Seattle - Tacoma Vapors!

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    Last night, May 16th, there was a public meeting held by the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health re: the proposed ban of e-cigs in public places and in the workplace.

    The three people on the panel were Gregory Jacoby, General Counsel for the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, Dr. Paul Sastael, and Kirsten Frandsen, Prevention Program Coordinator.

    Mr. Jacoby explained what the proposed regulations legally meant. Ms. Frandsen concerns were how the proposed regulations would effect the general public and Dr. Sastael’s remarks focused on health issues.

    Ms. Frandsen said that more information and data is needed to protect the general public. She was concerned about second-hand vapor and that the rising popularity of e-cigarettes might make smoking tobacco cigarettes more socially acceptable.

    Dr. Sastael said that e-cigarette studies were still in their infancy and it was premature to say that e-cigarettes were safe. He pointed out that there are alternative methods for quitting smoking other than e-cigarettes that are “safer”, regulated, and they know they don’t work 80% of the time.

    The proposed regulations create a false equivalency comparing cigarettes to e-cigarettes without any information or data to back it up. They say they don’t have enough information to prove that e-cigarettes are safe but at the same time they don’t have any data proving they are harmful.

    On June 1st the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health is poised to vote to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and in workplaces without any data whatsoever. They will vote to ban e-cigarettes based on a presumption of how people might act.

    They are proposing regulations to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

    What can we do? Attending last night’s meeting was not enough. The Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health will meet tomorrow at 3:00 pm. Comments by the public (limited to three minutes per person) is on the agenda. We have to go back. And we have to go back for the June 1st meeting when the board will vote on the proposed regulations.

    We’re not done yet.

    Tomorrow we'll have a chance to tell our story to the board members face to face. That will have a greater impact than their reading the transcript from last night's meeting.

    Monday, May 18, 2011
    3:00-5:00 PM

    Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Auditorium
    3629 South D Street
    Tacoma, WA 98418

    If you can't make it ... write or call these people. Here's the list again:

    Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health

    Richard Muri (currently opposes banning e-cigarettes indoors)
    (253) 798-3308 PHONE
    (253) 798-7509 FAX (the ECF censor removed first part of email address - is a four letter nickname for Richard, then a dot before the muri)

    Stan Flemming (currently opposes banning e-cigarettes indoors)
    (253) 564-6675 PHONE

    Jake Fey (serves on local advisory board of American Heart Association)
    (253) 594 – 7848 PHONE
    (253) 927 – 1068 PHONE
    (253) 383 – 5908 PHONE
    (253) 591 – 5123 FAX

    Pat Johnson (Mayor of City of Buckley)
    (360) 829 – 1921 PHONE
    (360) 829 – 2629 FAX

    Pat McCarthy (Pierce County Executive)
    (253) 798-6602 PHONE
    (253) 798-6628 FAX

    Marilyn Strickland
    (253) 594 - 7848 PHONE
    (253) 396 – 0265 PHONE
    (253) 591-5123 FAX

    Rebecca Sullivan, MD
    (253) 848 - 6661 PHONE
    (253) 841 – 1483 PHONE
    (253) 798 - 7627 FAX /

    Rick Talbert
    (253) 314 – 3514 PHONE
    (253) 471 – 2581 PHONE

    Ron Lucas (Alternate) (Mayor, Town of Steilacoom)
    (253) 581 – 1912 PHONE
    (253) 582 – 0651 FAX

    Victoria Woodards (Alternate, rep. of Tacoma City Council, At-Large position 6)
    (253) 591 – 5100 PHONE
    (253) 473 – 1449 PHONE
    (253) 591 – 5123 FAX

    BTW ... I'm without a car. I have to pick up my son from school at 1:00 pm and then figure out how to get to Tacoma.
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