Home » Calls to Action » Urgent Call to Action: Wisconsin Dells (Columbia, Sauk, Adams & Juneau Counties)

Urgent Call to Action: Wisconsin Dells (Columbia, Sauk, Adams & Juneau Counties)

It has just come to WSAC’s attention that the the City of Wisconsin Dells Legislative Committee has an e-cigarette ordinance on its agenda for this evening at 6:30 PM. The meeting is at the Municipal Building Council Chambers, 300 La Crosse Street, Wisconsin Dells.

The committee will be a discussion/decision on a proposed ordinance to create Code Sec. 16.29 “Regulating the use and sale of “electronic smoking devices.” The use of the term “electronic smoking devices” indicates this ordinance was likely written by a lobbyist for the American Lung Association, as this term has been widely used in other ordinances written by the anti-electronic cigarette organization.

The proposal is filled with wildly inaccurate and misleading statements about electronic cigarettes:
“Electronic smoking devices are currently unregulated and have been proven to emit nicotine, ultra-fine particles, volatile organic compounds and other toxins. Inhalation of nicotine is proven to be dangerous to everyone, especially children and pregnant women. Exposure to ultr-fine particles may exacerbate respiratory illness, such as asthma and may constrict arteries which could trigger a heart attack. The volatile organic compounds, such as formaldehyde and benzene, found in electronic smoking devices aerosols as well as conventional cigarettes smoke, are proven carcinogens.”

There is NO EVIDENCE that the vast majority of vapor products contain anything that pose a second-hand danger to children or pregnant women, exacerbate respiratory illness, constrict arteries or cause cancer.

Please see the WSAC CALL TO ACTION for contact information of the Common Council and PLAN TO ATTEND TO SPEAK!

The proposed ordinance prohibits the use of vapor devices in any place in the City where smoking of tobacco products is porhibited by law. It also bans sales to minors, which is redundant, as sales of nicotine products to minors is already prohibited by state law. Finally, it prohibits “self service” displays of vapor products.

Current city ordinance prohibits smoking per state law, but also includes outdoor smoking in the City’s 8 public parks and on the hiking trails. Last year, the Mayor proposed banning smoking in the City’s downtown. With this ordinance, the use of vapor products will also be prohibited in those places.

http://www.citywd.org/vertical/sites/%7B17E1C147-3A18-4562-88BF-7B40051DC932%7D/uploads/agenda_legislative_03092015.pdf

Please download, print and hand out the flyer below to fellow vapers and vape shops!

Wis Dells Flyer pic

Please check back frequently for updates and join the Wisconsin Smoke-free Alternatives Coalition on Facebook!

The public is welcome (and strongly encouragd) to attend these meetings and address the lawmakers with their concerns and comments. Arrive early to sign up on the registration form to speak.


ADVOCACY SUGGESTIONS

1)  Email and call the mayor and other members of the City of Wisconsin Dells Legislative Committee and City Council (listed below) to explain why you oppose efforts to ban e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend any meetings and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to define smoke-free e-cigarette use as smoking (see Suggested Talking Points listed below.)

2) Contact local media (television station producers and newspaper editors) to tell your story and explain why this ordinance is bad for public health and actually encourages smokers to keep smoking.

3) Post comments on online news stories about this proposed ordinance telling your story and why you oppose the ordinance (see partial  list below.)

4) For social networking users, the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the Common Council alders have also been included with their contact information. Let them know how you feel!

5) Share this blog post on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google +)  and in any area vaping groups. Get your supportive family members and frioends to also share!

If you are on Facebook and want to get more involved, be sure to join the Wisconsin Smoke-free Alternatives Coalition group.

6) Contact all of your local vape shops and let them know that they need to fight this ordinance (no more vaping in their shop.) Retailers can contact their customers, make them aware of the proposed ordinance and get them to attend hearings.

7) Even if you do not wish to speak publicly, be sure to attend meetings and rallies as an audience member to show a strong, united front and to make clear to the media and lawmakers that such actions are hurting real people.

(See Massachusetts town snuffs out tobacco ban after outcry as an example of what a strong show of opposition can do, but please always remain calm and respectful. What ultimately changed changed minds in this case was the sheer numbers of people showing up, not the disruption of the proceedings.)

As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during any meetings with lawmakers and/or media (unless requested), avoid the use of “vape slang” (ie. “juice”) and foul language, and act in an otherwise respectful manner.


DOCUMENTATION AND LINK

March 9, 2015 Legislative Committee Agenda (Includes new proposed agenda beginning on page 29):
http://www.citywd.org/vertical/sites/%7B17E1C147-3A18-4562-88BF-7B40051DC932%7D/uploads/agenda_legislative_03092015.pdf

News Coverage (Please leave a comment, even on the positive stories!):
N/A

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

1. You are a Wisconsin Dells-area or Wisconsin resident and you oppose banning e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited. (If you are responding to this Call to Action and are not a state resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel to Madison on vacation or have friends/family in the area.)

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life. (Avoid using slang terms such as “juice.”)

3. Clarify that:

a.  Smoking bans are ostensibly enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been found to pose a risk to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with e-cigarettes are comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.

b.  The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.

c.  A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found “no apparent concern” for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under “worst case” assumptions about exposure.

d.  Electronic cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. It is easy to tell when someone lights a cigarette from the smell of smoke. E-cigarette vapor is practically odorless, and generally any detectable odor is not unpleasant and smells nothing like smoke. Additionally, e-cigarette users can decide whether to release any vapor (“discreet vaping”).  With so little evidence of use, enforcing use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.

e.  The ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch and reduce their health risks by an estimated 99%.

f. Losing the ability to test e-liquids before purchasing will have a significant and negative impact on your ability to purchase/sell e-liquids.

g. Many smokers first try e-cigarettes because they can use them where they cannot smoke, however, they often become “accidental quitters.” This is a documented phenomenon unique to e-cigarettes. It may take a few months or only a few days, but they inevitably stop smoking conventional cigarettes. This is why including e-cigarettes in smoking bans could have serious unintended consequences!

h. By making e-cigarette users go outdoors, the City will also be sending a strong message to traditional smokers that e-cigarettes are no safer than smoking. This will actually maintain the number of smokers in Madison, rather than help reduce smoking. This is a far more realistic risk to public health than any unfounded concerns about possible youth or non-smoker use uptake.

In fact, the most recent report by the CDC showed that the dramatic increase in e-cigarette use over that past 3 years has not led to an increase in youth smoking. Youth smoking of traditional cigarttes continues to decline to record low levels.

i. The children of smoking parents are far more likely to become smokers than the children of non-smoking parents who see smoking behaviors in public. The children of smoking parents who quit aren’t any more likely to smoke than those of non-smoking parents. Prohibiting vapor products in public does little to protect the children of non-smoking parents from becoming smokers, but significantly increases the likelihood that many smoking parents won’t switch to e-cigarettes. This only serves to keep the highest-risk children at risk.

j. E-cigarette use does not promote the smoking of traditional cigarettes, nor does it threaten the gains of tobacco control over the past few decades. In fact, by normalizing e-cigarette use over traditional smoking, the efforts of tobacco control are being supported. If anything, e-cigarette usedenormalizes conventional smoking by setting the example of smokers choosing a far less harmful alternative to traditional smoking. The CDC surveys clearly show that there has been no “gateway effect” causing non-smokers to start smoking. As e-cigarettes have become more popular, all available evidence is showing that more and more smokers are quitting traditional cigarettes, including youth smokers.

k. Important Note: A typical and frequent lawmaker response to e-cigarette users who object to public use bans is “We aren’t banning all use or sales, just use where smoking is also prohibited.”

Don’t give them the opportunity to counter you in that way! Make it very clear that you understand that this is not a ban of e-cigarette sales or a ban of e-cigarette use where smoking is allowed, but that what IS proposed is still a step backward in public health, not a step forward.

4.  Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.


CONTACT LIST

Legislative Committee

Mayor Brian Landers
300 La Crosse Street
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Office: 608-254-2012 x408
Email: brianlanders@dellscitygov.com

Alderman Mike Freel, Chair
411 Wisconsin Avenue
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
(608) 254-6703
Email: mfreel@dellscitygov.com

Alderman Ed Wojnicz
1407 Michigan Avenue
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
608-254-7591
Email: ewojnicz@dellscitygov.com

Alderman Ed Fox
1002 Washington Avenue
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
(608) 254-7853
Email: efox@dellscitygov.com

Other City Council Members

Alderman Jesse DeFosse
502 Washington
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
(c) 608-345-0143
Email: jdefosse@dellscitygov.com

Alderman Dar Mor
23 Kansas Avenue
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
608-254-4559
Email: dmor@dellscitygov.com

Comma delimited email list: brianlanders@dellscitygov.com, mfreel@dellscitygov.com, mfreel@dellscitygov.com, ewojnicz@dellscitygov.com, efox@dellscitygov.com, jdefosse@dellscitygov.com, dmor@dellscitygov.com

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