The Lake Charles, Louisiana City Council is considering an ordinance that would ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.
The matter is currently on the agenda for the City Council's meeting on WEDNESDAY, February 19, 2014 at 5:30 PM in the City Council Chambers, located on the 1st Floor of City Hall, 326 Pujo Street, Lake Charles.
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.
CASAA strongly encourages vapers to call and email the members of the City Council.
What to say:
1. You are a Lake Charles, Lake Charles-area, or Louisiana 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 Local Alert and are not a state resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel to Lake Charles 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 CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.
Contact Information for the City Manager and Members of the Lake Charles City Council:
You may prepare a single e-mail to all City Council members and send it to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone and fax numbers for Council Members:
Mary Morris (District A)
Luvertha W. August (District B)
Rodney Geyen (District C)
John Ieyoub (District D)
Stuart Weatherford (District E)
Phone and fax: 474-6465
Dana Carl Jackson (District F)
Mark Eckard (District G)
Clerk of the Council
P. O. Box 1178
Lake Charles, LA 70602