Last night, May 16th, there was a public meeting held by the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health re: the proposed ban of e-cigs in public places and in the workplace.
The three people on the panel were Gregory Jacoby, General Counsel for the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, Dr. Paul Sastael, and Kirsten Frandsen, Prevention Program Coordinator.
Mr. Jacoby explained what the proposed regulations legally meant. Ms. Frandsen concerns were how the proposed regulations would effect the general public and Dr. Sastael’s remarks focused on health issues.
Ms. Frandsen said that more information and data is needed to protect the general public. She was concerned about second-hand vapor and that the rising popularity of e-cigarettes might make smoking tobacco cigarettes more socially acceptable.
Dr. Sastael said that e-cigarette studies were still in their infancy and it was premature to say that e-cigarettes were safe. He pointed out that there are alternative methods for quitting smoking other than e-cigarettes that are “safer”, regulated, and … they know they don’t work 80% of the time.
The proposed regulations create a false equivalency comparing cigarettes to e-cigarettes without any information or data to back it up. They say they don’t have enough information to prove that e-cigarettes are safe but at the same time they don’t have any data proving they are harmful.
On June 1st the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health is poised to vote to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and in workplaces without any data whatsoever. They will vote to ban e-cigarettes based on a presumption of how people might act.
They are proposing regulations to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.
What can we do? Attending last night’s meeting was not enough. The Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health will meet tomorrow at 3:00 pm. Comments by the public (limited to three minutes per person) is on the agenda. We have to go back. And we have to go back for the June 1st meeting when the board will vote on the proposed regulations.
We’re not done yet.
Tomorrow we'll have a chance to tell our story to the board members face to face. That will have a greater impact than their reading the transcript from last night's meeting.
Monday, May 18, 2011
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Auditorium
3629 South D Street
Tacoma, WA 98418
If you can't make it ... write or call these people. Here's the list again:
Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health
Richard Muri (currently opposes banning e-cigarettes indoors)
(253) 798-3308 PHONE
(253) 798-7509 FAX
.....[email protected] (the ECF censor removed first part of email address - is a four letter nickname for Richard, then a dot before the muri)
Stan Flemming (currently opposes banning e-cigarettes indoors)
(253) 564-6675 PHONE
Jake Fey (serves on local advisory board of American Heart Association)
(253) 594 – 7848 PHONE
(253) 927 – 1068 PHONE
(253) 383 – 5908 PHONE
(253) 591 – 5123 FAX
Pat Johnson (Mayor of City of Buckley)
(360) 829 – 1921 PHONE
(360) 829 – 2629 FAX
Pat McCarthy (Pierce County Executive)
(253) 798-6602 PHONE
(253) 798-6628 FAX
(253) 594 - 7848 PHONE
(253) 396 – 0265 PHONE
(253) 591-5123 FAX
Rebecca Sullivan, MD
(253) 848 - 6661 PHONE
(253) 841 – 1483 PHONE
(253) 798 - 7627 FAX
[email protected] / [email protected]
(253) 314 – 3514 PHONE
(253) 471 – 2581 PHONE
Ron Lucas (Alternate) (Mayor, Town of Steilacoom)
(253) 581 – 1912 PHONE
(253) 582 – 0651 FAX
Victoria Woodards (Alternate, rep. of Tacoma City Council, At-Large position 6)
(253) 591 – 5100 PHONE
(253) 473 – 1449 PHONE
(253) 591 – 5123 FAX
BTW ... I'm without a car. I have to pick up my son from school at 1:00 pm and then figure out how to get to Tacoma.