Thursday, February 6, 2014

Local Alert! Long Beach, California, E-Cigarette Usage Ban

UPDATE 2/14/14:  The ordinance is on the agenda for the City Council's meeting on TUESDAY, February 18, 2014, where the City Council is expected to vote on its adoption.  (Link to website where agenda can be downloaded; Item No. 26 on the agenda.)

CASAA is asking vapers and harm reduction advocates to (1) attend the meeting (5:00 PM in the Council Chamber, 333 W. Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA  90802) and (2) email and call members of the City Council to speak against this ordinance.

Ordinance No. 14-0123
The Long Beach City Council is considering an ordinance that would, among other things, prohibit e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited, including outdoors.


The matter is currently on the agenda for the City Council's meeting on TUESDAY, February 11, 2014 at 5:00 PM in the Council Chamber, 333 W. Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA  90802.


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 mayor and members of the City Council.

What to say:

1. You are a Long Beach, Long Beach-area, or California citizen and while you support banning sales of e-cigarettes to minors, you OPPOSE banning e-cigarette use where smoking is banned.   (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 Long Beach 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 CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.



Contact Information for the Mayor and Members of the Long Beach City Council:

Comma delimited e-mail:  mayor@longbeach.gov, district1@longbeach.gov, district2@longbeach.gov, district3@longbeach.gov, district4@longbeach.gov, district5@longbeach.gov, dee.andrews@longbeach.gov, district7@longbeach.gov, district8@longbeach.com, district9@longbeach.go


Long Beach City Council
333 West. Ocean Blvd., 14th Floor
Long Beach, California 90802
Website:  http://www.longbeach.gov/officials/

Bob Foster, Mayor
mayor@longbeach.gov
Phone: (562) 570-6801
Fax: (562) 570-6538

Dr. Robert Garcia, 1st district
district1@longbeach.gov
Phone: (562) 570-6919
Fax: (562) 570-6590

Suja Lowenthal, 2nd district
district2@longbeach.gov
Phone: (562) 570-6684
Fax: (562) 570-6882

Gary DeLong, 3rd district
district3@LongBeach.gov 
Phone: (562) 570-6300
Fax: (562) 570-6186

Patrick O'Donnell, 4th district
district4@longbeach.gov
Phone: (562) 570-6918
Fax: (562) 570-5235

Gerrie Schipske, 5th district
district5@longbeach.gov
Phone: (562) 570-6932
Fax: (562) 570-6857

Dee Andrews, 6th district
Dee.Andrews@longbeach.gov
Phone: (562) 570-6816
Fax: (562) 5707135

James Johnson, 7th district
district7@longbeach.gov
Phone: (562)570-7777
Fax: (562) 570-6954

Al Austin, 8th district
district8@longbeach.com
City Hall Office Phone: (562) 570-6685
City Hall Office Fax: (562) 570-5982
District Office Phone: (562)570-1326
District Office Fax: (562) 570-1327

Steven Neal, 9th district
district9@longbeach.go
Phone: (562) 570-6137
Fax: (562) 570-6659