4/10-13/14 - BREAKING: WHO Treaty vaping=smoking; 'Cancer' link coverage; Aus., UK, US: CT,MA,NY,NJ,DE,MD,NC,LA,TN,KY,MS,IL,TX,MN,IA,MO,ND ,OK,NE,AZ,C

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Jan 19, 2014
Moved On
    [ Just paste broken links shown in purple directly into your browser - the extra line doesn't matter. Pls. PM me if you have more recent info. about proposed/actual legislation, if you think I've missed an important story, or if you want more tweaks to the formatting program. ]

    4/10/14 - 4/13/14 Media Roundup

    I'd held back over the weekend to see what effect the "cancer link" stories were going to have. Turns out I was quite wrong about the suddenness of their impact, although there were a couple of CBS affiliates who covered them today. However the major outlets were largely silent over the weekend - which is significant, because the first stories broke on Weds and Thurs of last week. In part, this may be because the "story" actually dates back to January, when the very same paper was presented at an earlier conference (or at least the abstract hasn't changed in four months).

    See the collection at the end for a breakdown and full analysis of the "Cancer link" stories.

    [Most of the media "oxygen" today was taken up by the release of US Sen. Durbin's "investigation" of the advertising practices of BT and BV (big vapor), which is something that I'll cover in the next roundup.]

    1) According to leaked info from the WHO (World Health Org.) obtained by the Financial Times, WHO is working on a series of changes to the highly influential Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which basically require the signatory nations to treat vaping like tobacco smoking for purposes of indoor clean air acts, taxes, and other regulations. As vapers know, the US Tobacco Control industry has very close connections within WHO, and any such regulations would likely reflect the "internationalization" of the stated goals of Stanton Glantz, the ALA, and many US regulators to treat vaping as smoking for every possible purpose, based on an underlying thesis that vaping has all of the societal disadvantages of tobacco cigarettes and no measureable/cognizable benefits whatsoever. (This is ironic, given that the US by far the most important nation that has not ratified the FCTC. That said, the WHO Is not yet ready, and both EU member states as well as US regulators may have already acted by the time the FCTC changes come about.

    2) Australian state court rules that vaping is covered by existing tobacaco cigarette rules, reports Richard Puddlecote in his blog. (I've deferred and linked-to the relevant ECF thread below).

    3) Vaping=smoking indoor clean air act extension rejected by Baytown TX. This is only the third city in recent 2014 that has done so (the others are Aberdeen SD, and Yakima WA).

    4) However a vaping=smoking indoor clean air act extension covering private businesses passed in Bedford TX, and another seems likely to pass in Scotts Valley CA. KC MO city council is likely to pass a similar rule for busses and bus shelters, and Lincoln NE passed one for city parks, parking lots, and rec. areas.

    5) Simple minor sales/possession ban signed by KY Gov. Beshear, and also passed in Louisville KY (Louisville's also prohibits shisha). Similar bans advance in DE (HB 241 passed by house), and LA (SB 12 ready for the house, already passed by sen.). Mexia TX is considering a similar rule, but no more info. appeared in the report.

    6) Kaiser Permanente advises its gov't employees not to use vaping as a cessation tool.

    7) Federal judge restores at least $120M of PA's $180M in MSA funds that an arbitrator previously had taken away. Five more states have another $320M or so at stake, based on the arbitrator's ruling.

    Coverage: World (WHO), Australia, UK, US states: CT, MA, NY, NJ, DE, MD, NC, LA, TN, KY, MS, IL, TX, MN, IA, MO, ND, OK, NE, AZ, WA, CA, AK

    Also: Excellent piece by Melissa Vonder Haar of CSPNet from the NATO conference regarding the industry's response to regulation; Reason's Jacob Sullen on the UK data showing that vaping doesn't increase smoking; Herzog's new estimates about the size of the vaping market; report by Melissa Vonder Haar of CSPNet from NATO about the BT and BV (big vapor) cigALike manufacturer's views on local taxes and regulations; Gary Cox on the Cancer story (media coverage analyzed in a large collection at the end); Dr. Rodu on proposed massive Swedish Snus tax; Gary Conley on VT's tax proposal, and C.V. Phillips on how "oppressed populations" are rhetorically treated by both their allies and opponents.



    Title: Data From England Suggest E-Cigarettes Help Smokers Quit
    (Reason foundation blog)
    Data From England Suggest E-Cigarettes Help Smokers Quit - Hit & Run : Reason.com
    Jacob Sullen on data from England also discussed by Dr. Seigel here: http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/04/new-data-from-england-suggest-that.html

    Title: Unreviewed, preliminary conference paper brightens prohibitionists’ eyes
    (ECF's InfoZone)
    Unreviewed, preliminary conference paper brightens prohibitionists' eyes - ECF InfoZone
    Gary Cox on the recent Nature article, which cites the S.J. Park study, coverage of which is analyzed below in the collections section. The Nature article references a conference abstract which is getting re-hashed due to the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting on 4/6, even though it was already presented at the Third AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on the Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer on 1/6.

    Title: E-Cigs Ruled Illegal In Australia
    (Richard Puddlecote's blog)
    See this ECF thread: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/fo...cco-cigs-ruled-illegal-western-australia.html

    Title: New estimates double size of US e-cigarette market; increasing importance of refillable and modified devices.
    (Nic. Science & Policy)
    New estimates double size of US e-cigarette market; increasing importance of refillable and modified devices. - Nicotine Science and Policy
    More on the increased figures of the US vaping market from Wells Fargo's Bonnie Herzog group.

    Title: Swedish Tax Proposal Threatens Successful Tobacco Harm Reduction
    (Dr. Rodu's blog)
    Sweden is considering raising the tax on snus, which would make it cost more than a pack of cigarettes.

    Title: Research & Commentary: Taxing and Regulating E-Cigarettes in Vermont
    Research & Commentary: Taxing and Regulating E-Cigarettes in Vermont | Heartland Institute
    Greg Conley addresses the misguided efforts by governments to apply cigarette taxes to vaping.

    Title: Sunday scientist lesson: The extra effort required for ethical study of oppressed people
    (C.V. Phillips' blog) Sunday scientist lesson: The extra effort required for ethical study of oppressed people | Anti-THR Lies and related topics
    About the manner in which folks on both sides of the THR line view the use of certain words and characterizations - both those who oppose THR, and those who favor it.

    Title: Bill Godshall Update 2014-04-10
    (Bill Godshall's Blog) Bill Godshall Update 2014-04-10
    Bill's April updates through 4/10.



    Title: WHO plans to regulate e-cigarettes in same way as normal tobacco
    (Int'l financial paper) http://www.ft

    This applies to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which has not been ratified by the US as well as another 17 countries that have either not signed or not ratified (including Argentina, El Salvador, Indonesia, Monaco, and Switzerland). The FCTC requires indoor smoking bans, advertising prohibitions, minor sales/possession bans, and other requirements such as packaging and labelling standards:
    "Leaked documents seen by the Financial Times revealed that parts of the WHO are keen to classify the battery-powered devices as tobacco under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a WHO treaty that obliges governments to curtail smoking rates across the globe. [...] Dr Haik Nikogosian, who oversees the secretariat of the FCTC, said that e-cigarettes 'could result in a new wave of the tobacco epidemic', in a meeting that set the agenda for the November meeting in Moscow, according to minutes seen by the FT. He added that 'he felt more importance should be given to the threat posed by electronic cigarettes', according to the minutes. Attendees at the meeting, which included representatives from the WHO's six global regions, said that e-cigarettes 'would be considered as tobacco products as per the WHO FCTC' if they contained nicotine made from tobacco leaves, according to the minutes. This definition would cover the vast majority of e-cigarette companies, the bulk of whom manufacture liquid nicotine - which is heated, then inhaled as vapour - from tobacco leaves. [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
    Accoding to the FT story, a WHO spokesperson said: "We are in the middle of a process right now. The WHO position is not yet finalized."



    Title: Gran engulfed in flames after 'e-cigarette ignited her oxygen supply in hospital'
    (Manchester local paper MCH UK)
    Title: Gran fighting for life after she was engulfed in flames when 'e-cigarette ignited her oxygen supply in hospital'

    At least both papers put the headline in quotes. It's hard for Your Correspondent to believe that even a cheap cigAlike was able to ignite anything. The oxygen was administered "using tubes attached to her nose" and the woman "suffered burns to her face and head." Both papers report that "the investigation was launched after an electronic cigarette was discovered near to her hospital bed after the blast." It's too early to tell whether this one will go down in the urban lore, along with the UK puppy who ate the cartridge, the OK 4-year-old who spent a day vomiting after eating e-liquid, and so forth.



    Title: Don't Get Smoked Out by E-Cig Regulations - Leading manufacturers encourage retailers to take proactive stance [by Melissa Vonder Haar]
    (US Convenience Store and Fuel News trade 'zine) http://www.cspnet

    [From this week's NATO conf. (Nat'l Assn. of Tobacco Outlets), this report was filed by Melissa Vonder Haar, one of the most astute industry reporters around.]
    This piece covers two major areas.
    1) The large cigAlike companies all agreed that they are under fire from increasing regulations and negative press.
    Specifically that: "the industry has been too reactive, too passive in allowing for these regulations to be imposed before the public has been truly educated on the realities of electronic cigarettes." The article cites Logic Pres. Miguel Martin, R.J. Reynold's Vapor Co. Pres. Stephanie Cordisco, NJOY Sr. VP Vito Maurici, and Altria's Nu Mark div. Pres. Joe Murillo. Maurici says what most of us vapers who are watching the news already know.
    "Vito Maurici, senior vice president of sales and distribution for the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based NJOY, noted it was especially critical for retailers to get involved on the local level, where often such regulations are voted on with less than 24 hours of notice. '... with elected officials, there's an absence of information ... Therefore, they take the path of least resistance. It's very dangerous because ultimately, these kinds of regulations absent of science could make it easier for people to continue to smoke.' [boldface added]"
    The question is, what are they doing about it? And the answer is: apparently not much, although "...companies like Altria, Reynolds and NJOY all offer position papers and talking points to make the case against public e-cig bans or extreme taxation."
    But are they training their local retailers, and asking them to be pro-active? Well, Altria's Murillo says that they have "an employee dedicated to helping retailers fight back." (One?).
    Your Correspondent has to wonder whether the cigALike retailers are a very different group of folks than the vape shop owners - both in terms of their business model as well as their dedication to the industry.
    [What the story doesn't (explicitly) say is ...]
    If the future means that "big vapor" is going to do more than sell CigALikes as we've heard here and there, then they will have to be much more proactive in terms of training their retailers about vaping as well as getting them involved in fighting unnecessary taxes and regulation. It's one thing to stock packaged cigAlikes that get pulled off a hook and handed to a customer, but quite another to teach a new vaper how to use an APV or even so much as how fill a clearomizer. Let alone change a coil on a Vivi Nova, install a kick into a mechanical mod or rebuild a coil on a RDA. These are topics that many of the advanced vape shops are teaching their customers. Are the BT/BV cigAlike firms and their retailers ready for a market like that, and the kind of organizing that it's going to take to keep every American city, county and state from passing the harshest anti-vaping taxes and regulations that its politicians can be pushed into doing, by local health departments and Tobacco Control Industry-funded orgs like the ALA?

    Title: Big Three's E-Cig Play - With cash at ready, Altria, Reynolds, Lorillard to increase investments, [Wells Fargo's Bonnie] Herzog tells NATO [National Assn of Tobacco Outlets]
    (US Convenience Store and Fuel News trade 'zine) http://www.cspnet

    Coverage of Bonnie Herzog's presentation at NATO, in which she says a few things that shouldn't surprise anyone:
    1) The big three BT firms (Altria/PMI, R.J. Reynolds, and Lorillard) have the cash and the retail outlets to position themselves aggressively in a growing market, but there are huge challenges posed by the new "BV" (big vapor) firms such as NJOY and Logic, as well as the changing preferences of customers.
    2) "... e-cigs--or e-vapors as Herzog now describes them to expand the definition to vaping, tanks and mods--are in their relative infancy, representing approximately 1% of total tobacco share. And Herzog, who is on record predicting electronic puffs [all e-vapor] will exceed combustible cigarette sales within a decade, expects Reynolds and Altria to rapidly grow market share as they launch their e-cig brands, Vuse and MarkTen, nationwide this year. [square braketed portion in original]"
    3) But huge challenges ahead for the non-cigAlike portion of the market, based on potential FDA action.
    4) Reynolds really will take over Lorillard (rumored for a long time, Herzog says it definitely will occur).
    5) Revnues from OTP (other tobacco products) will continue to grow.

    Title: Judge restores $120 million in tobacco settlement to Pennsylvania
    (Reuters) http://www.reuters

    On 3/9, this space reported that an MSA arbitrator agreed with some OPMs (original participating manufacturers) from the MSA who claimed that the states failed to enforce the provisions which penalized the competitors to the OPMs. Pennsylvania has apparently gotten back 2/3 of the $180M that it would've lost had the arbitrator's decision been upheld. There's another $320M at stake as a result of the ruling for Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, and Maryland. As many vapers know, funds for the MSA are used to fund the Tobacco Control Industry, including local cessation officers who lobby elected officials, NGOs such as the ALA, and of course the Tobacco Control publitions, conferences, and research institutes. (In simple terms: Stanton Glantz's salary comes at least in part from MSA funds.)

    Title: Are e-cigarettes a safe way to kick the habit? [by Kaiser Permanente]
    (Kaiser Permanente's Web site for the American Federation of Gov't Employees)
    Kaiser Permaente advises smokers to avoid vaping as cessation on the grounds that it's not "safe:"
    "Safety concerns While many people may think e-cigarettes are safe, at press time they haven't been FDA-approved. 'One of the things that concerns us about e-cigarettes is that you don't know exactly how much nicotine you're getting,' says Albert Ray, MD, physician director for patient education and health promotion for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. With other forms of nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches and gum, nicotine delivery is regulated, with small amounts released slowly into the bloodstream, so you know exactly how much you are getting. Another concern is the addition of flavors such as bubble gum and gummy bears that make e-cigarettes more appealing to young people [exactly how this fits into the topic is unclear - are they saying that smokers should regard vaping as an 'unsafe' approach to cessation because flavors may appeal to children, or is the point here to simply encourage smokers to feel that vaping is a social problem?]
    Bottom line: Use FDA-approved treatments instead
    [para breaks omitted,Boldfaced headiings from original]

    Title: Is the Young E-Cig Industry Already Running Out of Puff?
    (Investment analysis site) http://www.fool

    Between the competition in the US market and the looming dangers of regulation, is there enough market share for all the competitors? This piece doesn't make a particularly strong argument either way, but it does review some of the recent pushes by Altria's (formerly PMI) MarkTen and R.J. Reynold's Vuse. As readers of this space know, I'm not often impressed with Motely Fool articles (except those by Rich Duprey) and this one is no exception: in particular, the writer might have done well to read Duprey's last piece on the growth of non-cigAlikes, and/or Bonnie Herzog's new estimates out of her Wells Fargo group (see the blog from Nic Policy Archive above, in the first section).

    {Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
    Title: The 4 Best Ways Proven to Help Smokers Quit
    (Yahoo Finance via Money Talks News) http://finance.yahoo

    Vaping? Don't even think about it as cessation. Case closed:
    "Least effective of all? Stopping cold turkey, and doing it without help. You may tell yourself, 'I got into this by myself and I can get out of it.' But that fails to take into account how powerful a nicotine habit can be. About 90 percent of smokers who try to quit have tried going cold turkey and just 10 percent succeed, WebMD says. Ditto -- so far, at least -- for über trendy e-cigarettes. 'Researchers followed nearly 1,000 smokers for a year and found that those who used e-cigarettes were no more likely to quit smoking or reduce their dependence on tobacco cigarettes than those who weren't using the products at the beginning of the study,' writes The Boston Globe. [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
    Well, there ya go. A thousand smokers - now that's a thorough study. [Readers of this space may recall how Boston Globe writer Deborah Kotz rewrote an article on 3/31 which was originally posted on 3/24 which analyzed the junk JAMA Internal Medicine letter by Grana et al. which has now become the cornerstone of the "vaping doesn't help smokers quit" factoid - now firmly established in the US media. After quoting Dr. Siegal's criticisms of the JAMA letter, Ms. Kotz dismisses them as "fighting words" and then calmly goes on to conclude from a study involving 88 smokers (who just happened to have vaped) that the question of whether vaping helps smokers quit is now bolstered by additional evidence. Of course if a few more of those 88 had quit, then the results would've been entirely different, but the small sample size isn't enough to turn a study into an anectdote. Now, this despicable treatment of the facts has itself become elevated to the status of 'fact.']
    So-o, now that we know that anectdotes are the same as "studies," what really does work, according to our reprehensibly-biased author who cares not a whit for the welfare of those few readers who might (sadly) be foolhardy enough to regard her utter lack of concern for the truth as medically-useful information?
    1) WebMD is cited for Chantix. (Side effects? Not worth mentioning, evidently.)
    2) Zyban (Wellbutrin) is next.
    3) NRT is next (WebMD again) is cited.
    4) After that, we hear about the possibility of using more than one of these choices (uh, does the author know or care that there are possible risks?), and of course - support groups.
    So-o, who funds the Money Talks News Service? The answer is that they'll take money from anyone. This is what happens when "health news" is for sale to the highest bidder. (See: WebMD). Incidently, here's the analysis of Deborah Koltz's rewrite of her Boston Globe article:

    Title: 9 Ways You’re Probably Damaging the Vaping Movement and Making Us Look Like Idiots
    (CigALike manufacturer-supported ad site) http://www.churnmag

    I try to avoid posting articles from ad sites, but this well-written short piece is definitely worth a few laughs.

    Title: Researchers have figured out how to map the social influence of public smoking
    (US Nat'l paper) http://www.washingtonpost

    Although this piece says nothing about vaping, it's fairly clear that the methods could be applied to it, especially if/when vaping overtakes tobacco smoking in various nations around the world, and the Tobacco Control Industry devotes all of its resources, media savvy, and research efforts towards the goal of reducing the prevalence of vaping.
    "The researchers -- Amber Pearson and George Thomson of the University of Otago and Daniel Nutsford of the University of Canterbury -- collected 28 hours of observational data on 411 smokers outside bars and restaurants in downtown Wellington. They then used the data to create three-dimensional 'viewsheds' of smoking on a map of the city's central business district, taking into account the actual height and footprints of local buildings and the plausible sight lines around them. "
    How precisely this form of graphical presentation will be used to "study the visual effects of just about any naughty or beneficial public behavior," is unclear. But surely the Tobacco Control Industry has the money to fund research into its uses, in order to study the extent to which vaping "renormalizes" smoking, or the incidence of teen smoking/vaping, as a result of visible adult vaping in certain areas of a city or town. (There's already a line of research regarding smoking prevalance based on the location of retail outlets, which may be used in the future by municipalities that wish to restrict the number of stores that can sell vaping supplies and equipment.)

    Title: E-cigarettes helped me quit smoking
    (US Nat'l paper) http://www.washingtonpost

    Nice letter from a vaper who quit, and who is now nic-free.



    Title: Let’s Follow Our Instincts On E-Cigarettes [editorial]
    (Newtown CT US local paper) http://www.newtownbee

    Brief editorial supports CT SB24 (formerly just "24"), the simple minor sales/possession ban introduced by Gov. Malloy that's now ready for the Sen floor. It contains this remarkably fair statement
    "Nicotine is highly addictive, as any tobacco smoker knows. While its physiological effects may seem as slight as caffeine, as Newtown's school health coordinator pointed out in our reporting on the subject this week, 'You would not be drinking coffee every 20 minutes, which is about how long nicotine affects the body.' Additionally, a recent study by the University of California at San Francisco found that adolescents who used e-cigarettes were more likely to smoke cigarettes and less likely to quit smoking. [para break omitted]"
    Despite referening the junk Dutra & Glantz study and glossing over its conflation of causality with correlation, it doesn't cite any numbers nor does the piece contain any other substantial junk. Although Your Correspondent would like to know what the school health coordinator thinks may be wrong with people who drink caffienated tea or coffee throughout the workday. No one has yet labelled us "addicts" seeking to "practice our addiction in public" (MN st. sen Sheran) or compared us to someone who is "taking a hit" off a bottle of booze around our neck (see next story out of MA).

    [ CT SB24 (proposed by gov) minor sales ban now ready for the sen. floor.
    HB 5286 - burdensome labelling requirements whose purposes is to "destroy the e-cig industry" (Bill Godshall): http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/fo...contents-nicotine-yield-hearing-feb-28-a.html



    Title: E-Cigarette Use on the Rise
    (Boston U. MA US student news video) http://bunewsservice

    Video piece is introduced as covering the "pros and cons" of vaping. Most vapers who follow the media know what that usually means (vaping has no "proven" benefits, and lots of "fears, concerns, and unknowns"). But surprisingly, the video has little of that. What does seem odd is that the reporter's focus seems to be exclusively on nicotine, so perhaps her background research indicated to her that nicotine dosages should be the principal focus of the story. She lcaims that nic. percentages are "unknown" (which is curious, since even cigAlike manufacturers are providing those on labels, and e-liquid containers always do), and also correctly notes that it's hard to tell how much e-liquid is "equivalent" to a pack of cigarettes - although it's not clear why anyone would care unless nicotine use was itself a problem. Instead of interviewing a local ALA rep., or an anti-vaping health professional, the anti-vaper in the video is identified only as a rep. of the "MA municipal association." (And like municipal associations everywhere, they're supporting efforts to tax and regulate vaping.) At 1:16, we hear this gem:
    "Can you imagine if someone walked around with a half-pint of booze wrapped around their neck, and just every now and then, took a hit off of it. We'd be shocked by that." (One has to wonder whether he could imagine how we'd all feel if someone walked around with a cup of caffienated tea or coffee, and "took a hit off of it" every now and then. This is a developing meme: vapers are effectively drug addicts, and we've seen this reflected both in the research perspectives of the public health community, as well as in statements by the odd politician, such as MN st. sen. Kathy Sheran.)
    Then we cut to a vape store owner who argues that nicotine dosages are actually less with vaping (presumably in response to questions from the reporter, since it seems rather odd that he would say so, unprompted).
    The piece concludes with an examination of the minor gateway argument. The MA Municipal Assn rep. says: "The goal here is to get youth to start using these flavored cheap products, in order for them to someday be a regular cigarette smoker." (Sounds as if he's got his ALA talking points down. Except, of course, that no company which offers flavors also sells tobacco cigarettes.)
    Cut back to a vaper at the end, who points out that she knows the difference between tobacco cigarettes and vaping. (Really?)
    Back to the Municipal Assn Rep. who says that the choice isn't between vaping and smoking tobacco cigarettes, it's the choice between neither and either. A stance which vapers know by the familiar phrase: Quit, or die.

    [ HB 3726 would ban vaping wherever smoking is banned, see CASAA call: CASAA: Call to Action! Massachusetts E-Cigarette Usage Ban -- HB 3726 (formerly HB 3639) (UPDATED) ]



    Title: 'Vape Lounge' businesses are smoking hot on Staten Island (with photos and video)
    (Staten Island NY US local newspaper collection site) http://www.silive

    General survey article focuses on one local vape lounge, quotes a few vapers. The obligatory ALA quote is typical:
    "'E-cigarettes simulate smoking, undermine smoke-free laws and are increasingly popular with young people. Yet without any federal regulation, the public has no guarantees on how they're made, what toxins they may contain or how many they emit. This is a terrifying combination.,' said Michael Davoli of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. 'Furthermore, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence suggests that e-cigarettes may serve as a gateway to cigarette use for young people. ... We are alarmed at the growth of 'vapor lounges.' They have the potential to undermine NYC's enormously effective smoke-free air laws and re-normalize smoking in our society.' [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"

    [ There are THREE different things going on in NY:
    1) Ban the sale of e-liquid (SB 3969 - see CASAA calls in above thread)
    2) Taxes covered by AB 8594 / SB 6610 (95% wholesale) OR SB 4365 / AB 7106 (75% wholesale). See this ECF thread with the CASAA call:
    3) Vaping=smoking indoor clean air act extension bans vaping whereever smoking is prohibited (AB 8178 / SB 6562) - CASAA call in the first thread, also discussion is here:



    Title: E-cigarette tax plan will hurt business, NJ convenience store owners say
    (Monmouth/Ocean Co. NJ US local paper) http://www.app

    This is a remarkably balanced piece, which lacks even a single smidgen of junk. It's actually pro-vaping. Some excerpts:
    "It isn’t a new strategy. Policymakers seeking to raise revenue often resort to so-called sin taxes – on alcohol, gambling, smoking. After all, if taxpayers don’t like it, they can change their behavior – for the better. But convenience store owners say taxing e-cigarettes penalizes smokers who would otherwise resort to tobacco. And it hurts their business."
    In the closing paragraphs of this short article, the writer does a good job of emphasizing the weakness of the st. Treas' (and Gov. Christie's) position:
    "The health effects of e-cigarettes aren't known, state Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff told the Assembly Budget Committee last week. The state will exempt e-cigarettes that regulators say helps stop smoking. But, he said, lawmakers already restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. 'Tax parity is the logical next step: as a matter of tax policy,' he said. 'Why should we favor one form of delivering highly addictive, tobacco-derived nicotine over another, especially in light of the unknown health risks and the obvious marketing focus on youth and young adults?'[para break omitted, boldface added]"
    (The bolded portion appears to refer to the point that taxes are approproate so long as a product isn't approved for cessation.)
    The last paragraph of the article sums it up:
    "[Gas station owner] Gill, however, thinks the higher tax will punish two constituents: smokers trying to wean themselves off tobacco and independent convenience stores trying to stay afloat as the competition bears down."

    [ NJ's house bill A1080 was originally proposed as a ban on tobacco smoking in parks and beaches, but was immediately ammended to include vaping as soon as it got on to the house floor. Passed by the house last month, now ready for the Sen:
    Also, Gov. Christie says he wants to tax vaping at the same rate as analogs, and S1867 has been introduced in the Sen. for that purpose:
    CASAA: Call to Action! New Jersey's Governor Christie is Proposing a Tax on E-Cigarettes at the Same Rate as Combustible Cigarettes (Significantly UPDATED 3-27-14)

    Title: NJ tax on e-cigarettes will keep smokers smoking: Letter
    (Newark NJ local paper) http://www.nj

    Junk-free letter from Gilbert Ross of ACSH lauds the Star-Ledger's anti-tax editorial and points out what every vaper knows - it would hurt businesses in the state by putting them at a competitive disadvantage with online sales and other states, and also that it would discourage cigarette smokers from turning to vaping as a form of cessation.

    Title: E-cigarettes not exempt from risks of nicotine
    (Monmouth/Ocean Co. NJ US local paper)
    This isn't really a typical "story" in the sense that it's written by one or more reporters, nor is it an editorial/opinion piece. DIrectly underneath the headline, this boldface text is printed:
    "Story: There are far fewer toxic chemicals in e-cigarette smoke than in traditional cigarette smoke, but the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes is a higher and more pure dose of nicotine than contained in regular cigarettes."
    That's followed by quotes from people who are only identified by name. After googling three of them who appeared to have slightly unusual names, I've concluded that we're looking at some reader feedback. However the article says absolutely nothing about the way in which these comments were collected. Curiously, most of them are relatively pro-vaping, other than one reference to a "Harvard" study (metal nanoparticles).



    Title: House approves e-cigarette regulations
    (Wilmington DE US local paper) http://www.delawareonline

    DE's HB 241, a simple minor sales/possession ban, gets through the house. CDC minor stats are quoted but no other junk.



    This three-part series is a great example of how a reporter who apparently has no preconcieved bias against vaping can end up casaully dropping a large number of problematic (and uncritcally-presented) "factoids," because there's so much anti-vaping information out there. She seems to have bent over backwards to try to find as many positives as possible given the informational choices available to her - which may have been heavily-influenced by the local health dep't official. Incidently the director of the Carroll County Health Department's cigarette restitution fund program, says that "it's not known" whether vaping is any safe than smoking tobacco cigarettes, which is what we hear from health officials everywhere. Of course few local reporters operating under deadline have much of a choice about reporting that.
    [ MD's legislature will not be back in session until 2015. ]

    {Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
    Title: E-cigarettes 101 [#1 of 3 articles in this paper by the same reporter]
    (Westminster MD US local paper) http://www.carrollcountytimes

    [First of three articles produced by this reporter for a special Sunday focus on vaping. It may be that the local health authorities and/or ALA are preparing the ground for local ordinances. The first four of five parts in this article are fairly unremarkable. The last part is entitled Who uses e-cigarettes?.]
    Nothing about cessation is discussed, but CDC Dir. Tom Frieden is quoted as saying that he has no idea whether this will increase or decrease tobacco smoking. (Surprise, surprise.) However the Grana et al. junk letter isn't citied. Last three paragraphs are devoted to children (another surprise), and the survey piece ends with another Friedan quote:
    "'The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling,' Frieden stated in a news release. "Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes."
    However we don't hear about Dutra & Glantz until the second piece, which makes Your Correspondent suspect that this one may have been entirely based on the FDA and CDC web site pages devoted to vaping.

    {Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
    Title: Students find e-cigarettes an attractive product [#2 of 3 articles in this paper by the same reporter]
    (Westminster MD US local paper) http://www.carrollcountytimes

    This one begins innocously enough with two local vape shops, whose owners go out of their way to indicate how proactive they are regarding acess to minors. Unfortunately, the second store's owner seems to have been oblivious to the nature of press coverage, and unintentionally provides a reporter with the transition needed to get us to the ultimate point of this piece - vaping is hooking children on nicotine, who will later become cigarette smokers (Dutra & Glantz is on the horizon, of course):
    "'My biggest concern is anything that promotes us to put more nicotine in our system. I don't know that it's a good thing,' he said, sitting inside his store, his personal e-cigarettes nearby. 'I'm behind the industry 100 percent in the aspect that it helps people give up cigarettes, but whenever it's being used for recreation and fun, that's where we're going to have problems. I'm already seeing it here in my store.' His biggest concern lies with e-liquids that contain those high levels of nicotine -- and the younger generation that attempts to get its hands on those products. They might not be smoking cigarettes, Large said, but they could be heading for a 'very, very big nicotine problem.' And he's not the only one with concerns. [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
    We segue to the local high schools, which have had 80 vaping incidents this year, compared with 28 last year (probably roughly comparable to adult use). Of course there's no mention of tobacco cigarettes (or drugs or alcohol) - as usual the figures are offered without context.
    And now it's time for Dutra & Glantz, which is naturally served up without a syllable of skepticism (for example, about the confusion between correlation and causality). It appears that the writer of this story hasn't read the original study (or anything like it), but simply cut-and-pasted quotes from some of the coverage. For example:
    "'As much as people would like to argue that 'Oh, these are recreational products for adults,' it really seems like these companies are targeting kids,' she said, 'and we find that very disconcerting because nicotine is so addictive.'[...]There's a perception among some students that the product is cool, Dutra said. There's appealing flavors like gummy bears and bubblegum and Skittles. There's e-cigarettes with USB drives and ones that light up. 'I think there's a lot of [manufacturers] using the current generation's fascination with technology to sell them this product,' Dutra said. 'It's an attractive product, absolutely [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
    In a final effort to be balannced, the reporter ends the piece with a reference to another vaper who has quit smoking:
    "But there are those on the opposite end of the spectrum who say e-cigarettes are helping them avoid carcinogenic cigarettes. Some, like Brandon Smith, of Taneytown, have stopped smoking and are steadily decreasing their e-cigarette's nicotine level with the overall goal of inhaling nothing but flavoring. 'It's certainly tricky because we are seeing a new product that we really don't know much about,' Dutra said. 'As far as we know, yes, it's probably better for you than cigarettes, but it's probably worse for you than nothing.'[para break omitted]"

    {Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
    Title: The e-cigarette dilemma [#3 of 3 articles in this paper by the same reporter]
    (Westminster MD US local paper) http://www.carrollcountytimes

    Now it's time to introduce a local health official (fortuately there doesn't appear to be a local ALA rep., otherwise things would doubtlessly have been a great deal worse: the same would likely be true if the paper's editor had intervened and done their best to make the pieces into hit jobs by selectively cutting).
    "Everywhere Barbara White goes, she said, it seems someone asks her about the devices. The director of the Carroll County Health Department's cigarette restitution fund program tells them the jury is still out. 'We don't know that it's safer than using tobacco,' she will say. 'We don't know that it's completely safe.' [...] Some say the device has helped them quit smoking, and the 2014 surgeon general report states nicotine-delivery devices that better substitute for cigarettes might help with the goal of becoming a smokeless society. But public health officials are quick to note there's a lack of scientific research on e-cigarettes as an effective smoking cessation tool. The products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. It activates multiple biologic pathways pertaining to fetal growth and development, immune function, the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system and more, according to the surgeon general's 2014 report. 'Nicotine is highly toxic,' White said, 'so could you imagine if your kid or your dog got a hold of one of those little bottles?' [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
    So-o now it's time for the poison control center calls, and some (but not all) of the alarming Tom Frieden quotes from the CDC's press release are used.
    This final article in the three-part series closes with the local Health Dep't official, as one might anticipate:
    "'Definitely we don’t know what the long-term effects of the e-cigarette are,' White said, 'and that’s something that may take a few years to figure out.'"



    Title: With e-cigs falling in gray legal area, there are more questions than answers
    (Winston-Salem NC US local paper) http://www.journalnow

    Title: Questions arise as e-cigs fall in grey legal area
    (Greensboro & Winston-Salem NC US fox affiliate) http://myfox8

    Local health dir. is quoted for nothing more than the observation that "tobacco free" isn't the same as "smoke free" and that local business owners currently have discretion about permitting indoor vaping under applicable state and local law. Pres. of NC Restaurant & Lodging Assn. says that there hasn't been "one single complaint." Cites Bill G. as saying that the FDA may try to ban vaping products in a "'misguided attempt to apply the quit-or-die approach to all tobacco products.'". Remarkably mild comment from med. school prof, other than an apparent reference to "third hand vape:"
    "John Spangler. a professor of family and community medicine at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, said there is 'likely not a large immediate second-hand effect of electronic-cigarette vapor.' 'The amount dispersed into the air comes only from the person vaping. Much of the nicotine has already been absorbed in the person's lung. Also, there is no side stream vapor, whereas with cigarettes, a lot of the most toxic smoke is the nonfiltered smoke from the burning cigarette end. 'Having said that, we do not know what will eventually happen to the nicotine that settles in the environment.' [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
    Some local adminstrators are quoted as saying that vaping is banned in their venus because of the possbility that authorities may confuse vaping with a violation of the smoking policy, but apparently for no other reason (one venue appears to be hospital complexes, the other is a sports stadium).
    No apparent junk in this piece other than the "THV" (third-hand-vape) impllication quoted above.

    [Repost due to syndication]
    Title: E-cigs on rise; smokers tout vapor as beneficial
    (Laurinburg NC US local paper) http://www.laurinburgexchange

    Title: Traditional tobacco going up in smoke
    (Rockingham NC US local paper) http://www.yourdailyjournal

    Given that this little paper is based in a city of barely 10,000 and serves a county of 46,000, it's astounding that the writing and the research appear to be top-notch. Nary a scintella of junk is concealed within the flawless yet deceptively humble prose style of the reporter. Most of the piece seems to be focused on a new local vape store/lounge (and yes, indoor vaping is still legal there).



    Title: Banning e-cig sales to minors wins more support
    (AP) http://www.wbrz

    LA's HB 208, a simple minor sales/possession ban (same as SB 12) is now ready for the house floor. SB 12 has already been passed by the sen. No junk in this short note.
    [ LA's SB 491 is an indoor clean air act vaping=smoking extension. See:
    CASAA call at:
    CASAA: Call to Action! Louisiana E-Cigarette Usage Ban Also: SB 12 - simple minor sales/possession ban - is ready for the full sen.



    Title: E-cigarette stores opening in Knoxville
    (Knockville TN US local news site) http://www.knoxvilledailysun

    Two vape stores opening - not one word of junk.
    [ TN legislature will adjorn "mid-April". Minor ban in place. CASAA supports HB 1461 which would exempt vaping from indoor clean air act: CASAA: Call to Action! (UPDATED) SUPPORT Tennessee Bill that Excludes E-Cigarettes from Smoking Bans and Tobacco Taxes ]



    Title: Council bans sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18
    (Louisville KY US local paper) http://www.courier-journal

    Gov. Beshear signs KY's SB 109, a simple minor sales/possession ban. Louisville City Council just passed a similar ord. which would also ban the sale/use of shisha. No other threats in KY, legislature will adjorn this week.



    Title: E-cigarette ban spark action by DeSoto [Co.] supervisors
    (AP) http://www.sunherald

    Title: DeSoto County considers e-cigarette ban
    (Memphis TN US NBC affiliate) http://www.wmctv

    According to a 3/20 AP report, DeSoto county supervisors banned indoor/outdoor vaping in all county facilities last month (as reported in this space on 3/21). These two stories appear to disagree about why there's any continued discussion. The more recent AP story (first link) indicates that: "Board attorney Tony Nowak says there's now some question about e-cigarettes under a smoking ban."
    However the local NBC story says that there's some question about whether a ban applicable to the general public would violate state law. This may be an issue of pre-emption, since MS has no statewide clean indoor air act that applies to vaping.

    [ MS legislature is out of session until 2015. ]



    {Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
    Title: Lawmakers seek regulation of e-cigarette liquids
    (Chicago IL US local paper) http://www.chicagotribune

    Report on IL HB 5689 that ties it together with the CDC's press release about poison control center calls. HB 5689 would ban all sales of e-liquid in IL until the health dep't issues standards, i.e. an effective indefinate prohibition. Remarkably, the piece doesn't contain some of the most alarmist quotes from the now-infamous NYT article ("Selling Poison by the Barrel") and has some feedback from vapers - e.g. the fact that there were 20,000 poison control center calls regarding toothpaste in 2012. See below for the ECF thread on the bill, which has passed the house and is now in the Sen. See ECF thread below for more info.
    [ Most serious threat in IL right now is HB 5689, which has passed the house, and which would ban the sale of e-liquid until the IL Health Dep't issues standards:
    CASAA: Call to Action! Illinois Bill Would Ban Sale of Liquid for E-Cigarettes Until Illinois Department of Public Health Establishes Packaging Standards
    And this thread:
    IL is also considering two bills that require vaping supplies (but not non-cigarette tobacco) to be behind the counter (HB 5868 = SB 3268), see: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/fo...counter-exempts-tobacco-specialty-stores.html Also worth watching: SB2659, which would ban smoking in cars containing a minor - however the definition doesn't currently include vaping (and is still in the Public Health Cmte, with a status of "postponed." See: Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for SB2659

    {Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
    Title: Survey proposes a smoke-free campus [Opinion]
    (W. IL U. Macomb IL US student paper) http://www.westerncourier

    Editorial lauds survey of students and staff regarding a proposal for a "smoke free" campus, but says absolutely nothing about vaping. This is the usual "vaping is bad-by-assocation with cigarette smoking" tactic, also used in the 2012 referendum in ND, the recent referendum in St. Joseph MO, and AK's indoor "smoking" ban (HB 360 = SB 209). As a practical matter, this survey is likely to have little effect, because IL's SB 2202 would ban vaping on every IL college campus. Of course the bill's preamble says nothing about vaping, but focuses on the dangers of tobacco smoking.



    Title: City considering banning e-cig sales to youth
    (Mexia TX US local paper) http://www.mexiadailynews

    No text, just a headline
    [ TX's legislature is out of session for the year, unless Gov. Perry calls for a special session. ]

    Title: City shies away from e-cig ban: Outlaws sales to minors [no indoor vaping ban]
    (Baytown TX local paper) http://baytownsun.com/news/article_d6e7b204-c28d-11e3-8de4-001a4bcf887a

    Most of this article is behind a pay wall, the two sentences that I could read basically confirm the headline. Baytown may only be the fourth city in the US to pass on an indoor vaping prohibition: Laguna Beach CA, Aberdeen SD, and Yakima WA.

    Title: New restrictions on e-cigarette sales, usage in Bedford
    (Ft. Worth TX US fox affiliate) http://www.myfoxdfw

    Bedford TX bans sales/possession to minors and also passes vaping=smoking indoor/outdoor usage ban. No explaination was given in this short junk-free announcement.

    Title: City of Bedford Bans E-Cigarettes in Non-Smoking Areas
    (Dallas-Ft. Worth TX US NBC affiliate) http://www.nbcdfw

    Vaping=smoking indoor/outdoor ban, also ban on minor sales/possession. No reasons given for the former in this brief junk-free announcement.



    {Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
    Title: Big Tobacco lurks behind e-cigarettes [... therefore vaping is bad, and anti-vaping laws are good]
    (Twin Cities local paper) http://www.startribune

    Hit job article by sen. Kathy Sheran, who introduced SF 2027, MN's indoor/outdoor clean air act extension that would classify vaping as smoking, and prohibit it both indoors and outdoors whereever smoking is prohibited. MN residents and/or readers of this space may be familiar w/ Sen Sheran, who seemed to have memorized every talking point fed to her by the ALA org. CLEARWAY MN in an interview with Twin Cities PBS covered by this space on 3/15.
    In a nutshell: vaping is bad because BT has bought up cigAlike companies, and has a history of doing bad things. This also means that anti-vaping proposals are good public policy, because BT opposes them. Given all the other junk that could be thrown at vapers, Your Correspondent is actually rather astonished that such a weak argument would've been welcomed by the Star-Trib, which is surely one of the most anti-vaping papers in the country (along with the S. Jersey times and the SacBee):
    1) "Lack of regulation has allowed e-cigarette companies to return to marketing techniques that were used for decades to sell tobacco - many of them now banned by law. TV commercials, billboards, cartoons, sexualized ads and celebrity endorsements are all being used again. Many of these techniques appeal to children and teenagers. [boldface added]"
    (Okay so kids watch ads. And this is significant, because?)
    2) "The companies are also using candy flavors such as 'Bubble Gum,' 'Hawaiian Punch,' 'Fruit Loop' 'Cinnamon Toast Crunch' -- the list goes on and on. Adult e-cigarette users protest that sweet flavors are not designed to appeal to kids. As evidence, they point out that they like sweet flavors themselves. Well, no one is saying that adults don't like candy flavors. What we do know is that children love them and that adding flavors is a tactic the tobacco industry has historically used to target kids.[boldface added)"
    (And since flavors are offered in e-liquids, that must mean "they" are doing this again, right? Oops, BT doesn't actually offer any flavors except menthol.)
    3) "The threat of the tobacco problem repeating itself through e-cigarettes is real. Our country has spent 50 years working to get smoking out of the public eye, and the tobacco industry has fought these initiatives every step of the way.
    (Hmm. Isn't that the real problem? The public shouldn't be able to see anything that "looks like" smoking, right?)
    4) "They are engaged in the e-cigarette fight, too -- their lobbyists have been at every hearing our bills have received, and they are working to persuade individual lawmakers every day. In testimony, a representative for e-cigarette retailers openly acknowledged the 'odd allegiance' that exists between e-cigarettes and the classic tobacco industry."
    (Ah ha. Since BT opposes the legislation, that means that the legislation must be good public policy.)
    5) "Some with concerns over the Senate bill have suggested that it is unsympathetic to smokers. That is certainly not our intention. Smokers are not bad people, and neither are e-cigarette users. However, anyone who uses e-cigarettes should be aware that the tobacco industry has a history of addicting customers, while simultaneously making them feel empowered. Moving people off nicotine was never Big Tobacco's goal -- and it still isn't. [boldface added]"
    (Unfortunately Sen. Sheran also referred to vapers as "addicts" who want to "practice their addiction in public." Does that mean they're "not bad people" ? The tobacco industry also has a history of hiring workers. Does that mean that jobs are bad? And what about the huge number of vapers who have nothing at all to do with the tobacco industry? Should they think twice about vaping because BT has recently bought up cigAlike manufacturers?)
    The conclusion:
    "Make no mistake, Big Tobacco is back in Minnesota, trying to return us to the days when nicotine addiction was the norm. We shouldn’t be fooled again."

    [ No threats in MN, unless Gov. Dayton changes his mind about opposing SF 2027 (a statewide indoor/outdoor vaping=smoking ban). Legislature adjorns May 19. ]


    US: IOWA

    Title: Letter to the editor: Iowa’s e-cigarette bill should not pass
    (Des Moines IA US local paper)
    Local MD rails against IA's HF 2109, a simple minor sales/possesion ban, because it doesn't define PVs as tobacco products, and therefore it will "set the stage" for vaping to be treated differently than smoking. This is the same issue that we're seeing in a number of places around the country, such as FL (and it's why OR failed to pass its own simple minor sales/possession ban.
    [ HF 2109 (formerly HSB 566) simple minor sales ban is ready for Sen. SF 2038 also a minor sales ban but would require tobacco licenses for vendors. ]



    Title: Kansas City Council Committee Urges E-Cigarette Ban On Buses
    (KC MO US public radio) http://kcur

    "Dr. Rex Archer of the Health Department told the Public Safety committee there is no data on adverse health effects of the vapors emitted from the devices, but there is no question about the danger of the liquids that fuel them. 'They are lethal, Archer said. 'A person has already committed suicide using these products. We've had huge numbers of increases at Poison Control of persons being accidentally poisoned, including a number of children, with these devices.' He adds that some persons use the e-cigarettes and pipes to smoke illegal substances, exposing others nearby to those fumes. [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
    The council is expected to pass the ban. Presumably this would apply to oudoor vaping at bus shelters, etc.

    [ Missouri presently only has a simple minor ban under consideration SB 841 = HB 1690 and: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/fo...acco-derived-product-vapor-product-minor.html ]

    Title: MU experts join national debate on the good and the bad of e-cigarettes
    (U MO Columbia US student paper) http://mizzouweekly.missouri

    It's not clear what the point of this article is, given that UMO already has a vape-free campus:
    "As for MU's smoke-free policy, e-cigarettes were banned because of the confusion the products create due to their resemblance to tobacco cigarettes, said Tiffany Bowman, tobacco cessation coordinator for MU's Wellness Resource Center. 'I believe this was a wise decision on the part of administration because we are still learning about the dangers of e-cigarettes, and we need a policy that is easily enforceable,' Bowman said. [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
    The article then goes into the minor gateway argument (without citing any specific studies or quotes, just the use of celebrities to advertise, the flavors that "taste good" (no mention of cotton candy or bubble gum), and finally we hear about the "health issues:"
    1) "Angel Rolando Peralta, a pulmonary, critical care and environmental medicine fellow at University Hospital, said that subsequent studies confirmed toxicity in the e-cigarettes. 'However, the levels were much less than those present in cigarette smoke and also similar to those found in already FDA-approved nicotine replacement forms,' such as a nicotine patchs and inhalers, she said.[para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
    2) "The vapor emitted is propylene glycol, which some health experts claim can irritate the lungs. But the ingredient is also used in hospitals, such as for inhaled medications, and is considered safe, said Rolando Peralta, who is writing a paper on e-cigarettes."
    3) "There is also no evidence yet that e-cigarettes lead to smoking traditional cigarettes. [WOW. Astonishing that even a student-written article would dare to tell the truth there.]"
    4) "E-cigarettes' best use might be as a smoke cessation, Rolando Peralta said. Their advantage over nicotine patches and lozenges could be that e-cigarettes also satisfy the behavioral rituals of tobacco smokers, she said. But Everett doubts that e-cigarettes will be approved as a cessation device. 'To date, I only have seen e-cigarettes positioned as an ‘alternative to smoking,' ' Everett said. 'I am not sure that the e-cig industry will go through the necessary studies to prove these devices as a cessation device.'[para break omitted]"
    Your Correspondent is unaware of any situation anywhere in the world in which vaping - once banned - has ever been reinstated, so perhaps this article is simply intended to be a reminder to the university community that only FDA-approved cessation methods will be permissible.



    Title: Forum editorial: The ‘no’ applies to e-cigs
    (Fargo ND-based news collection site)
    General anti-vaping rant:
    1) Vapor is poisonous to vapers and bystanders, because of heavy metals as well as nic.
    2) Vaping is a plot by BT to hook keep smokers smoking, and is marketed by BT to children.
    3) No basis for assuming that vaping helps smokers quit, and no matter what restrictions are applied against vaping, that won't stop cessation.
    4) Voters overwhelmingly voted for the 2012 clean indoor air act [which included vaping in addition to tobacco burning].
    What precipitated this rant is unclear, other than perhaps some comments by legislators? It's especially curious given that a number of ND towns (including Fargo) have already passed clean air acts that replicate ND state law (although also add city parks and municipal parking lots, etc.).

    [ No current threats in the ND legislature, which doesn't meet regularly. ]



    Title: Bill banning e-cigarette sales to minors approved by Oklahoma House
    (Tulsa OK local paper) http://www.tulsaworld

    SB 1602, a simple minor sales/possession ban, which no longer defines vaping products as "tobacco products" was unanimously passed by the OK house. No junk.
    [ SB 1892 is a mixed bag for proponents of smoke-free alternatives, because it raises the tax on Snus and other smokeless products, but exempts vaping. See: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/fo...g-bills-introduced-oklahoma-hearing-held.html
    and: Oklahoma -- OK! - ECF InfoZone

    Title: Bill banning e-cigarette sales to minors clears Oklahoma House
    (OK City OK US local paper) http://newsok

    Similar to above, also junk-free. Interesting comment by House spkr Hickman who points out at the end of the article that vaping is a cessation tool, and the last sentence indicates that vapers can go nic-free. Hickman might be a potential friend of vapers. Incidently OK's SB 1892, which would've exempted vaping from special taxes, died in cmte on Weds night according to both Legiscan and the article.



    Title: E-cigs banned at parks and rec facilities
    (Lincoln NE US local paper) E-cigs banned at parks and rec facilities : Politics
    Reasons cited:
    1) "Can confuse people, esp. children and send the message that the city allows smoking in public places."
    2) "We have no idea what's in them, real health issues, lack of reasearch"

    [ No threats in the NE legislature, which will be adjorned shortly ("early April") ]



    Title: Raising Awareness on E-Cigarette Health Hazards
    (N. Ariz. St. U. student 'zine) http://www.naztoday

    Video report features student news 'anchor' who reports that "recent studies show major concerns with e-cigarettes, we spoke to the Coconio health dep't to find out why." Assistant chief health officer says:
    1) Not regulated by the FDA, 41 A/Gs have asked the FDA to regulate it, but it hasn't yet.
    2) "'[Of the ones that have been tested,] they've been shown to have ten cancer-causing agents in them, including formadahyde and benzine.'"
    3) "'And our concern as well is the exposure of vapor on vulnerable populations such as those who are pregnant, those who have asthma, or other sorts of respiratory conditions.'"
    The report concludes: "Health services says they will report their findings to Coconino Co. at the end of this month, stating that they are not looking to ban them altogether, but to raise awareness."
    Given that the county already has an indoor/outdoor vaping ban on unincorporated areas (including use in private businesses), what else are they planning to do? Also see this report:

    [ No threats in the AZ legislature, which will be adjorned shortly ("early April") ]



    {Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
    Title: Nicotine is addictive, even in e-cigarettes
    (Seattle WA US local paper) http://seattletimes.com/html/health/2023337818_pharmacy13xml

    Health "Q&A" blog from two pharmicists. The result here is fairly predictable.
    "Q: "I initially experienced headaches (from vaping) and was told to reduce the nicotine percentage in the liquid. That helped. Are you aware of any other side effects?"
    "A: "... nicotine itself can have side effects. They include headache, heart-rhythm disturbances and elevated blood pressure. A preliminary report in JAMA Internal Medicine (online, March 24, 2014) noted that people using e-cigarettes were no more likely to quit smoking than those using traditional cigarettes alone. Nicotine is a powerfully addicting drug. [boldface added]"
    (Of course the question wasn't about cessation. One can only assume that the pharmacists were trying to be helpful by letting the public know that vaping has no cessation value according to a "report." This "report," of course is the junk JAMA letter from Grana et al., which immedately became an accepted factoid despite the fact that it was based on smokers who had merely tried vaping, and the numbers are so minuscule that if four of the 88 had quit, the results would've been entirely different (and perhaps the letter wouldn't have ever been submitted). But now we know that "e-cigarettes don't help smokers quit."

    [ WA's legislature will not be back in session until 2015. ]



    Title: E-cigs banned on city property: Devices outlawed in South San Francisco parks, city parking lots, city vehicles and other spaces
    (SF CA local paper) http://www.smdailyjournal

    S. San Francisco's vaping ban on city property has gone into effect. City also has banned new vape shops ("retailers that devote more than 15 percent of their total floor area, or more than a 2-by-4-foot area of shelf space) on the grounds of protecting minors.
    [ CA is under threat from a wide variety of legislation, such as an internet sales ban: http://www.e-cigarette-forum

    Title: Scotts Valley takes up e-cigarette ordinance [vaping=smoking indoor/outdoor clean air act extension]
    (Santa Cruz CA US local paper) http://www.santacruzsentinel

    It's not clear if this is a first or a second reading, but the combined ordinance would extend the indoor/outdoor clean air act to cover vaping. (No doorway perimeter distance was mentioned, nor was there any specific reference to city parks, municipal parking lots, etc. However it's clear that this would cover private businesses.) It would also ban the sale of vaping supplies within 500 feet of schools. The vote was unanimous, based on a "staff report" which "cites studies from the American Lung Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that warn of the health risks of using e-cigarettes."
    1) "'There are enough questions about e-cigarettes that the safe thing to do is to treat them like smoking tobacco,' [Mayor] Reed said."
    2) Other concerns raised were preventing people from being introduced into smoking. 'I know a lot of people have found this beneficial in the cessation of smoking,' [Councilman] Aguilar said. 'But I think it's a double-edged sword in that it would allow people to look into starting to smoke.' [boldface added, para break omitted]"
    As readers of this space know, the CA dep't of public health has a standard document which is used as the basis for "staff reports" generated by local jurisdictions. This is why the "concerns" about vaping generally look quite similar in media reports regarding the rationales used to ban indoor and outdoor vaping in smaller cities, counties, fair grounds, etc.



    Title: Legislators to Consider State-Wide Public Smoking Ban, Includes E-Cig
    (Anchorage AK US NBC Affiliate) http://www.ktuu

    AK has no statewide indoor smoking ban that covers private businesses. HB 360 and its companion SB 209 were introduced to cover this. Helpfully, they both define vaping as smoking, even though the opposition is entirely from vapers, and the supporters' arguments focus almost exclusively on tobacco cigarettes (where have we seen this movie before?). Short report says not one word about vaping, and notes that SB 209 is "one step closer" to becoming law. What that means is that it's cleared the Sen. finance cmte. See CASAA call at: CASAA: Call to Action! Alaska HB 360 Would Impose a Statewide Smoking Ban and Define E-Cigarette Use as "Smoking"
    ECF Thread:



    The trouble started here with an article in Nature which is nothing more than a rehash of a junk study released two months ago:

    For some background:
    Electronic Cigarette Information: High Risk Lung Cancer Individuals Should Use Caution Until E-Cigarette Safety Is Fully Examined - Electronic Cigarette Information and Sales
    Also see Gary Cox's analysis (cited above):
    Unreviewed, preliminary conference paper brightens prohibitionists' eyes - ECF InfoZone


    CANCER LINK STORIES 1 - The Motherboard.com argument and abuse of the abuse

    Some apparently-offheand (and scientifically sloppy) analysis of tech. reporter Meghan Neal appears to be going viral, although it hasn't yet spread to the mainstream media outlets. Among other things, her analysis implies that there have been several studies of lung tissue exposed to "e-cigarette vapor," when in fact there is only one. and furthermore this study was done on cells that were already in effect pre-cancerous. (The technical description is cells that have P53 and KRAS mutations - see below.)

    1) The Nature article that gets cited as the "original" is here:
    which links the reader to this study which was (according to the Nature article) "Presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting on 6 April in San Diego, California" and is located here:
    [Note that the author list is: Stacy J. Park, Tonya C. Walser, Catalina Perdomo, Teresa Wang, Paul C. Pagano, Elvira L. Liclican, Kostyantyn Krysan, Jill E. Larsen, John D. Minna, Marc E. Lenburg, Avrum Spira, and Steven M. Dubinett]

    2) She incorrectly assumes that there is a second study, which is described as being presented at the "Third AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on the Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer on Jan 6-9 2014: in the link she cites, which is entitled: "Preclinical Study Suggests E-Cigarettes May Promote Lung Cancer in High-Risk Individuals" and is here: http://www.aacr
    So-o what study is that link referring to? All we know specifically are two facts. First, the an author is Stacy J. Park at UCLA, and second, it involves "e-cigarette vapor" which was exposed to "human lung cells with genetic mutations associated with high risk for lung cancer" - specifically those with "P53 and KRAS mutations". However we do get a link to the conference:
    So let's follow the chain of links to the list of abstracts:
    Which takes us to:
    How many papers in this list have Stacy J. Park (or a similar name) as the author? Just two. So-o let's see, one of them is clearly not being referenced by the link cited by the main article (""Preclinical Study Suggests E-Cigarettes May Promote Lung Cancer in High-Risk Individuals"):

    The other paper with Stacy J. Park as an author is this:

    Wait a second. This is exactly the same link that was given in the Nature article.

    3) So-o how did we get two studies, when there was only one? The answer is that there were two presentations referencing the same abstract (i.e. study). One occured at the "Third AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on the Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer on Jan 6-9 2014 and the second happened at the "American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting on 6 April in San Diego, California".

    Title: A New Cancer Study Found E-Cigarettes Affect Cells the Same As Tobacco Smoke [by Meghan Neal]
    (US Tech. site aimed at mobile phone/computing users) http://motherboard.vice

    This is one of the early articles (dated 4/9). The writer seems to actually be making an effort to fairly summarize it, but makes this seemingly off-hand remark:
    "But previous studies [link 1] have found that nicotine can, at least, promote [link 2] or exacerbate [link 3] certain types of cancer. At the moment, general perception in the medical community is that it's not the most dangerous toxin in tobacco, but it's not off the hook either.[boldface added]"
    1) Link 1 ("previous studies") is:

    which cites nothing but simply says:
    "Studies have shown that e-cigarettes can cause short-term lung changes that are much like those caused by regular cigarettes."
    2) Link 2 ("nicotine can promote cancer") maps back to the very same abstract as cited in the Nature article, in other words this is NOT additional evidence:

    As indicated before, the mutations already existed in the studied cells, and it doesn't specifically attribute the "promotion" to nicotine. It's also not at all clear that the in vitro lab conditions have anything to do with the inter vivos situation of former smokers who vape. And finally, this study ignores the fact that FDA-approved NRT will also create the same nicotine exposure conditions as the study appears to reference. As always "e-cigarettes" are assumed to be a unitary entity.
    3) Link 3 ("nicotine can exacerbate cancer") is:

    which appears to be referencing: http://www.ncbi

    This study contains some of the same issues as link #2, but most importantly it's for cells that already are cancerous, in addition to the issues cited directly above.
    In other respects, the writer seems to be making an effort to be fair, but of course she hasn't develed into the underlying study - which isn't about causing cancer in otherwise-healthy cells, but merely about causing changes in cells that already have certain mutations. So the conclusion she wishes to advance (i.e. that nicotine causes cancer) is basically presumed in the piece.
    "[Questions about vaping safety don't] help much for the moral quandary health experts find themselves in when it comes to e-cigs. Are they OK because they're less dangerous than traditional cigarettes, even if they're still a little dangerous?"
    Had readers not been primed to assume that nicotine causes cancer (at least in some vapers who don't already have it), The question she asks is an interesting one: are policy makers capable of drawing fine lines or is it a question of "safe" vs. "cigarette smoking." Well, we know what the answer is. At least she was capable of asking the Q. This article is often linked-to by others, including the newsy.com video and prose pieces - which themselves were widely syndicated.

    Title: There's Bad News for People Who Smoke E-Cigarettes
    (NYC-based "alternative" news collection site) http://www.policymic

    Once again we see the CDC poison stuff casually mixed in with the cancer allegation. This one starts with the poison in a memorably-worded paragraph:
    "E-cigarettes have been getting a bad rap lately. They're not just tacky and overpriced, say the critics, they're actually physically dangerous. A scathing New York Times feature recently discussed how the liquid nicotine capsules used to refill them can easily poison children. And never mind their potential to, well, explode - though at least they don't cause people to melt in their chairs when they fall asleep."
    And from here we get into the Motherboard article, by Meghan Neal - i.e. the one directly above - which this piece has all-but-plagiarized.
    This second article is a good illustration of how the poison and cancer thems are often combined.


    CANCER LINK STORIES 2 - NEWSY.com Alleged Cancer Link Knockoffs/Syndications

    1) The newsy.com video and article ran roughshod over the distinction between an in vitro (in the lab) and in vivos (in 'real' life) exposure, with this sentence, which is being widely-quoted:
    "The study, published in the journal Nature, found that people exposed to e-cigarette vapors suffer from 'strikingly similar' negative effects as people who smoke or are around traditional cigarettes. [boldface added]"
    There's also a video version which is essentially identical to the text. Specifically, it contains that crucial sentence which can be used to imply that "second-hand vaping" can also cause cancer.

    2) Of course the Newsy.com video and article also ignore the basic flaws with the study (i.e. its use of cells that already have K-ras and P53 mutations).

    Title: E-cig vapor affects cells similarly to tobacco smoke, study says
    (Atlanta GA US local paper) http://www.ajc

    Title: E-cig vapor affects cells similarly to tobacco smoke, study says
    (Oakland CA US fox affiliate) http://www.ktvu

    Title: Study: E-Cig Vapor Affects Cells Similarly To Tobacco Smoke
    (St. Cloud MN US local paper) http://www.sctimes

    Title: Study: E-Cig Vapor Affects Cells Similarly To Tobacco Smoke
    (US science news collection site aimed at the general public) http://www.sciencedaily

    Title: Study: E-Cig Vapor Affects Cells Similarly To Tobacco Smoke
    (I have no idea how to describe this generic news collection site) http://www.onenewspage

    Title: Study: E-Cig Vapor Affects Cells Similarly To Tobacco Smoke
    (Lycos, similar to Yahoo) http://video.lycos


    CANCER LINK STORIES 3 - Other Cancer Link stories

    Most of these simply repeat the original Nature article, with little attention to the realities of the underlying junk study.

    {Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
    Title: Study finds cancer risk in e-cig vapors
    (Some for-profit US site aimed at consumers, it's not clear who they are) http://www.consumeraffairs

    Moves on to Dutra & Glantz (minor-gateway-to-tobacco), and finishes with CDC poison control call report.

    {Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
    Title: Do e-cigarettes cause lung problems? New Study
    (Memphis TN US consumer health site) http://www.newsonwellness

    One big problem with this piece is that the writer seems to be adding to the study's conclusions:
    " A team of scientists grew their own bronchial cells in groups, they exposed one to e-cig vapours and compared the results to the other group exposed to tobacco. The mutations of both were so similar that it seems like e-cigarette use may not be the best thing for you to be doing after all. [boldface added]""

    Title: E-Cigarettes Affect The Lungs In A Similar Way To Tobacco
    (US higher ed. news collection site aimed at the gen'l public) http://www.universityherald

    Title: E-cig vapor affects cells similarly to tobacco smoke, study sayshttp://www.ajc.com/news/news/health-med-fit-science/e-cig-vapor-affects-cells-similarly-tobacco-smoke/nfXsR/
    (UK nat'l paper) http://www.dailymail

    Title: E-Cigarettes Cause 'Strikingly Similar' Lung Gene Mutations Compared to Cigarettes
    (Some US-based science news collection site, aimed at the general public) http://www.scienceworldreport

    Title: New study finds that e-cig vapor affects cells similarly to tobacco smoke
    (US Tech. site aimed at mobile phone/computing users) http://www.digitaltrends

    This article is also often linked-to by others, including the newsy.com video and prose pieces - which themselves were widely syndicated.

    Title: New cancer study says e-cigarettes are still bad for you
    (Calgary AB Ca. local paper via canada.com) New cancer study says e-cigarettes are still bad for you
    Another report that misunderstands the study:
    "While the science is complicated, according to these new findings, people exposed to e-cig vapor suffer from similar negative effects to individuals who are smoking or are around normal cigarette smoke. (emphasis added)"
    Goes on to cover the CDC poison meme, and ends with a link to Grana et al.'s junk cessation letter. Not quite a complete hit job, but close.



    To see whether there are bad things happening where you live, try this Google search (example for Rhode Island) -
    rhode site:casaa.org
    (Replace rhode with a single word that describes your city, county, or state. For ex., if you live in Eau Claire, WI - you might use "Claire" to see if something is being proposed at the city level. Don't forget the : (colon), and be sure that there's nothing before or after the colon (not even spaces or tabs.)

    You can also try replacing site:casaa.org with e-cigarette to find out what the media is reporting in your area. This is usually most helpful if you use the search tools to search by date. (CASAA doesn't generally issue calls or alerts until a bill is out of a state legislative committee, or is scheduled for a local city or county hearing.)
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    Vaping Master
    ECF Veteran
    Verified Member
    Feb 2, 2013
      You are good. Esp catching those cancer "studies" (1). Thx.

      "Vito Maurici, senior vice president of sales and distribution for the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based NJOY, noted it was especially critical for retailers to get involved on the local level, where often such regulations are voted on with less than 24 hours of notice. '... with elected officials, there's an absence of information ... Therefore, they take the path of least resistance. It's very dangerous because ultimately, these kinds of regulations absent of science could make it easier for people to continue to smoke.' [boldface added]"
      The question is, what are they doing about it? And the answer is: apparently not much, although"...companies like Altria, Reynolds and NJOY all offer position papers and talking points to make the case against public e-cig bans or extreme taxation."
      But are they training their local retailers, and asking them to be pro-active? Well, Altria's Murillo says that they have "an employee dedicated to helping retailers fight back." (One?).

      My suspicion is that BV/BT might believe they've already struck a deal to be exempt from deeming and bans. The pkging ban in Illinois doesn't restrict the sales of cigalikes. Only 2nd generation and up is affected. None of BV/BT's cigalikes include flavors such as gummy bear or apple either. They offer traditional tobacco and menthol only. It stands to reason they wouldn't have objections to many of these bans. I'd like to see one of those "talking points" papers mentioned.

      I'm miffed about the silence of vape shops and other retailers.
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