Home » News

Category Archives: News

Call to Action: West Allis Indoor Vapor Ban

SUMMARY

On July 5, 2016, the West Allis Common Council voted to pass an ordinance that would significantly affect vaping and the sale of vapor products. Ordinance file number O-2016-0011 creates Section 9.36 of the West Allis Revised Municipal Code Relating to Electronic Smoking Device Sales 1) includes the use of vapor products in the City’s smoking ban; 2) requires a license for the sale of vapor products; 3) bans the sale of vapor products (including non-nicotine) to minors; and 4) prohibits vending machine and self-service sales.

It has come to our attention that this decision could be reversed IF one of the aldermen who voted for the ordinance requests a “reconsideration vote” at the upcoming Common Council meeting on August 2nd. We urge members to contact the aldermen who voted to pass this ordinance BEFORE TUESDAY, AUGUST 2nd, to urge them to consider the facts and request a reconsideration vote!



ADVOCACY SUGGESTIONS

1)  Email and call the members of the West Allis Common Council to explain why you oppose efforts to ban the use of vapor products where smoking is prohibited. (See Suggested Talking Points 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 that could be found for the Committee 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.

 

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

Ordinance Full Text
https://westalliswi.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2560607&GUID=7E52D771-7191-4916-AC89-63DC79466745&Options=&Search=&FullText=1

Video of July 5, 2016 Common Council meeting (vaping discussion begins around 33:00)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOrNT_fsMEM&index=3&list=PL19D0DCED7F5352F4

News Coverage (Please leave a comment, even on the positive stories!):
West Allis bans e-cigarette smoking where tobacco smoking is banned

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

1. You are a West Allis-area or Wisconsin resident and you oppose banning vapor product 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 West Allis on vacation or have friends/family in the area.)

2. Tell your story on how switching to an vapor product 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 vapor products have not been found to pose a risk to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with vapor productss are comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.

b.  The very low risks of vapor products 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, Public Health England 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 vapor product liquid and vapor found “no apparent concern” for bystanders exposed to vapor, even under “worst case” assumptions about exposure.

d.  Electronic cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some vapor products resemble real cigarettes, many do not. It is easy to tell when someone lights a cigarette from the smell of smoke. Vapor is practically odorless, and generally any detectable odor is not unpleasant and smells nothing like smoke. Additionally, vapor product users can decide whether to release any vapor (“discreet vaping”).  With so little evidence of use, enforcing use bans on vapor products 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. Many smokers first try vapor products because they can use them where they cannot smoke, however, they often become “accidental quitters.” This is a documented phenomenon unique to vapor products. It may take a few months or only a few days, but they inevitably stop smoking conventional cigarettes. This is why including vapor products in smoking bans could have serious unintended consequences!

h. By prohibiting vapor product use even outdoors, the City will also be sending a strong message to traditional smokers that vapor products are no safer than smoking. This will actually maintain the number of smokers in West Allis 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 invapor product 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 on County outdoor properties 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 vapor products. This only serves to keep the highest-risk children at risk.

j. Vapor product 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 vapor product use over traditional smoking, the efforts of tobacco control are being supported. If anything, vapor products use denormalizes 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 vapor products have become more popular, all available evidence is showing that more and more smokers are quitting traditional cigarettes, including youth smokers.

k. This ordinance will send potential business to surrounding areas that allow businesses to choose for themselves wheter or not they want to cater to patrons who use the products. Additionally, businesses that allow the use of vapor products inside are less likely to have patrons causing a noise nuisence or litter outside of the establishment.

l. Encourage them to hold off on these drastic, excessive measures until they have the opportunity to see the new film “A Billion Lives,” which will expose the truth about these products and their efficacy.

m. Important Note: A typical and frequent lawmaker response to vapor product 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 vapor product sales or a ban of vapor product use where smoking is allowed, but that what IS proposed is still a step backward in public health, not a step forward. Forcing former smokers to use a smoke-free, tobacco-free harm reduction product while surrounded by others smoking combustible cigarettes only increases the odds that they will return to smoking themsleves!

4.  Direct them to the WSAC4WI.org and  CASAA.org websites, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.


CONTACT LIST

Mayor Dan Devine
West Allis City Hall
7525 W. Greenfield Ave
West Allis, WI 53214
Phone: (414) 302-8290
Email: Email Mayor’s Office

Cathleen M. Probst (District 2)
1959 S 79 St
West Allis, WI 53219
Home: (414) 687-3129
Email: Email Ald. Probst

Rosalie L. Reinke (District 5)
2821 S 114 St
West Allis WI 53227
Home: (414) 543-0587
Email: Email Ald. Reinke

Vincent Vitale (District 1)
5758 W Kinnickinnic River Pkwy
West Allis, WI 53219
(414) 545-5659
Home: (414) 545-5659
Mobile: (414) 388-5059
Email: Email Ald. Vitale

Kevin Haass (District 5)
3420 S. 122 St
West Allis WI 53227
Cell: (414) 704-1164
Email: Email Ald. Haass

Thomas G. Lajsic (District 4)
2755 S 74 St
West Allis WI 53219
Home: (414) 327-2661
Email: Email Ald. Lajsic

Michael P. May (District 3)
837 S 113 St
West Allis WI 53214
Home: (414) 460-6442
Email: Email Ald. May

One Voice Makes A Difference In West Allis

February 25, 2016
By Kristin Noll-Marsh

 

Jim Cottrill 3

Jim Cottrill

West Allis, WI — Last week, news came through social media that West Allis was considering two ordinances regarding vape shops and vaping. At first, both proposed ordinances seemed relatively benign. One required vape shops to carry a license at the cost of $100 per annum. The other appeared to only prohibit the use of vapor products on West Allis school grounds. However, after the language was reviewed by WSAC, it was determined that the latter actually banned vaping in all places smoking is currently prohibited by state law, including school grounds and vape shops. This was accomplished by adding language to the existing ordinance that redefined “smoking” to include the use of all vapor products. WSAC also discovered that the February 23rd West Allis Licensing & Health Committee meeting was receiving a presentation by Sue Marten, the Coalition Coordinator for Tobacco-Free Suburban Milwaukee & Ozaukee Counties and the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.

Jim Cottrill, owner of Vape 108 in West Allis, was preparing for a 10-day trip to warmer weather when he heard the news. “I dropped everything,” said Mr. Cottrill. Instead, he got online and on the phone to discover when the meeting was and whether or not the Committee would be allowing public comments. Then he took the information he had gathered to vape groups on Facebook, encouraging other shop owners to attend the meeting and customers to call or write their Aldermen.

After speaking to the Committee Chair, he (and only he) was given permission to address the Committee for just five minutes at the meeting, following Ms. Marten’s presentation. “He clearly stated to me that there would not be any opportunity for us to be involved in any type of debate and that it would be opened at a later meeting,” Cottrill told WSAC.  However, he was disappointed when he found himself completely alone at the meeting Tuesday night. “I was severely saddened to see that no other owners felt this important enough to take time out of their busy lives,” he said.

The meeting itself turned out to be more than he expected. “After [Marten] did a Power Point presentation that spoke of all the dangers of vaping, she handed out e-cigarettes that appeared to be cheap devices from gas stations and a Vuse [the electronic cigarette made by RJ Reynolds.] As she handed them out, she warned the Committee to be sure to wash their hands after touching them, because ‘they are extremely toxic’,” said an incredulous Cottrill. At that point, Cottrill reported that everyone at the Committee table was wide-eyed and seemed to be in agreement that something had to be done.

Then came Cottrill’s five minutes.

He spoke from the heart and from his viewpoint as a shop owner. “I told them that I hadn’t experienced anything like [Marten] had said. I’ve had so many customers who have quit smoking because of vaping and thank me.”

Cottrill also pointed out that prohibiting vaping in vape shops, which is what he sells, would be like prohibiting drinking in a tavern. He told them that vape shops need to allow vaping and the shops in West Allis would be forced to move outside of the city, taking their business and customers with them.

At that point, Cottrill’s five minutes were up, but to his surprise, the Committee members started asking him questions. “After that, only one Committee member still supported the ordinances, but only if vape shops were exempted from the indoor ban. The others stated that they were not convinced by the studies that she had given them and said that businesses should be able to decide whether or not to allow vaping in their establishment, not the government. One even said he didn’t want to make it harder for smokers to quit. Then they put both ordinances on hold until the other six Aldermen can see the data.”

While this may only be a temporary stay, Cottrill is convinced that it would have moved forward that night, had he not been there to speak up. “The way they were acting after her presentation, they looked convinced [that the measures were reasonable] until I talked to them,” he said.

As far as we’re concerned. by stepping up and showing that one voice can make a difference, Mr. Cottrill deserves the gratitude of the vaping community in West Allis. Hopefully, other vape shop owners and their customers will follow his example in the future.

WSAC will continue to monitor the situation in West Allis and issue a Call to Action alert should these ordinances be placed on a future agenda.

 

Vape Industry: Don’t Forget Older Smokers

Finally doesn't have to go outside!

Finally doesn’t have to go outside!Written by Kristin Nol-Marsh

Written by Kristin Noll-Marsh
Gimpses Through the Mist

My 66 year old, smoker aunt has watched nearly my entire family switch from smoking to vaping over the past 6 years. She never showed any interest – “too much fuss” she said, so we never pushed it. We even set up a smoking area, on our screen porch, for her when she moved in with us a few weeks ago.

A couple of weeks ago, we were at Walmart and I casually mentioned that a disposable cigalike being sold was the most realistic I’d ever tried and, to my surprise, she bought one! A week or so (and 3 disposable ecigs) later, she mentioned she’d like it if it could be recharged and refilled. So I picked up a rechargeable cigalike, with extra cartos, for her when I was in Walgreens.
Yesterday, my husband and I stopped in a vape shop for supplies and she came in with us. She is now the proud owner of a new, shiny, red mod (100% her idea.)
At the store, she told me, “I’m finding that I’m using it (the cigalike) more often then smoking and I’m really enjoying it. I’m only smoking in the morning. So, I may as well get something better.”

Getting her first mod

Getting her first mod

This story, folks, is a perfect example of why we need to keep fighting for diversity in the marketplace. Without that first cigalike and unbiased guidance, in a safe, comfortable and reassuring environment, she was unlikely to walk into a vape shop. This can be extremely important for a smoker’s journey from smoking to vaping. (On a side note, this shop only had 2 straight tobacco flavors. Shop owners would be smart to have more than that for smokers.)
It also shows a classic case of a typical “dual user” that the ANTZ are wringing their hands over. Most dual users just haven’t finished their journey. To do so, they need truthful information and gentle guidance, not pressure to jump in over their head with advanced devices and low nicotine levels or to quit smoking right away.

And it makes an important point that many “dual users” are smokers who had ZERO interest in quitting, yet they are now cutting down their smoking and likely on a path to quit that they wouldn’t have been on with only NRT as an option.
This is what THR advocacy is all about – getting out truthful information about ALL low-risk alternatives!

For more information, go to http://casaa.org
Wisconsin residents, please also join the Wisconsin Smoke-free Alternatives Coalition at http://wsac4wi.org

Call to Action: City of Janesville Vaping Ban

Call_to_Action_IconOn Monday, August 10th, a proposed ordinance that would amend the regulations related to smoking, including the use of electronic delivery devices in the City of Janesville, and expand the outdoor areas on City property where smoking and the use of electronic delivery devices is prohibited via ordinance to include all City premises, including, any premises containing a building, parking ramp or lot, or park or trail controlled by the City, was introduced. An exemption would be created to permit the use of electronic smoking devices in a retail establishment for which one of the primary purposes is the sale on the premises of electronic delivery devices and accessories.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network advocates for smoke-free laws, including electronic delivery devices and supposed nicotine-free electronic delivery devices, in all workplaces to protect workers and the public form the harmful effects of secondhand exposure and states that preliminary studies indicate that nonusers can be exposed to the same potentially harmful chemicals as users, including nicotine, ultrafine particles and volatile organic compounds, which could be especially problematic for children, pregnant women, and people with heart disease.

A public hearing is scheduled for August 24th at 6:00 PM in the Council Chambers on floor four of City Hall, 18 N Jackson Street in downtown Janesville. There will be a public hearing on this topic so, during the meeting, the Council President will ask if anyone would like to speak. You can go to either podium, state your name and address and speak to this topic.

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

Janevile Flyer

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

The public is welcome (and strongly encouraged) 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 Janesville 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 City Council 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 LINKS


SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

1. You are a Janesvile-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. All other studies finding “toxins” have been greatly exaggerated.

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 Janesville,  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 and WSAC4WI.org
websites, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.


CONTACT LIST

You can click send an email to the entire City Council at citycouncil@ci.janesville.wi.us or mail to: 

City Council
City Hall
Post Office Box 5005
Janesville, WI, 53547-5005

Or contact each member directly (best)

Doug Marklein, Council President
608-373-6016 voicemail
608-752-8734 cell
markleind@ci.janesville.wi.us

Doug Marklein, Council President
608-373-6016 voicemail
608-752-8734 cell
markleind@ci.janesville.wi.us

Mark Bobzien
608-373-6011 voicmail
608-359-6678 cell
bobzienm@ci.janesville.wi.us

Kay Deupree
608-373-6013 voiceail
deupreek@ci.janesville.wi.us

Jim Farrell
608-373-6012 voicemail
608-289-9407 cell
farrellj@ci.janesville.wi.us

Rich Gruber
608-373-6014 voicemail
608-921-1483 cell
gruberr@ci.janesville.wi.us

Sam Liebert
608-373-6015 voicemail
608-359-1956 cell
lieberts@ci.janesville.wi.us

Northcentral Technical College bans tobacco use (and vaping) on all campuses

NTC Tobacco Free CampusNORTHERN WISCONSIN – Many colleges across Wisconsin ban tobacco on campus. Now, Northcentral Technical College can join that group.

As of August 1st, all NTC campuses banned tobacco on campus, including chewing tobacco and E-cigarettes. NTC staff sees this as a way to protect student health.

“As we looked at the overall wellness of our students, staff, and our visitors, we felt like that shift was a positive shift to make,” said NTC Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan. “But we made that shift with the intention of also offering resources and services to those students and staff who are interested in quitting the use of tobacco.”
The change got rid of designated smoking zones. NTC staff says student feedback has been positive so far.
“Students appreciate the fact that they don’t have to walk through smoke or see the tobacco use on campus,” said Sullivan. “Obviously there are some students who have questions and we’ve been dealing with those students individually, offering to have conversations with them to get their feedback, because we think everybody’s feedback is important.”
There will be penalties [$25 for the third offense, possible expulsion and being banned from campus] for those who don’t follow the rules.
“I think initially we’re going to go with a strong educational slant with our enforcement, educating people on the new policy, issuing warning,” said Sullivan. “If we see people are repeatedly violating the new policy then there are consequences, there are fines, and then there’s also possible disciplinary action for students.”
NTC campuses serve about 4,000 students. NTC is offering resources for students who want to quit tobacco use.

Why Is The CDC Lying About E-Cigarettes?

4-23-15
Forbes
Jacob Sullum

For years anti-smoking activists and public health officials have tried to justify their irrational hatred of electronic cigarettes by arguing that vaping leads to smoking, especially among impressionable young people who otherwise would never touch tobacco. But that is not happening. To the contrary, vaping and smoking rates among teenagers are moving in opposite directions. Rather than admit they were wrong to claim that e-cigarettes are a “gateway” to the conventional kind, opponents of vaping have escalated their prevarications by implying, in defiance of all scientific evidence, that there is no important difference between the two kinds of nicotine delivery devices.

According to the latest numbers from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released last week, 13.4 percent of high school students reported past-month use of e-cigarettes in 2014, up from 4.5 percent in 2013. During the same period, the rate of past-month e-cigarette use among middle school students rose from 1.1 percent to 3.9 percent. “E-Cigarette Use Triples Among Middle and High School Students in Just One Year,” said the headline over the CDC’s press release, which spawned myriad news reports highlighting that point.

2015 High School Tobacco Use Vs Ecigarettes

 

Less noticed was a fact relegated to the fourth paragraph: “Cigarette use declined among high school students and remained unchanged for middle school students.” Among high school students, 9.2 percent reported past-month cigarette use in 2014, down from 12.7 percent in 2013. Among middle school students, 2.5 percent reported past-month cigarette use, down from 2.9 percent in 2013. The latter drop was not statistically significant, which is why the CDC says the rate “remained unchanged.”

The divergence between vaping and smoking is even more dramatic when you look at the period from 2011 through 2014, when the rate of past-month e-cigarette use rose from 1.5 percent to 13.4 percent among high school students and from 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent among middle school students. Meanwhile, past-month cigarette smoking fell from 15.8 percent to 9.2 percent in the older group and from 4.3 percent to 2.5 percent in the younger group. Needless to say, this is not what you would expect to see if vaping encouraged smoking.

If anything, these data suggest that e-cigarettes are replacing the real thing. As one tobacco researcher told The New York Times, “They’re not a gateway in, and they might be accelerating the gateway out.” That cannot be anything but good news from a public health perspective, given the huge difference in risk between vaping and smoking.

The CDC refuses to see it that way. “This is a really bad thing,” CDC Director Tom Frieden told the Times. “This is another generation being hooked by the tobacco industry. It makes me angry.”

Read Original Article on Forbes ->

WSAC responds to misleading Marathon Co Health Dept Q&A

Public Health officials should acknowledge that the benefits of smokers quitting smoking far outweigh the minor risks of vapor - even to bystanders.

Public Health officials should acknowledge that the benefits of smokers quitting smoking far outweigh the minor risks of vapor – even to bystanders.

Destinee Coenen, a public health educator with the Marathon County Health Department who is part of the Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition, recently wrote this  misleading and counterfactual response to a reader’s question about electronic cigarettes in the Wausau Daily Herald. WSAC responds:

Once again, public health lands on the wrong side of the vapor product debate.  Public health should be encouraging smokers to switch to these safer products, rather than making baseless claims. It seems like they’d rather smokers keep smoking!

There is no evidence that vapor is “invading clean air.” In fact, the vapor has antibacterial properties.

No one claims vapor products are “healthy,” only that they are orders of magnitudes safer than conventional cigarettes. Even Mitch Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products, has stated “If we could get all of those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health.”

These products aren’t for non-smokers, they are for smokers, who are exposed to thousands of chemicals and dozens of carcinogens. The small amount of vapor a non-smoker would be exposed to in public spaces pales in comparision to the health risks to a smoker and his family if he keeps smoking. Unfounded health scares only serve to keep those smokers smoking.

The “chemicals detected” in vapor products have not been found in harmful levels and it is disingenuous of public health officials to not disclose that fact and make it seem like there have been harmful levels found. The formadehyde story has been criticized for its inaccuracy. Formaldehyde has not been found when the products are used as intended. Researchers only found formaldehyde when the devices were heated to levels far beyond normal use. Yet, public health keeps making this false claim.

Some smokers who use e-cigarettes do continue to smoke, but they smoke less cigarettes than before. Those smokers are typically just starting out and haven’t switched completely yet. Or they are using an inferior device – like something they may have purchased at a gas station.

“Public Health officials should acknowledge that the benefits of smokers quitting smoking far outweigh the minor risks of vapor – even to bystanders.”

Even so, the FDA recently changed the requirements for nicotine replacement products, such as gums and lozenges, removing the requirement to tell consumers not to continue smoking while using the products and to use them no longer than 12 weeks. These changes were SUPPORTED by Public Health groups. According to the FDA: “There are no significant safety concerns associated with using more than one [nicotine product] at the same time, or using [a nicotine cessation product] at the same time as another nicotine-containing product—including a cigarette. If you are using [a nicotine cessation product] while trying to quit smoking but slip up and have a cigarette, you should not stop using the [nicotine cessation product]. You should keep using the [nicotine cessation product] and keep trying to quit.”

Clearly, “dual use” of those nicotine products are not a concern, so why should it be a concern for those using vapor products? Many people using e-cigarettes are still transitioning and haven’t quit fully yet. There is no evidence that those folks will NEVER quit. In fact, hundreds of thousands of smokers are reporting that they have completely quit!

E-cigarettes may not have been “proven safe,” however, after 10 years on the market, researchers have failed to find anything but minor health risks to adult smokers and no risks to bystanders. Compare that to a product public health pushes on smokers: Chantix. That product has also been on the market for 10 years, resulting in numerous reports of serious adverse effects, including over 500 deaths. Because of this, the FDA requires a “black box” warning of the serious side effects. Regardless, the FDA stated that the benefits of quitting smoking outweighed even those significant risks.

The same standard should apply to e-cigarettes and vapor products. Clearly, with no serious adverse reports, no deaths and no harmful levels of any of the chemicals detected to date, vapor products are unquestionably a benefit that outweighs the risks. It’s time Public Health officials acknowledge that fact and stop this irrational war on these products.

Should they be sold to minors? No. But it is already against the law to sell to minors in Wisconsin. However, all of the scare mongering being done by Public Health is keeping thousands adult smokers in Wisconsin from switching. THAT is what’s truly bad for Wisconsin’s children.

Kristin Noll-Marsh
Wisconsin Smoke-free Alternatives Coalition

Call to Action: St Croix County Vaping Ban

Call_to_Action_IconSt. Croix County’s proposed amendments to “Resolution 34” redefines vaping as “smoking” and bans use on County property, including parks and fair grounds. While the County may have an argument for the right to prohibit vaping inside its own workplaces, banning the use of vapor products at public outdoor spaces, such as parks and fair grounds, is completely unreasonable and groundless.

This issue will be discused at the next St Croix Health and Human Sevices Board meeting on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 5:30 p.m. at the County Board Room, 1101 Carmichael Road, Hudson, Wisconsin. If the Board agrees with this amendment, it will recommend to the Administration Committee the inclusion of E-Cigarettes to an updated policy or ordinance.

As it’s almost a guarantee that the Health and Human Servies Board will push this to the Administration Committee, we are recommending members focus on contacting the members of the Administration Committee. The next Committee meeting is scheduled for April 15th, but this proposal is not on the agenda.  It may be on the agenda for the following meeting on May 5th. Please contact the committee members (see below) as soon as possible!

 


ADVOCACY SUGGESTIONS

1)  Email and call the members of the St. Croix Administraton Committee to explain why you oppose efforts to ban the use of vapor products on outdoor County property, 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 that could be found for the Committee 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

St. Croix County Health and Human Services Board Meeting Agenda (pg 49): http://stcroixcountywi.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1649&Inline=True

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

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

1. You are a St. Croix-area or Wisconsin resident and you oppose banning e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited on County properties, specifically outdoor spaces such as parks and fair grounds. (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 St. Croix 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. 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 prohibiting vapor product use even outdoors, the County 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 St. Croix 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 on County outdoor properties 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 WSAC4WI.org and  CASAA.org websites, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.


CONTACT LIST

Travis Schachtner St. Croix County Chair
Phone: 715.381.4311
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TravisSchachtnerForDistrict1
T
witter: https://twitter.com/TjSchachtner
Email: district1@co.saint-croix.wi.us
1101 Carmichael Road
Hudson, WI 54016

Roy Sjoberg St. Croix County Supervisor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Roysjobergforcountysupervisor
Twitter: N/A
Email: district5@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Jill Ann Berke St. Croix County Supervisor
Facebook: N/A
Twitter: N/A
Email: District9@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Ron Kiesler St. Croix County Vice Chair
Facebook: N/A
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sccdistrict13
Email: district13@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Judy Achterhof St. Croix County Supervisor
Facebook: N/A
Twitter: N/A
Email: District17@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Dave Ostness St. Croix County Supervisor
Facebook: N/A
Twitter: N/A
Email: district10@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Roger Larson St. Croix County Supervisor
Facebook: N/A
Twitter: N/A
Email: district11@co.saint-croix.wi.us

Comma Delimited list: district1@co.saint-croix.wi.us, district5@co.saint-croix.wi.us, District9@co.saint-croix.wi.us, district13@co.saint-croix.wi.us, District17@co.saint-croix.wi.us, district10@co.saint-croix.wi.us, district11@co.saint-croix.wi.us

 

Smokescreen? Madison vapers say e-cigarettes help them quit smoking, but health effects remain largely unknown

Madison vaper
BRYNA GODAR | The Capital Times | bgodar@madison.com

Tom Smithback smoked for 40 years, burning through two packs a day. Every 10 days, he spent $144 to sustain the addiction, and people who saw him would never have guessed he was only 64.

“The smoking was killing me, slowly but surely,” Smithback said.

But he didn’t fully realize what damage it had done until June, when he discovered electronic cigarettes and started “vaping” instead of smoking. Within a month, he had quit tobacco cigarettes entirely. His blood pressure dropped from 145/80 to 122/62 and his sinuses cleared up. He feels better in the morning and he looks years younger, according to those who know him.

“You go downhill so slowly you don’t realize it,” he said. “I can’t believe the difference in someone’s health.”

Smithback still vapes daily (twisted peppermint is his preferred flavor) and is now looking forward to life beyond is 70th birthday.

Stories like Smithback’s are common among Wisconsin’s vaping community as regular smokers switch to vaping and urge others to do the same. But while researchers and health officials acknowledge the potential for reduced harm by switching, they are often far more concerned about the still-unknown dangers e-cigarettes and vaping could trigger.

“The problem is that we don’t have enough evidence right now to make a strong perception,” said Megan Piper, a researcher with University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.

The past few years have brought hundreds of studies, commentaries and news articles about electronic cigarettes, yet they are still described by opposing sides as either an incredibly effective method to end smoking or the next major public health hazard.

Both sides agree more independent research is needed.

The lesser of two evils?

Dino Spinelli, co-owner of MadTown Vapor in Cambridge, doesn’t contend vaping is better for you than giving up smoking altogether, but in comparison to cigarettes, most users say it’s a stark improvement.

“Every day, we’ve got people coming in quitting cigarettes,” Spinelli said. “We’re not saying it’s healthy for you; we’re saying it’s healthier for you than cigarettes.”

Read More >

Support Vapor Product Bill LRB 1116/5

Stop The Bans High ResAcross 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!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION (more…)