Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Local Alert! Baytown, Texas E-Cigarette Usage Ban


The Baytown, Texas City Council is considering adopting an ordinance that would ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.  (The ordinance would also ban sales to minors,  a move which CASAA supports.)

The City Council is considering four alternatives:

  1. Prohibit the sale, possession and use of e-cigarettes by minors, and/or
  2. Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in areas where conventional cigarettes are prohibited; or
  3. Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in areas where conventional cigarettes are prohibited except in "bars" (more than 51% of their revenue from alcoholic beverages); or
  4. Take no regulatory action at this time.
CASAA supports Option No. 1 (ban on sale, possession and use by minors).
The ordinance will be discussed at the regular City Council meeting on THURSDAY, April 102014 at 6:30 P.M., City Council Chambers, 2401 Market Street, Baytown, TX  77520.
Please (1) email and call the mayor and members of the City Council to explain why you oppose efforts to ban e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend the meeting on THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 at 6:30 P.M. and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.

(As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the City Council meeting.)


CASAA strongly encourages vapers to call and email the mayor and members of the City Council.
What to say:
  1. You are an Baytown, Baytown-area, or Texas resident and while you support bans on sales 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 Baytown 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. Clarify that: 
a.  Smoking bans are ostensibly enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been found to pose a risk 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.

b.  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.

c.  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.

d.  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.

e.  The ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch and reduce their health risks by an estimated 99%.

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

Contact Information for the  Mayor and City Council:
Comma delimited email list: mayor@baytown.org, district1@baytown.org, district2@baytown.org, district3@baytown.org, district4@baytown.org, district5@baytown.org, district6@baytown.org


Stephen H. DonCarlos, Mayor
Phone: 281-420-6550
Fax: 281-420-7176
Email: mayor@baytown.org

Mercedes Renteria, III
Phone: 281-420-6500
Fax: 281-420-7176
Email: district1@baytown.org

Chris Presley
Phone: 281-420-6500
Fax: 281-420-7176
Email: district2@baytown.org

Brandon Capetillo
Phone: 281-420-6500
Fax: 281-420-7176
Email: district3@baytown.org

Terry Sain
Phone: 281-420-6500
Fax: 281-420-7176
Email: district4@baytown.org

Robert C. Hoskins
Phone: 281-420-6500
Fax: 281-420-7176
Email: district5@baytown.org

David McCartney
Phone: 281-420-6500
Fax: 281-420-7176
Email: district6@baytown.org


Mailing address for all City Council members:

P.O. Box 424
2401 Market Street
Baytown, TX 77522


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