The Hancock County Board of Health is considering a smoke-free ordinance that would treat e-cigarettes exactly the same as smoking and would ban e-cigarette use in ALL workplaces.
The matter is currently on the agenda for the Board of Health's meeting TUESDAY, April 1st, 2014 at 12:30 PM. New Cumberland City Building,104 N Ct, New Cumberland, WV 26047 (We ask that as a sign of respect, you refrain from vaping during the meeting.)
Please (1) call and email the Health Department to explain why you oppose efforts to ban SMOKELESS e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend the meeting TUESDAY, 4-1-14, and offer testimony in opposition to this ordinance.
WHAT TO SAY:
1. You are a Hancock County, Hancock County-area, or West Virginia citizen and 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 Hancock County 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.
Send an email to the Health Department using this form (and call 304-564-3343 to register your opposition):