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New York City Council Health Committee members:
Smokefree Pennsylvania implores you to reject the proposed e-cigarette usage ban ordinance because it would protect cigarette markets, threaten the lives of vapers and smokers, and do nothing to benefit public health.
In sharp contrast to false and misleading claims by e-cigarette prohibitionists, the growing mountain of scientific and empirical evidence consistently indicates e-cigarettes:
- are 99% (+/-1%) less hazardous than cigarettes,
- emit similar trace levels of constituents as FDA approved nicotine inhalers, posing no risks to nonusers,
- have never been found to create nicotine dependence in any nonsmoker (youth or adult),
- have never been found to precede cigarette smoking in any smoker (youth or adult),
- are consumed almost exclusively (i.e. 99%) by smokers and former smokers who quit by switching to e-cigs,
- have helped several million smokers quit and/or sharply reduce cigarette consumption,
- have replaced (reduced consumption of) nearly 1 Billion packs of cigarettes in the US in the past five years,
- are more effective than FDA approved nicotine gums, lozenges, patches and inhalers for smoking cessation and reducing cigarette consumption, and
- pose fewer risks than FDA approved Verenicline (Champix) and Wellbutrin.
The CDC’s NYTS survey on youth use of e-cigarettes actually found that teen smokers were more than 20 times more likely that nonsmokers to report ever-use and past-30-day use of e-cigs in 2011 and 2012 while cigarette smoking declined, which clearly shows that e-cigarettes are a gateway away from (instead of towards) cigarette smoking, and that increasingly more teen smokers (like adult smokers) are switching to e-cigs.
Notes from the Field: Electronic Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011–2012
CDC Online Newsroom | Press Release | More than 40 percent of middle and high schoolers who smoke use flavored little cigars or flavored cigarettes
Unfortunately for public health, to lobby for FDA regulations CDC Director Tom Frieden grossly misrepresented the CDC’s survey findings, and falsely claimed e-cigs are addicting youth and are gateways to cigarette smoking.
CDC Online Newsroom | Press Release | E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012
Similarly, a recently published survey of NY and CT high school students found that smokers were 55 times more likely than nonsmokers to report past 30 day e-cig use.
In contrast to claims by prohibitionists that e-cig vapor is hazardous, extensive scientific research also confirms that e-cigarette vapor poses no harm or risks to nonusers.
Besides, all of the following products and activities emit far more indoor air pollution but are not banned in New York City workplaces or public places.
- plywood and other building materials
- every exhale by every smoker for more than an hour after smoking every cigarette
- smoker’s clothes and hair
- cleaning products
- dry cleaned clothes
- hair sprays
- nail polish and nail polish remover
- air fresheners
Also, there is no evidence that e-cigarettes make it more difficult to enforce the smoking ban, as everybody can tell the difference between an e-cig and a burning cigarette.
Banning the use of e-cigarettes in workplaces and public places provides no public health benefits, but instead would protect cigarette markets by discouraging smokers from switching to exponentially less hazardous e-cigs, and would encourage many vapers to switch back to smoking lethal cigarettes.
Smokefree Pennsylvania is a nonprofit organization that since 1990 has been advocating local, state and federal policies to ban smoking in workplaces, reduce tobacco marketing to youth, hold cigarette companies accountable in civil litigation, increase cigarette tax rates, fund tobacco education and smoking cessation services, inform smokers that smokefree tobacco/ nicotine products are far less hazardous alternatives to cigarettes, and ensure that smokefree alternatives remain legal and affordable to smokers. In 2007, I convinced Sen. Mike Enzi to amend the federal Tobacco Control Act to require graphic warnings on cigarette packs. In 2009, we urged FDA to keep electronic cigarettes legal, and in 2010 we filed an amicus brief with the DC Court of Appeals in support of NJOY’s lawsuit against FDA’s unlawful e-cigarette import ban.
For disclosure, neither I nor Smokefree Pennsylvania has ever received funding from any tobacco, drug or e-cigarette company.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15218