Thursday, September 18, 2014

International Call to Action! Celebrate World Vaping Day by Telling the World Health Organization How E-Cigarettes Have Changed Your Life.

Today, September 18, 2014, is World Vaping Day. We can think of no better way of celebrating World Vaping Day than by sharing our success stories with the World Health Organization (WHO).   

WHO is, to put it mildly, anti e-cigarette and has called for strict regulation of e-cigarettes, including a ban on e-cigarette use in public places. It sees e-cigarettes as challenging the core message of tobacco control and as a threat to WHO's goals of a tobacco-free world.  WHO seems willing to embrace speculative and unsubstantiated concerns about e-cigarettes (including the increasingly discredited gateway theory, namely, that e-cigarette use will lead to non-smokers starting to smoke), but fails to give any weight to the fact that an ever-increasing number of people  have quit smoking (or have substantially reduced their smoking) by using e-cigarettes.  

According to the WHO, we are anecdotes.

And so today, on World Vaping Day, we are asking vapers from across the world to join together in sending a personal message to WHO.  Tell your story and explain how e-cigarette use has changed your life.  Let them know that we are real people, not anecdotes.  (While this Call to Action is being released on World Vaping Day, it will continue indefinitely.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CASAA Comment on NIOSH Proposed Recommendations regarding Workplace Tobacco Use

On September 15, 2014, CASAA filed a comment (Tracking Number1jy-8edy-gzjb) on NIOSH proposed recommendations regarding workplace tobacco use.   The text of the proposed draft Current Intelligence Bulletin that we were commenting on can be found here.  Below is the full text of our comment.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Call to Action! Missouri: Ask Your Legislators to Override Governor Nixon's Veto of SB 841 (Ban on Sales of E-Cigarettes to Minors)


UPDATE:  9/11/14:  Missouri Call to Action successfully concluded.  Thanks to the hard work of Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education (BRAVE), both the Missouri Senate and House have voted to override Governor Nixon's veto of Senate Bill 841. Missouri now joins the majority of states which ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors. 

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Last month, Missouri's Governor Nixon was presented with an opportunity to sign into law a common-sense bill that would (1) prohibit sales of vapor products (e-cigarettes) to minors, and (2) clarify that vapor products are not subject to the same taxation or regulation as combustible cigarettes. However, due to pressure from "public health" groups trumpeting ideology over science, Governor Nixon opted to veto SB 841. Thankfully, Missouri has a second chance to bring this bill into law with a "veto session" scheduled for September 10th, 2014.

Missouri vapers need to act NOW to urge their legislators to overturn Governor Nixon's veto of SB 841.  

While SB 841 enjoyed strong bipartisan support when it was passed earlier this year, e-cigarette opponents are pressuring legislators to not challenge Governor Nixon's veto. Their intention is to push for stronger legislation next year that would tax e-cigarettes like combustible cigarettes and ban their use in public places.  They feel that if sales to minors are banned now, that will make it more difficult for them to pursue their anti-e-cigarette agenda next session.  Meanwhile, they appear content to allow Missouri children to continue to purchase e-cigarettes (while at the same time demanding that e-cigarettes be regulated to protect the children).

FIRST, CASAA has issued a new CQ Roll Call Campaign for Missouri vapers to express their views.  CQ Roll Call allows you to send an email directly to the legislators who are in your district.  The following link will take you to the campaign:




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New claims that e-cigarettes are a gateway to cocaine use are junk science



BALTIMORE, Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A study released today by the New England Journal of Medicine is claimed by the authors and the journal to suggest that e-cigarette use could cause cocaine use. In reality, the study shows no such thing, and the authors and journal are just trying to score political points based on an unimportant technical study of mice with no real-world implications. The study results only suggest that mice dosed with nicotine one day react differently, biologically, to cocaine the next day compared to those who are not. They do not suggest that nicotine use will cause people to seek out or use cocaine.

Carl V. Phillips, PhD, Scientific Director of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), observes, "This study tells us little about human biology and nothing at all about real-world human behavior. It does not even measure mouse behavior. The study provides no evidence there is a gateway effect, and there is no reason to believe there is one. Even if there were, this would merely offer one hypothesis about why it happens, and tell us nothing about the real world."

The study, "A molecular basis for nicotine as a gateway drug" by Eric R. Kandel and Denise B. Kandel, looks at changes in the brain chemistry of mice administered artificial doses of drugs under artificial conditions. Even if the study is accurate in itself, it does not provide any information about gateway effects, let alone e-cigarettes specifically. But the authors add an unsupported and alarmist discussion about e-cigarettes to what is otherwise a standard technical paper.

The press release takes the claims even further, misleadingly implying that the study shows e-cigarettes will cause people to use dangerous drugs.

David Nutt, Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London, told an online discussion group of independent tobacco scientists, "This is another example of journal press offices making routine studies 'news' by distorting the data interpretation."

In the journal press release, the authors are quoted as saying "E-cigarettes may be a gateway to both combustible cigarettes and illicit drugs. Therefore, we should do all we can to protect young people from…the risks of progressing to illicit drugs." But the study does not even provide evidence there is such an effect for the one drug it studied, and it contained nothing related to a possible gateway to combustible cigarettes.

CASAA's Ronald A. Ward Jr., Esq., an expert in criminology, commented, "This is the worst excuse for a gateway argument I have ever seen."

"This is a classic case of someone with a political agenda tacking their opinions onto technical research and trying trick the press into reporting it that way," said CASAA President Julie Woessner. "E-cigarettes as a smoking cessation method are one of the most important public health breakthroughs of this century. But sadly there are those who would prefer that people keep smoking rather than finding a satisfying, very low-risk alternative."

"The authors of the new study seem unaware of the fact that cocaine use peaked long after smoking rates had come down, exactly the opposite of what they predict, and that drug-seeking behavior in the real world is not at all similar to mouse neurobiology," observed Phillips. "Moreover, even if their scientific conclusions are right, and nicotine use slightly increases the effects of cocaine, their political conclusions would still not follow from that. Imagine that a study found that eating apples had this effect. You can be sure that the authors would not be demanding restrictions on apples. This is purely a political agenda, one that is responsible for causing many people to unnecessarily die from smoking."

CASAA (casaa.org), a public health NGO, is the leading representative of American consumers who use or someday might use low-risk smoke-free alternatives to smoking, including e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. CASAA is a grassroots consumer membership organization, and is not affiliated with industry and does not represent industry interests.