Across the country, and even in the state of Wisconsin, local governments are enacting ordinances that are based purely on public health hysteria and junk science reported by the media. These knee-jerk laws seek to protect bystanders from minimal exposure to relatively harmless vapor products (electronic cigarettes), while almost guaranteeing that thousands of smokers will continue to be exposed to the proven health risks that come from smoking. There is absolutely no risk of death from occasional exposure to vapor products, so if just one smoker continues to smoke and dies from a smoking-related disease because a law has restricted where they can use vapor products, lawmakers will have failed miserably in their goal to protect the public. Public use bans, advertising restrictions and high taxes are used as a way to disuade smokers from smoking. To use these same tactics on vapor consumers will have the unintended consequence keeping smokers smoking!
To halt the flood of proposed ordinances, Representative Joel Kleefisch (District 38), along with the Tavern League of Wisconsin and with the support of WSAC, has authored a state bill (LRB 1116/5) to exempt the use of vapor products from local smoking ordinances. Unfortunately, groups such as the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society have sent a letter filled with misinformation and baseless conjecture about vapor products to the entire legislature to oppose this bill. This petition urges your lawmakers to cosponsor and otherwise support LRB 1116/5 and stop the misguided attempts by local municipalities to restrict the use of vapor products in a way that will only result in less smokers quitting.
The deadline for this bill is Thursday, March 26th. Please click the link below and help us protect the future of vapor consumers and the lives of smokers who need incentives to switch. Be sure to also comment and tell your story about how vapor products have impacted your life and the lives of others!
Please Support LRB 1116/5
We support legislation that is based on proven facts, not misinformation and special interests. We support laws that aid and protect those who are at the highest risk, not laws only concerned with those who are at the lowest risk. We support laws that are science-based, not based on conjecture, prejudice and hysteria. As former smokers, and the loved ones of former smokers, who have benefitted from these smoke-free vapor products, knowing that experts almost universally agree that vapor products are orders of magnitude safer than smoking, we believe that current smokers should have every incentive to switch. We urge you to co-sponsor LRB 1116/5.
Across the country, and even in the state of Wisconsin, local governments are enacting ordinances that are based purely on public health hysteria and junk science reported by the media. In spite of over 100 studies and over 9, 0000 chemical observations of e-cigarettes – that have failed to find unsafe levels of any of the chemicals, metals or carcinogens they’ve detected – media reports and public health organizations have chosen to grossly exaggerate and misrepresent the results of those studies; to influence public policy and law for their own self-interests. Lawmakers are encouraged to look at the facts as they stand today, not listen to unscientific conjecture and baseless concerns.
Wisconsin’s smoke-free law is based on decades of smoking research and accepted risks of smoking. That research tells us what levels of harmful chemicals, metals and carcinogens can be found in smoke. It also tells us what to look for in e-cigarette vapor, so we don’t need the same decades of research to determine if e-cigarettes are a potential risk that need immediate action. We know the typical ingredients used in the vast majority of e-cigarettes sold in the U.S. We know that exhaled vapor has found only trace levels of a very few chemicals compared to cigarette smoke and that those levels are comparable to similar levels found in smoke-free air.
In addition to that known scientific evidence, we know that after 10 years on the market and millions of smokers switching to vapor worldwide, there have been no reports of serious illness or deaths linked to proper e-cigarette use. The number of smokers reporting switching to e-cigarettes and quitting smoking completely, with only positive health effects, can no longer be dismissed as “anecdotal.” Concerns about increased youth experimentation, which is still at a very low 7% ever-tried, have led to surveys that show that those youth who do try vapor products overwhelmingly previously smoked or were already likely to try smoking before trying an e-cigarette. CDC youth tobacco surveys show that even though youth experimentation of e-cigarettes has risen dramatically, as with adults, smoking rates continue to decline and have reached historical lows. This invalidates claims of a possible “gateway effect” to smoking. The e-cigarette industry, without any force from government agencies, has largely acted responsibly and cautiously by reacting quickly to consumer concerns and feedback. This has resulted in the majority of companies implementing sales and manufacturing policies that prohibit sales to minors, avoid cartoon advertising or celebrity spokespersons who would be recognized by youth, use child-resistant bottle caps, provide informative labels and avoid questionable ingredients, such as diacetyl and coumarin. The FDA will soon be receiving hundreds more analyses of e-cigarettes that will help the agency determine necessary manufacturing and advertising regulations that will be consistent across state borders.
Looking past the hysteria and hypotheses, everything we actually know about e-cigarettes points to a relatively safe product that is helping people quit smoking. Such a product should not be suppressed and discouraged, it should be encouraged. Wisconsin residents do not need a law that protects a few people from the hypothetical low risks of vapor, but a law that protects those who have the greatest need for protection from known and established risks of smoke. In fact, this law may not go far enough to ensure that smokers continue to have the necessary incentives and confidence to switch to vapor products, but it is a start. If you truly support a healthier Wisconsin, support LRB 1116/5.