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Thread: Abilene State Supported Living Center in Abilene, TX

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    Default Abilene State Supported Living Center in Abilene, TX

    I work for Texas DADS at the facility we typically abbreviate as AbSSLC. They have declared to be a tobacco free facility which began January 1, 2014. They specifically list e-cigarettes as part of the ban, yet make no mention of other NRT. I am a CASAA member but returned to using stinky cigarettes last year so am perhaps a tad hypocritical to attempt to take on this ban. I did, however, use my private email to question why e-cigarettes were included. Unfortunately, from the one response so far, I doubt they are listening.

    Rumor has it that our facility is the test pilot for the ban, which means the other half dozen or so facilities in the state will follow suit if it is successful. While admittedly only a rumor, that does seem to fit with past actions which have nothing to do with bans.

    I am a member of CASAA but not as well spoken nor as informed as most CASAA members as much of my own research is now 2 years out of date.

    Please HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

    The three top administrators in charge who are supporting the ban, none of whom smoke, can be contacted here:

    AbSSLC

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    My last email quotes your site and the latest study I found there. This is what I last wrote and why I should likely step back and let my betters speak instead.

    ---------------------------
    Ms. Hinshaw,
    I like studying about this, too! That's why I am a proud member of CASAA. They have lots of studies and information:
    Scientific Opinon: Electronic cigarettes

    Several of these, and many others from a variety of sources, took me about 4 months of intense study to wade through before I used my first ecig. I now can mix my own niquid and my own flavors. I won't invite anyone who is offended that my food grade ingredients stink to join me in my personal vehicle.

    I lost both parents to COPD, so have over 4 decades of knowledge regarding the harm of real cigarettes and 3 years of personal history regarding ecigs, ma'am. I did look carefully at both sides of the issue before deciding which would definitely kill me. I appreciate your concern for my health, but offensive odors are not banned.

    The latest studies show that a lot of the scare tactics (and, hopefully, some actual honest concern) for unknown factors of the past were not as scientific as many with less knowledge have, unfortunately, been led to believe.

    However, I understand that government employees often feel the right to abuse others' civil rights, typically, while claiming a supposed concern for the people trampled upon to make that seem okay. However, it was not acceptable when due to race in the 60's, and it is not acceptable now in this case either. Due to my own knowledge, my own conscience, and my refusal to accept my own death from COPD, I must respectfully decline to be silent just because some abhor burning 3000+ chemicals legally and make poor attempts to equate something they do not understand as the same situation.

    I do thank you for answering though, but have yet to see a true basis for equating the two. I have more studies should you wish to at least compare both sides' "science." I also have proof that my lung function improved using the food grade ingredients with an ever decreasing amount of nicotine. I was hopeful your medical background would help the facts that are known sway AbSSLC to not overstep and treat their employees so unfairly. Perhaps all hope is not yet lost, as I do have 0% nicotine to which I can adjust in order to alleviate the unrighteous attempts to equate one NRT as more dangerous than the ones the government likes and has invested in.

    We can swap studies for weeks, but it isn't your life on the line so I doubt you are even half as interested in the facts as I am. However, one recent study I'd appreciate you taking the time to read follows below.

    Please, keep in mind as well, that although you or your loved ones may not need or choose to use an ecigarette to lengthen their life, that some people are offended by gluttony or obesity or even eating meat so while AbSSLC may feel quite righteous and parental to save adults from their own legal habits which this administration look down upon- at some point, that same type of controlling person may well be coming for you and yours. Then perhaps you may react with just a bit more need for actual facts and a modicum of true compassion.

    Thank you,
    Sharon Wright
    --------------------------------
    The study:
    Friday, August 9, 2013
    New study confirms that chemicals in electronic cigarettes pose minimal health risk
    Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


    PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 8, 2013/PRNewwire-USNewswire -- E-cigarette users can breathe a little easier today. A study just released by Professor Igor Burstyn, Drexel University School of Public Health, confirms that chemicals in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) pose no health concern for users or bystanders. This is the first definitive study of e-cigarette chemistry and finds that there are no health concerns based on generally accepted exposure limits.


    E-cigarettes are devices that heat a nicotine solution to create an aerosol (called “vapor”) that the user inhales, similar to smoking a cigarette. They are used as a low-risk substitute for smoking by millions of former smokers, and their increasing popularity seems to account for the current downward trend in smoking in the U.S. and some other countries. While experts agree that the risks posed by e-cigarettes are significantly less than those posed by smoking, there had been some debate about how much lower the risk was.


    By reviewing over 9,000 observations about the chemistry of the vapor and the liquid in e-cigarettes, Dr. Burstyn was able to determine that the levels of contaminants e-cigarette users are exposed to are insignificant, far below levels that would pose any health risk. Additionally, there is no health risk to bystanders. Proposals to ban e-cigarettes in places where smoking is banned have been based on concern there is a potential risk to bystanders, but the study shows there is no concern.


    This was the first study funded by the by The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives (CASAA) Research Fund. CASAA, the leading consumer advocacy group promoting the availability and use of low-risk alternatives to smoking, is an all-volunteer, donation-funded organization. CASAA President Elaine Keller said of the study, “Over the years, there have been a lot of small studies of e-cigarette liquid and vapor, but those studies were either ignored or misinterpreted. Those that showed even the slightest contamination were used for propaganda by those who object to e-cigarettes because they look like smoking. We realized that an expert review was needed to give an unbiased explanation of the available scientific evidence for our membership and policy makers. We reached out to our membership and they enthusiastically donated to make it possible.”


    CASAA Scientific Director, Carl V. Phillips, summarized the importance of the study, saying “It has always been clear that e-cigarettes were much lower risk than smoking, but there was uncertainty about whether continuing to inhale a mix of chemicals posed a measurable risk. Even those of us who have long encouraged smokers to switch are a bit surprised that even the worst-case-scenario risks are so low. This study assures us that e-cigarettes are as low risk as other smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products, like smokeless tobacco and NRT. All of these products are about 99% less harmful than smoking, and so smokers who switch to them gain basically the same health benefits as if they quit tobacco and nicotine entirely.”


    Dr. Phillips added that “there has been a call for ‘regulatory science’ by the FDA. This is exactly the type of science that is needed to make good regulation and informed individual decisions: it summarizes all of the available knowledge and puts the numbers in a useful perspective.”


    The study did caution that e-cigarette users are inhaling substantial quantities of the main chemicals in e-cigarette liquid (propylene glycol and glycerin). While these chemicals are not considered dangerous and the levels are far below occupational exposure limits, Dr. Burstyn did suggest ongoing monitoring to confirm that there is no risk. The chemical contaminants are of even less concern. While there have been many claims that formaldehyde, acrolein, nitrosamines, metals, and ethylene glycol found in e-cigarette vapor poses a health hazard, the study concluded that all of these have been found only at trivial levels that pose no health concern.


    The study did not address the effects of nicotine because e-cigarette users are consuming it intentionally. Nicotine, when it does not involve smoking, is very low risk and has not been clearly shown to cause any disease. However, like caffeine and other common indulgences, it may cause some tiny risk of heart attack and stroke, and so e-cigarettes, along with other tobacco and nicotine products, are probably not risk-free. If there is any risk from nicotine, however, it is so low that it is similar to everyday hazards like drinking coffee or eating dessert, and is far less than the risk from smoking.


    The study is available at http://publichealth.drexel.edu/SiteD...0e603/ms08.pdf

    For summary and discussion go to
    Breaking News: New study shows no risk from e-cigarette contaminants | Anti-THR Lies and related topics

    Contact: Prof. Igor Burstyn [email protected]

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    Default Any Texas Attorneys in CASAA perhaps?

    So it looks like Texas' efforts to ban even vaping outside or in our own vehicles at Abilene State Supported Living Center for this pilot program is going to go totally unopposed? Will it be at least interesting when a successful pilot becomes the rule at all Texas State Supported Living Centers? sigh





    So are there any Texas attorneys who are interested in working at a reduced rate that are members of CASAA who read here?

    We did have to sign a document that we were aware of new rule and I did mark out e-cigarette and properly initial it. I also wrote that I objected to the unscientific and unfounded arbitrary inclusion as well, if that might help gain interest. I believe we get two warnings, and then two times being put "on a level" which means it goes into our permanent record. They do this so they can fire you without paying unemployment. There is a grievance process if fired, but their attorney has all the files before that point in some cases, and has already instructed them how to proceed. Or so I've been told. My Supervisor of the QIDP department also vapes, and will try not to write me up, but...

    I'd like to obtain a bit of legal representation before the second level, if the admin decides to heavy handedly enforce the rule. I don't expect anyone, especially a lawyer, to work for free but am curious if there is an interest as to approximate costs for several hours of work.

    And I toned down my last letter drastically as well, in order to try to get a dialogue going as the three in charge ignored the last one totally. I have eliminated the old NRT term for vaping and became a bit more current by now using THR. I apologize for being out of date.


    Last edited by Laffs; 01-20-2014 at 05:39 AM.
    DONATED TO "WE ARE VAPERS" HAVE YOU?

    paused smoking July 16, 2011 at 2 pm, tripped up last year


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    Laffs,

    I'm so sorry you haven't received a response, but we've had to prioritize our Calls to Action as we are dealing with numerous bills at the state level and ordinances for major urban areas that can affect millions of people. For smaller issues we ask members like you to take the lead. We appreciate anything you can do. There are a lot of vapers and groups in Texas. Maybe contact them and get them to write and call to oppose this rule? Just as a forewarning, fighting bans on government or government-funded property has proven very difficult. Unfortunately, I don't think we've stopped one yet. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try!
    Grammie and Laffs like this.

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    Thanks, Kristin! I looked around and realized these back door ban situations have ran rampant in the last two years or so I've not been posting. I've already figured out that I shall likely lose this fight, and be fired for trying. I'd rather try than not though.

    Good luck to you all! I've written a few letters here and there as well to try to help what little I can.
    Hmmm, wonder if I get fired if Belize or Costa Rica has a vaping community?
    DONATED TO "WE ARE VAPERS" HAVE YOU?

    paused smoking July 16, 2011 at 2 pm, tripped up last year


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    Just an update if any Texans are interested. Please note they had my departmental supervisor tell me the attorney said I can no longer email them regarding this topic. Note also that I only used my HOME computer and email address to do so. They did NOT send me the email nor forward it to me, almost as if they didn't want me to know something. Shocking-- not. LOL

    I also removed all the email addresses before posting this, except the one I just sent to and they are the ones who posted it in public. The rules at AbSSLC state we have no right to privacy in using their email system, so I believe that I did not have to do so, but wanted to be respectful of their privacy, as it may set an example to them on what courtesy actually means.

    The email I sent to [email protected] was found at the fda.gov news events PUBLIC health focus etc here:
    Electronic Cigarettes (e-Cigarettes)

    I highly recommend using the link to check out WHY they posted a contact!

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Laffs
    Today at 10:33 AM

    To

    [email protected]

    So their attorney said I am not allowed to send any more emails. I found this address on the Web. I have not experienced adverse effects using an electronic cigarette. In fact, the scientific data supports my decision to use them after 4 months of intense research! I understand that the FDA is a bit upset that they work better than the NRTs you may make money by promoting. I don't agree that is a valid excuse to deny people the right to choose THRs of their choice.

    Perhaps, you'd like to share with a person who wants to minimize the effects of COPD so that they will not become disabled and can continue to work and pay their own way any reason that Abilene State Supported Living Center feels they have even more legal authority than the FDA?

    I will not shut up and go away because they threaten my job! However, I will seek sources with the ability to discuss the legality of treating a nicotine product so differently than NRTs. Information please?

    Sharon Wright
    employee at AbSSLC

    ----- Forwarded Message -----
    From: Laffs
    To: "Hinshaw,Linda (DADS)"; "Jeff.Goza"; "jolene.willis"
    Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 7:37 PM
    Subject: Re: Arbitrary bans Part 2

    Ms. Hinshaw, Mr. Goza, and/or Ms. Willis,

    So if it isn't about health, apparent by the lack of response, can you please point out where electronic cigarettes are being legally targeted by this agency or any legal authority in Texas? I did a "find search" and electronic cigarettes did not show up on my older home computer. I would hope that you'd share the information, especially if the fault lies within my personal software!

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013...2012-31671.pdf

    Are there other legal grounds to include e-cigarettes in your local ban perhaps that I have missed? As I pointed out in my second email, the "we've had a long standing policy" information didn't work well for Civil Rights violations in the 60s being legal, nor righteous, for those unwilling to change due to racially based prejudices, so I don't recognize that argument as valid. I do, however, believe the fact that electronic cigarette users choosing to be willing to take it outside with the smokers was polite and fair so not to scare the uninformed, nor show their use to the individuals. Unfortunately, the politeness factor isn't legal grounds to ban their use outside, away from Individuals, nor in our own vehicles. It shows only that those who use e-cigs are willing to work with you.

    I did note that when the FDA was illegally confiscating electronic cigarette components, that it was a Federal Judge who let them know it was illegal to do so and put a stop to the illegal theft. I also read they ( the FDA) intended to begin regulating electronic cigarettes in 2011 or so, yet failed to do so. I am fairly good at research, yet have not found where there is supporting legal standing to claim electronic cigarettes are regulated the same as tobacco, at this point, but am certainly willing to read any legal information you provide.

    Failing that, perhaps you can put me in touch with someone in Austin or Washington DC who is willing to show me the legal restrictions currently in effect that I am unaware of at this time. There are certainly more current and better science based studies than the FDA, CDC, or Mayo Clinic links previously sent to me, as I have freely provided you with. If you prefer not to deal with these questions or the hard facts involved, I highly recommend that you forward these emails, both this one and the past one, to someone in the agency who is more willing to provide the information I am requesting. As I stated a few times now, I cannot find any reality based reason why AbSSLC would be so supposedly concerned for my adult health, yet ban the Tobacco Harm Reduction product that has the same type of nicotine that the NRTs touted and recommended by the FDA. I notice the gum, patches and lozenges aren't being banned but touted as a good solution to quit smoking. I am sure you do see the disconnect in that by now. Is there a monetary benefit, ie. grants or additional monies, involved for our facility perhaps?

    Awaiting a response from someone in the chain of command,
    Sharon Wright
    employee


    From: Laffs
    To: "Hinshaw,Linda (DADS)" ; "Jeff.Goza" "jolene.willis"
    Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2014 11:03 PM
    Subject: Arbitrary bans Part 2


    Ms. Hinshaw, etal.

    I sent you a link to a lot of very informative information which included links to much more current data than the brochure found in the link just below. I found it interesting to note that there was no evidence that electronic cigarettes were anywhere close to as dangerous as smoking cigarettes have proven to be. I agree that the more studies, the better! Page 19 was interesting in case your time for this is limited.
    http://www.cprit.state.tx.us/images/...lan08FINAL.pdf

    May I inquire how your study has been going? Are you interested in Tobacco Harm Reduction for those who remained addicted despite all other FDA sponsored NRTs but found real help and improved breathing using THRs? Here are but three links, ma'am, that are to the point, because I do truly understand how very busy you must be. You may cut and paste these safely as they have several 1000 interested in THR clicking on them regularly and no reported problems at all.

    Clinical Research: Electronic Cigarettes

    http://http://casaa.org/Scientific_Opinon.html

    casaa.org/legislative_notes.html

    I well know that education and dialogue are very important on major issues like this; especially when Texans, who traditionally support limited governmental control in our daily lives, are interested in truth. I extend my hand to try and resolve this issue amicably because I do care very much that I not die of COPD like my parents did. I love working at Abilene State Supported Living Center and am very excited about helping us consistently improve our standard of care. I’d rather not be threatened to be fired for attempting to extend my own life in a legal way so will try to not be so put off at being spoken down to, or even ignored, on this vital issue which so heavily impacts my personal longevity.

    I apologize if, in my distress over the attempts to arbitrarily include e-cigs in your tobacco ban, I upset you by sounding rude or overly zealous. Surely if there are grants or profit to be made by AbSSLC becoming a "Tobacco Free facility," those would still apply without unnecessarily, without current evidence including electronic cigarettes?

    Shall we try again to come to an understanding that supports the healthier Tobacco Harm Reduction as a common goal? I truly do wish to work with you on this matter.

    Sharon Wright
    Employee

    Here is the study and info that was included last time as well, in case it was misplaced:


    http://www.casaa.org/rettes pose minimal health risk

    E-cigarette users can breathe a little easier today. A study just released by Professor Igor
    Burstyn, Drexel University School of Public
    Health, confirms that chemicals in electronic
    cigarettes (e-cigarettes) pose no health concern
    for users or bystanders. This is the first
    definitive study of e-cigarette chemistry and
    finds that there are no health concerns based
    on generally accepted exposure limits.

    E-cigarettes are devices that heat a nicotine
    solution to create an aerosol (called “vapor”) that the user inhales, similar to smoking a
    cigarette. They are used as a low-risk substitute for smoking by millions of former
    smokers, and their increasing popularity seems to account for the current downward trend
    in smoking in the U.S. and some other countries. While experts agree that the risks posed
    by e-cigarettes are significantly less than those posed by smoking, there had been some
    debate about how much lower the risk was.

    By reviewing over 9,000 observations about the chemistry of the vapor and the liquid in e-
    cigarettes, Dr. Burstyn was able to determine that the levels of contaminants e-cigarette
    users are exposed to are insignificant, far below levels that would pose any health risk. Additionally, there is no health risk to bystanders. Proposals to ban e-cigarettes in places
    where smoking is banned have been based on concern there is a potential risk to
    bystanders, but the study shows there is no concern....
    __________________________________________________ __________

    Friday, August 9, 2013
    New study confirms that chemicals in electronic cigarettes pose minimal health risk



    PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 8, 2013/PRNewwire-USNewswire -- E-cigarette users can breathe a little easier today. A study just released by Professor Igor Burstyn, Drexel University School of Public Health, confirms that chemicals in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) pose no health concern for users or bystanders. This is the first definitive study of e-cigarette chemistry and finds that there are no health concerns based on generally accepted exposure limits.


    E-cigarettes are devices that heat a nicotine solution to create an aerosol (called “vapor”) that the user inhales, similar to smoking a cigarette. They are used as a low-risk substitute for smoking by millions of former smokers, and their increasing popularity seems to account for the current downward trend in smoking in the U.S. and some other countries. While experts agree that the risks posed by e-cigarettes are significantly less than those posed by smoking, there had been some debate about how much lower the risk was.


    By reviewing over 9,000 observations about the chemistry of the vapor and the liquid in e-cigarettes, Dr. Burstyn was able to determine that the levels of contaminants e-cigarette users are exposed to are insignificant, far below levels that would pose any health risk. Additionally, there is no health risk to bystanders. Proposals to ban e-cigarettes in places where smoking is banned have been based on concern there is a potential risk to bystanders, but the study shows there is no concern.


    This was the first study funded by the by The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives (CASAA) Research Fund. CASAA, the leading consumer advocacy group promoting the availability and use of low-risk alternatives to smoking, is an all-volunteer, donation-funded organization. CASAA President Elaine Keller said of the study, “Over the years, there have been a lot of small studies of e-cigarette liquid and vapor, but those studies were either ignored or misinterpreted. Those that showed even the slightest contamination were used for propaganda by those who object to e-cigarettes because they look like smoking. We realized that an expert review was needed to give an unbiased explanation of the available scientific evidence for our membership and policy makers. We reached out to our membership and they enthusiastically donated to make it possible.”


    CASAA Scientific Director, Carl V. Phillips, summarized the importance of the study, saying “It has always been clear that e-cigarettes were much lower risk than smoking, but there was uncertainty about whether continuing to inhale a mix of chemicals posed a measurable risk. Even those of us who have long encouraged smokers to switch are a bit surprised that even the worst-case-scenario risks are so low. This study assures us that e-cigarettes are as low risk as other smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products, like smokeless tobacco and NRT. All of these products are about 99% less harmful than smoking, and so smokers who switch to them gain basically the same health benefits as if they quit tobacco and nicotine entirely.”


    Dr. Phillips added that “there has been a call for ‘regulatory science’ by the FDA. This is exactly the type of science that is needed to make good regulation and informed individual decisions: it summarizes all of the available knowledge and puts the numbers in a useful perspective.”


    The study did caution that e-cigarette users are inhaling substantial quantities of the main chemicals in e-cigarette liquid (propylene glycol and glycerin). While these chemicals are not considered dangerous and the levels are far below occupational exposure limits, Dr. Burstyn did suggest ongoing monitoring to confirm that there is no risk. The chemical contaminants are of even less concern. While there have been many claims that formaldehyde, acrolein, nitrosamines, metals, and ethylene glycol found in e-cigarette vapor poses a health hazard, the study concluded that all of these have been found only at trivial levels that pose no health concern.


    The study did not address the effects of nicotine because e-cigarette users are consuming it intentionally. Nicotine, when it does not involve smoking, is very low risk and has not been clearly shown to cause any disease. However, like caffeine and other common indulgences, it may cause some tiny risk of heart attack and stroke, and so e-cigarettes, along with other tobacco and nicotine products, are probably not risk-free. If there is any risk from nicotine, however, it is so low that it is similar to everyday hazards like drinking coffee or eating dessert, and is far less than the risk from smoking.


    The study is available at http://publichealth.drexel.edu/SiteD...0e603/ms08.pdf

    For summary and discussion go to
    Breaking News: New study shows no risk from e-cigarette contaminants | Anti-THR Lies and related topics

    Contact: Prof. Igor Burstyn [email protected]









    From: "Hinshaw,Linda (DADS)"
    To: Laffs
    Sent: Saturday, January 4, 2014 2:46 PM
    Subject: Automatic reply: Arbitrary bans

    I am currently out of the office. I will be checking email periodically. For emergencies please contact Jeff Goza. I will return Monday, January 6.
    DONATED TO "WE ARE VAPERS" HAVE YOU?

    paused smoking July 16, 2011 at 2 pm, tripped up last year


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