the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee are highlighted in yellow):

Comma delimited list:,,,,,,,,

District 1
Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner
Phone: (619) 236-6611, (858) 484-3808
Fax: (619) 236-6999

District 2
Councilmember Kevin Faulconer
Phone: (619) 236-6622
Fax: (619) 236-6996

District 3
Council President Todd Gloria
Telephone: (619) 236-6633
Fax: (619) 595-1481

District 4
Councilmember Myrtle Cole
Phone: (619) 236-6644

District 5
Councilmember Mark Kersey
Telephone: (619) 236-6655
Fax: (619) 238-0915

District 6
Councilmember Lorie Zapf
Phone: (619) 236-6616
Fax: (619) 236-7329

District 7
Councilmember Scott Sherman
Telephone: (619) 236-6677
Fax: (619) 238-1360

District 8
Councilmember David Alvarez
Phone: (619) 236-6688
Fax: (619) 231-7918

District 9
Councilmember Marti Emerald
Telephone: (619) 236-6699
Fax: (619) 533-3275

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