New York Post:" title="NY Post: Bloomberg’s e-cig ban likely to do more harm than good">ecig ny post

New York Post:

From the New York Post:

Mayor Bloomberg’s going out with one last ban. The City Council, with the administration’s strong backing, is rushing through a law to treat the vapor from e-cigarettes like tobacco smoke under the city’s “Smoke-Free Air Act.” The use of e-cigs, ­a k a “vaping,” would be forbidden in indoor and outdoor locations wherever smoking is banned.

The key idea is that e-cigs somehow facilitate tobacco smoking – but the best evidence suggests the reverse, that they’re mainly useful for (and used by) people trying to quit. So the ban is likely to do harm, not good.

The goal of the Smoke-Free Air Act has always been to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke, and allow people to smoke in fewer places, with the hope that it would cause them to quit. Banning e-cigs helps on neither front.

It won’t cut exposure to secondhand smoke, because there is no smoke — not even any first-hand smoke. And early evidence is that they’re a much more popular way to help people quit smoking than forcing them to stand out in the cold.

Here’s the science so far: A randomized controlled trial, published in the Lancet last month, found that e-cigs were about as effective an aid in quitting as FDA approved nicotine patches.

The study, funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, also found that e-cigs have only a few adverse effects — far fewer than tobacco.

The pro-ban side argues that e-cigarettes “normalize” smoking, because people may be confused and think vaping is smoking. That’s nonsense.

Robin Vitale of the American Heart Association summed up the claim at a council hearing this month: “This mimicry of traditional cigarettes, if used indoors where smoking is banned, can easily lead to confusion and confrontation by New York business owners. The potential for this dynamic to weaken the city’s decade-long ban on smoking in workplaces is quite clear and is the greatest motivating factor to support this proposal.”

Actual business owners beg to differ. Andrew Rigie of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, the trade association for restaurants and bars, testified that e-cigarettes have not become an issue of concern among his members.

It seems that regular folks can tell that the blue LED light on the tip of many e-cigs from the red burning ember at the end of real cigarettes. It helps that vapor doesn’t stink the way tobacco smoke does.

Yes, e-cigs somewhat mimic the old “coffin nails” — that’s why they help you quit. Many smokers prefer kicking the habit with a product that looks and feels like a cigarette.

Spike Babian, co-owner of Vape New York, a city “vape shop,” made the clear point, testifying, “We don’t ban water because it looks like vodka.”

City Health Commissioner Tom Farley presented another red herring at the same hearing, hauling out the “gateway” argument: He claimed, with no data to back up the charge, that e-cigarette use could lead to smoking. In fact, preliminary studies, as well as empirical evidence, show that e-cigarettes are a major gateway away from smoking.

A study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in November looked at 1,300 college students, average age 19. Only 43 of those told researchers their first nicotine product was an e-cigarette, and only one of the 43 later switched to cigarettes. The vast majority of the 43 who’d tried an e-cigarette weren’t using nicotine or tobacco when researchers followed up.

“It didn’t seem as though it really proved to be a gateway to anything,” said researcher Theodore Wagener, an assistant professor of general and community pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, in Oklahoma City.

As an ultimate fallback, activists suggest e-cig vapor might be dangerous. But in a study this summer, Drexel University’s Dr. Igor Burstyn found “there is no evidence that vaping produces inhalable exposures . . . that would warrant health concerns by the standards that are used to ensure safety of workplaces.”

Grasping at straws, the ban fans suggest it’s just the prudent thing to do until we have more data. No, the prudent thing to do is to help smokers trying to quit.

Jeff Stier, a National Center for Public Policy Research senior fellow, lives on the Upper West Side.

Read more from the New York Post…

You can fight the New York City E-Cigarette ban here…

new york ecig users

NYSSA Urges New Yorkers to Stand Up to Councilman Gennaro and Proposed Treatment of Electronic Cigarettes as Tobacco

New Yorkers for Smarter Smoking Alternatives (NYSSA) was formed to educate the public on electronic cigarettes, which are a safer smoking alternative. The day before Thanksgiving, at the eleventh hour, the New York City Council introduced a bill sponsored by James Gennaro that would ban electronic cigarette use in all locations where tobacco cigarette use is banned – commonly known as the Smoke Free Air Act.

NYSSA asserts that this regulation is incredibly premature and unreasonable. The long term effects of electronic cigarettes are currently unknown, so any passage of this bill would be premature. Regulation should be commensurate with harm. Prematurely regulating this inherently different product the same way as traditional tobacco is unjustified, especially when other tobacco alternatives – like nicotine patches and gum – are not subject to the same restrictions. Electronic cigarettes are completely distinct from tobacco cigarettes; therefore, they should be regulated differently. NYSSA believes that New York City Council Members need to thoroughly research the effects of electronic cigarettes before implementing any further regulations.

“It is clear that electronic cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes are inherently different products that should be regulated separately and distinctly,” says NYSSA Spokesman David Schwartz. “Council Member Gennaro seems to think it is safer to use other tobacco products in bars, such as hookah, rather than electronic cigarettes. This is unfounded and hypocritical. Gennaro thinks he can choose to ban electronic cigarettes just because he feels like it.”

NYSSA believes this legislation was hastily set in motion. More time should be given to the federal government to weigh in on the proper way to approach electronic cigarette regulation. NYSSA does not suggest that electronic cigarettes be free from regulation, but rather insist that it be reasonably regulated.

The coalition emphasizes that there is simply a lack of adequate information and conclusive scientific studies to draw such a close comparison between electronic cigarettes, which consists of the release of water vapor, and tobacco. Even during Health Commissioner Farley’s testimony at the public hearing on electronic cigarettes, he admitted that electronic cigarettes “are so new, we know very little about them.”

NYSSA stands strong in opposition to this premature bill and urges all New Yorkers to tell the members in City Council to vote against the ban.

We urge you to reach out to Speaker Quinn and your local Council Member. We also urge you to reach out to Council Member’s Ignizio, Gentile, Koslowitz and Weprin, who have expressed their intention to vote against the ban – we need to urge them to convince Speaker Quinn to remove this legislation from this year’s agenda. This regulation has been too hastily set in motion and must be set aside until the next administration. TAKE ACTION NOW!

*Please send the following letters to your respective New York City Council Members. The first letter is for speaker, Christine Quinn:

E-Cig Letter in opposition to Christine Quinn.pdf

This letter is for people to send to Council Members – particulary Weprin, Koslowitz, Ignizio and Gentile – to urge the Speaker to remove it from the agenda for the year and to regulate ecigs commensurate with harm and separate from tobacco. Letter in opposition to NYC Ecig RegulationLetter in opposition to NYC Ecig Regulation

Due to time sensitivity, it is important to send this letter to the following members:

Vincent Ignizio: vignizio@council.nyc.gov

Karen Koslowitz: Koslowitz@council.nyc.gov

Mark Weprin:  MWeprin@Council.NYC.gov

Vincent Genile: vgentile@council.nyc.gov

See mail addresses on header of the letters. You can get email addresses for other council members here.

Crain's NY:" title="E-cig sellers fight city to avoid going up in smoke">crains ecig sellers fight back

Crain's NY:

From Crain’s NY:

Spike Babaian loved the way the first puff hit her lips. She never thought electronic cigarettes would be her gateway into the business world.

“I thought it was a miracle device,” she said. “I just wanted everybody to have one.”

Four years later, Ms. Babaian is New York City’s reigning maven of e-cigarettes—battery-powered devices used to heat up and inhale liquid nicotine. She’s president of the National Vapers Club, founder of a national summit for e-cig vendors, Vapefest, and co-owner of the city’s first e-cigarette store, VapeNY.

But Ms. Babaian and an industry that is expected to grow tenfold in the next several years, to $10 billion in U.S. retail sales, face a threat in New York. In late November, a month after banning the sale of the devices to people under 21, the City Council surprised the sector by introducing a bill that would treat electronic cigarettes like their tobacco counterparts, prohibiting use in restaurants, bars, workplaces and even parks. Ms. Babaian said the law would deter a million potential customers, the city’s population of cigarette smokers, from buying her product as a way to wean themselves off cigarettes.

“One of the biggest selling points is indoor use,” she said. “If people have to stand outside with smokers, there’s less incentive to switch over.”

….

“I can’t for the life of me understand how you can pass regulations without any sort of research behind them,” said David Schwartz, a lobbyist at the firm Gotham Government Relations, who recently founded a coalition called New Yorkers for Smarter Smoking Alternatives to fight the Bloomberg regulations. “They are looking to pass it before the next administration can look at the issue.”

Mr. Schwartz’s firm represents electronic cigarette company LOGIC, which is not affiliated with Big Tobacco, even though other companies pushing against the restrictions do have ties to tobacco firms. The Bloomberg administration and City Council effort came too quickly for the e-cigarette industry, restaurant and bar owners and others to effectively mobilize against it, he said.

At a recent public hearing of the bill, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley challenged the notion that e-cigs are healthier than tobacco smokes, though he admitted that not enough research had been conducted to support either side’s claim on the healthfulness of the vaporizers. In attendance was a hoard of users (who call themselves “vapers” to distinguish themselves from “smokers”) puffing their pipes in protest.

When Ms. Babaian, a Long Island native, first tried an e-cig, she was teaching a Mercy College course in human sexual behavior and smoking two packs a day. The device helped her kick the habit.

Read more from Crain’s NY

You can fight the New York City E-Cigarette ban here…

take action 2 nys

NYS E-Cig Users: Take Action Now!

N

New York State is well on its way to voting on a bill to ban electronic cigarette use in all New York State locations where tobacco use is also banned. New York City just passed a similar law, we cannot let it happen to the entire state – it is just not acceptable. We must remind our state elected officials that electron cigarettes are completely distinct from tobacco cigarettes; therefore, they should be regulated differently and reasonably. They are inherently different products and any proposed ban, or even additional taxation, would be incredibly premature.

We urge you to reach out to your local State Senator and Assembly Member to express your outrage to these bills that would severely restrict electronic cigarette access and usage. The Food and Drug Administration has already started to voice their findings, so we must urge New York State to wait before they arbitrarily pass legislation that may end up being contrary to the FDA’s findings.

We ask that you send the following letter to your local State Senator and Assembly Member:

 

NYS Letter in Opposition to AB8178/SB6562

new york city council hearing

ANNOUNCEMENT: Public Hearing on Electronic Cigarette Regulation in New York City

WHEN: December 4, 2013 @ 10am

WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, New York, NY

WHAT: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the regulation of electronic cigarettes (this is a pre-considered bill, therefore it will move quickly). If passed, this legislation would prohibit electronic cigarette usage in public places all over New York City.

Read introduction to the proposed legislation by Council Members James Gennaro, Christine Quinn and Maria Del Carmen Arroyo here.

WHO:  Health Committee Council Members

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

You can contact Health Committee Members and express your concerns about the proposed regulations. We encourage you to email, call or even Tweet to the Council Members and let them know how you feel about these premature restrictions. You can also to attend the public hearing in opposition to the proposed regulations. If you wish to testify at the hearing, please show up at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting to sign up with the Sergeant at Arms. Let’s fight this together and show City Council why electronic cigarettes are not to be subject to the same regulations as tobacco! In addition to being a successful alternative to the dangers of smoking tobacco, please keep the following in mind as well:

  • Electronic cigarettes encourage economic growth
  • While the FDA has discovered trace amounts of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in some electronic cigarettes, they contain the same trace levels as the FDA-approved nicotine patch.
  • Studies show that electronic cigarettes are just as good as the nicotine patch and other cessation products.
  • The vapor from electronic cigarettes has no smell that affects other patrons or employees in any establishment
  • The FDA was set to issue regulations by October 31st, but have they have yet to offer guidance on how these devices must be regulated – they are still expected to issue their findings.

NYSmartSmoke:

We’re taking swift action against this bill and encourage you to join us. Please sign up below and we’ll update you about our actions and how you can help.

Mailing List

 

 

 

Forbes: New York City May Ban Vaping Because It Looks Like Smoking" title="Forbes: New York City May Ban Vaping Because It Looks Like Smoking">forbes jim gennaro ecig

Forbes: New York City May Ban Vaping Because It Looks Like Smoking

The New York City Council is considering a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes in bars, restaurant, and other “public places”—not because there is any evidence that the devices pose a hazard but because they look too much like regular cigarettes. Councilman James Gennaro, a sponsor of the proposed ban, tells The New York Times, ”We see these cigarettes are really starting to proliferate, and it’s unacceptable.” Why is it unacceptable? According to the Times, “Mr. Gennaro said children who could not differentiate between regular and electronic smoking were getting the message that smoking is socially acceptable.”

…since the main selling point of e-cigarettes is that they eliminate tobacco, its combustion products, and the health hazards associated with them. Although the Times says vaping in public remains legal thanks to “a loophole” in New York’s smoking ban, the truth is that vaping remains legal precisely because vaping is not smoking. By seeking to equate the two, control freaks like Gennaro may achieve the opposite of their avowed aim, increasing rather than reducing smoking-related illness. As Craig Weiss, president of the e-cigarette company NJoy, tells the Times, “If you make it just as inconvenient to use an electronic cigarette as a tobacco cigarette, people are just going to keep smoking their Marlboros.”

Read more from Forbes…

NYSmartSmoke:

We’re taking swift action against this bill and encourage you to join us. Please sign up below and we’ll update you about our actions and how you can help.

Mailing List

 

New York Daily News: City Council seeks ban on e-cigarettes" title="City Council seeks ban on e-cigarettes in public places as high-tech successor to smoking ban">daily news ecig public ban

New York Daily News: City Council seeks ban on e-cigarettes

The City Council will hold a hearing Wednesday on a bill to prohibit the use of batty-operated, tobacco-free vaporizers in places where people can’t smoke tobacco cigarettes, including restaurants, offices, parks and beaches.

First the city banned smoking in most public places. Now it’s moving to snuff out the use of smokeless electronic cigarettes as well.

The City Council announced Wednesday that it will hold a hearing Wednesday on a bill prohibiting the use of the battery-operated, tobacco-free vaporizers in restaurants, offices, parks, beaches and other places where smoking regular cigarettes is not allowed.

The goal is to enact the new law by the end of the year, before the Council’s current session ends.

E-cigarettes have emerged as a trendy alternative to tobacco cigarettes, their popularity fueled by a perception that they are healthier and that they can help people kick conventional cigarette habits.

But anti-smoking advocates said there is no research showing that “vaping” e-cigarettes is safe or that the smokeless devices can help people leave smoking addictions behind.

The advocates say that e-cigs actually might interfere with attempts to quit smoking, because many e-cigarettes contain nicotine, the habit-forming stimulant contained in tobacco smoke.

The Council bill claims that the e-cigs may even increase the appeal of traditional smoking. “Children and youth who experiment with electronic cigarettes may become addicted to nicotine and then switch to smoking cigarettes,” the bill states.

The bill is sponsored by Councilman James Gennaro (D-Queens) and Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan).

Read more from New York Daily News….

NYSmartSmoke:

We’re taking swift action against this bill and encourage you to join us. Please sign up below and we’ll update you about our actions and how you can help.

Mailing List

 

Bloomberg BusinessWeek:" title="E-Cigarettes at Dinner? No Problem at These Top Smoke-Free Restaurants">

Bloomberg BusinessWeek:

From Bloomberg BusinessWeek:

Ten years after New York City banned smoking in restaurants and bars, diners are puffing away once again.

E-cigarettes—battery-powered cylinders that deliver vaporized nicotine—are becoming the drug of choice for gourmands who’d rather not stand out in the rain, heat, or snow to enjoy a few puffs. Manufacturers of the devices, which hook up to computers like iPhones (some download!) and glow like phosphorescent jellyfish, pitch the cigarettes as odorless, ash-free, and without tobacco smoke. For some restaurateurs, that means e-cigarettes fall outside the antismoking law.

“We allow it,” says Adele LeGault, general manager at Michael White’s Costata, an expensive SoHo steakhouse where she encounters at least one e-smoker each night.

Other big-name operators are still grappling with the issue. Neither Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (Maialino, Shake Shack) nor Daniel Boulud’s collection of French spots has an e-cigarette policy. Eleven Madison Park, where dinner for two can easily approach $900, says it would permit e-smoking in its lounge but not in the dining room. Gabriel Stulman’s more casual group of eateries (Perla, Fedora, Montmartre) forbids it.

Here’s what some of New York’s most prominent chefs and restaurateurs have to say about e-cigarettes:

Read more from Bloomberg BusineesWeek…

The Portland Herald / The Washington Post" title="Another View: In popularity of e-cigarettes, there’s peril and opportunity">portland herald press

The Portland Herald / The Washington Post

From The Portland Herald / The Washington Post

Is the rising popularity of electronic cigarettes a public health problem or a way for smokers to get their nicotine in a safer form? Right now, e-cigarettes appear to be both.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week announced that the number of youth who have tried e-cigarettes doubled between 2011 and 2012. One-tenth of high school students inhaled the devices’ vapor last year. About three-quarters of those who admitted using e-cigarettes currently also smoked traditional cigarettes. But roughly 160,000 students in the National Youth Tobacco Survey last year said they had tried only e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes contain small amounts of liquid that an atomizer vaporizes for inhalation. They aren’t regulated heavily, so there isn’t much public information available on what’s in them.

But they clearly contain nicotine, which is addictive. Public health advocates warn that e-cigarette makers are using the same strategies that tobacco companies employed to attract young people — candy flavorings, for example. Lax state-level regulations also make it easy for young people to buy them.

Yet public health advocates also should appreciate the other side of e-cigarettes. For those unwilling or unable to give up nicotine, e-cigarettes offer something akin to the experience of smoking a real cigarette without the same concentration of toxins. The Food and Drug Administration has the power to demand information from companies on e-cigarettes’ ingredients, regulate their contents and control their sale, and it should get going.

If the FDA can get more addicted smokers onto e-cigarettes without encouraging children and teenagers to take up smoking, it would do some good.

Read more from The Portland Herald / The Washington Post…

International Business Times:" title="E-Cigarettes As Effective As Nicotine Patches In Helping Smokers Quit: Study">International business times ecig

International Business Times:

E-Cigarettes As Effective As Nicotine Patches In Helping Smokers Quit: Study

From International Business Times:

E-cigarettes were just about as effective as nicotine patches in helping smokers quit in the first trial to compare the two products, though scientists caution that more research is needed to study the long-term effects of such products.

An e-cigarette is a cylinder with a battery-operated heating element that turns a special liquid mixture – usually containing nicotine, but not always – into vapor. It is still unclear whether e-cigarettes are safer than conventional tobacco products. But even so, some health officials think that e-cigarettes could be a helpful tool for those looking to kick the habit.

For a new study published in The Lancet [PDF], researchers recruited 657 adult smokers in New Zealand who were looking to quit smoking. From one week before their designated quit day to 12 weeks after, participants were given one of the following: e-cigarettes, nicotine patches, or a placebo e-cigarette with no nicotine.

When the researchers followed up with the participants six months later, 7.3 percent of the 289 people in the nicotine e-cigarette group were still successfully abstaining from conventional tobacco products; in the patches group, that figure was 5.8 percent; and in the placebo e-cigarettes group, just 4.1 percent of smokers successfully quit.

Read more from International Business Times…