If you emailed a comment to OMB please read the last paragraph in rolygates post here Action Alert: OMB-OIRA TODAY , you may need to resend it by 12pm tonight.
CASAA Call to Action: Updated 8/14/14
14-0371 Electronic Smoking Devices: A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7, 2014 before Judiciary and Legislative Investigations at 9:30 AM. The location is Du Burns Council Chamber, 4th floor, City Hall.
This legislation would prohibit the indoor use of “electronic smoking devices” (aka e-cigarettes, despite the fact that they emit no smoke) in any area where actual smoking is prohibited. The bill could also regulate the placement of e-cigarettes in retail establishments that sell e-cigarettes with exemptions. The proposed legislation also restricts the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and imposes civil citations for any violations....
Call to Action:
CASAA: Call to Action Baltimore, MD - Indoor Use Ban
Baltimore, MD - Indoor Use Ban & retail placement
I'm out of town then, but will email and call. Thanks for the alert!
Baltimore City Council held a hearing this morning on the proposed vaping ban (and their redundant sales to minors ban).
The bill's sponsor (who chaired the hearing) spoke for at least a half hour (spending much of the time criticizing vapers for smoking at Baltimore Orioles games, claiming he wanted to protect his children from seeing people smoking, and claiming that it was impossible to tell if people were smoking or vaping). He also misrepresented lots of scientific evidence on e-cigs, and had the audacity to say that Igor Burstyn's excellent study "raised more questions about the safety of e-cigs than it answered".
Then the Baltimore Health Commissioner spoke for about 20 minutes reading dozens of the same false and misleading fear mongering claims about e-cigs we've heard many times from the ANTZ (and of course she insisted that tobacco and other e-cig companies were blatantly advertising and target marketing their products to addict children).
Then CASAA's Ron Ward (who also owns a vape shop just outside Baltimore City limits) testified, urging the council to oppose the bill, and at least exempt vape shops.
Then Heartland's Greg Conley did such an excellent job, especially during Q&A.
Then I read my testimony (below), and created some controversy during the Q&A.
About a half dozen vapers, three other vape shop owners, and two e-cig company reps testified, and for the most part were very good.
And about a half dozen clueless ANTZ testified, repeating many of the same fear mongering claims as the Health Commissioner and the Chair of the hearing made.
Two Altria lobbyists and a Lorillard lobbyist were in the audience, but didn't testify.
My testimony is below.
Testimony to the Baltimore City Council
October 7, 2014
William T Godshall, MPH
1926 Monongahela Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
I’m Bill Godshall, founder and director of Smokefree Pennsylvania. Since 1990, we’ve advocated local, state and federal policies to ban smoking in workplaces, stop cigarette marketing to youth, increase cigarette taxes, and help smokers quit.
For disclosure, neither Smokefree Pennsylvania nor I have ever received any funding from any tobacco, drug or e-cigarette company.
More than 100 studies have been published on e-cigarettes. But in sharp contrast to the many false and misleading fear mongering claims made by the Health Commissioner, the scientific evidence has consistently found that smokefree nicotine products, including nicotine gums, lozenges, patches, and e-cigarettes are >99% less hazardous than cigarette smoking. There is no evidence that vaping has ever caused any disease in any user worldwide.
E-cigs, or vapor products, have replaced more than a Billion packs of cigarettes in the US in the past five years; more than 99% of e-cigs are consumed by smokers and exsmokers who switched to e-cigs, and more than a million smokers have quit smoking by switching to vaping.
All surveys (including those by the CDC) have found that adult smokers are >50 times more likely than nonsmokers to report past e-cig use, and CDC’s survey found that <1% of teen nonsmokers have ever tried using an e-cig.
Vapor products are at least as effective for smoking cessation than FDA approved nicotine gums, lozenges, patches and inhalers, which have a 95% failure rate.
E-cigs pose no harm to nonusers, as they emit far less pollutants than many indoor products and activities including: paint, carpeting, furniture, cooking, smoker’s breath, hair and clothing, printers, copiers, cleaning products, dry cleaned clothes, hair sprays, perfumes, nail polish and even a cup of coffee.
Vapor products have never been found to create nicotine dependence in any nonsmoker, and have never been found to precede cigarette smoking in any daily smoker.
E-cigs have further denormalized cigarette smoking, as youth and adult smoking rates have declined every year since 2008 when e-cig sales began to skyrocket.
Vaping benefits many employers and managements since workers don’t waste company time on smoke breaks, and customers don’t disrupt businesses by going outside for a smoke. Some employers actively urge smokers to switch to e-cigs to improve employee health and save money.
Although it is wise to ban vaping at preschools and K-12 schools, there is no more justification for banning e-cig use in other workplaces or public places than there is for banning cellphone use.
Unfortunately, since 2009, Big Pharma funded groups and some unethical public health officials have been lobbying to ban e-cig manufacturing, sales and use by repeating false fear mongering claims, just as we heard today. And yet, vaping bans primarily protect cigarette markets, while threatening the lives of all vapers, smokers and secondhand smokers.
Besides, it’s impossible to enforce vaping bans, since e-cig users can eliminate all visible vapor by simply holding their breath for several seconds before exhaling.
But if this council decides to ban vaping, the council should at least exempt vape shops from the ban so they can continue to teach smokers how to use the products as substitutes to lethal cigarettes.
Thank you. I’ll be pleased to answer any questions.
Last edited by Bill Godshall; 10-08-2014 at 12:19 AM.
"E-cigs pose no harm to nonusers, as they emit far less pollutants than many indoor products and activities including: paint, carpeting, furniture, cooking, smoker’s breath, hair and clothing, printers, copiers, cleaning products, dry cleaned clothes, hair sprays, perfumes, nail polish and even a cup of coffee."
Thats a great line and the relation to cellphones.
Very impressive statement/testimony from Bill. I am curious how the Q&A session went? Could anyone that was there post some details?
Greg Conley and I created justifiable controversy during our Q&A, as Greg said the health commissioner should be fired, while I accused her of public health malpractice.
Our testimonies put the bill's sponsor (who chaired of the hearing, and did most of the talking) on the defensive. After Greg thoroughly refuted the first several rhetorical questions asked to him, the chair of the hearing said that the Heartland Institute (who Greg was testifying on behalf of) had no scientific credibility because it criticizes the scientific evidence on global warming and climate change.
Greg responded by saying that he came to debate the issues, while the chair was resorting to ad hominem attacks.
During my Q&A, a councilwoman asked me why I appeared angry. I responded by saying the bill threatened public health, that many lives were at stake, that the Health Commissioner and bill sponsor made many false fear mongering claims, and that the campaign to ban e-cigs and vaping under the guise of protecting children was similar to past campaigns to ban birth control and abortion under the false guise of protecting women's health. Greg said that my latter statement "almost caused a riot".
After that, the council members at the hearing didn't ask too many questions of other testifiers.
One thing that Stan Glantz taught me back in 1987-89 was that creating a controversy can be very effective.
After hearing the bill's sponsor and the health commissioner spend the first 45 minutes of the hearing repeating dozens of false and misleading fear mongering claims about e-cigs, I decided to use my 2 minutes of testimony to create controversy (by changing several words and sentences in my testimony, and by criticizing the health commissioner and other ANTZ during the Q&A).
After the hearing, two ANTZ (who have known me since I campaigned to ban indoor smoking) came up to me and told me that they thought my confrontational tactics were not helping my cause (i.e. to defend vaping and promote THR), and that I should tone down my rhetoric if I want to be more effective. After hearing that, I felt reassured about my confrontational tactics (especially since the health commissioner and bill sponsor weren't interested in any facts, but were just saying whatever they thought might generate more votes for their vaping ban).
Last edited by Bill Godshall; 10-08-2014 at 05:05 PM.
Sounds more like a suggestion than an 'asking'. Sometimes, it's what former friends do.
Originally Posted by DrMA