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URGENT CTA Chicago E-Cigarette Usage Ban 12-9-13

URGENT CALL TO ACTION! CHICAGO E-CIGARETTE 

USAGE BAN -- 

 (Hearing in Committee Possible Monday, December 9th!)

It has been reported that an ordinance regulating e-cigarettes in the City of Chicago likely will be introduced in a joint committee on MONDAY, December 9th, 2013.  

We are still trying to confirm details, but it appears that the City of Chicago is deliberately failing to provide advance notice in an effort to eliminate opposition to the ordinance.


UPDATE: It appears that the e-cigarette usage ban and other measures will be introduced and have a public hearing on Monday, December 9th at 11:30 AM at City Hall (121 N LaSalle St in Chicago) before the Joint Committee on Health & Environmental Justice & Finance.  

We have been told that supporters hope to rush this through the full Council on Wednesday, so immediate action is required. We urge all vapers to attend and testify!
 
We have not been able to confirm details, but our understanding is it likely that the proposed legislation will:
 
·  Require E-cigarettes be sold behind the counter
        
·  Ban sales to minors
 
· Prohibit distribution of product samples
 
· Subject e-cigarettes to the Clean Indoor Air Act (can’t smoke indoors)
 
· Prohibit sales in any building within 100 ft of a school/day care/or for the education or recreation of children under 18

It is imperative that Chicago area vapers reach out to their aldermen--

1. You would like them to OPPOSE the proposed ordinance which would ban smoke-free e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.  

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life.

3. Explain how smoking bans are enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been shown to cause harm to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with e-cigarettes is comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.
  • 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.
  • A comprehensive review by a Drexel University professor 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. 
  • Additionally, a study by the Roswell Park Center that was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the levels of chemicals and toxicants in the vapor produced by 12 different e-cigarettes and noted that the trace levels of chemicals present were comparable to what is found in a FDA-approved nicotine inhaler. 

4. Detail how 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 indoor use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.

5. Inform them that the ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch. Surveys of thousands of users indicate that the majority of those who switch, completely replace tobacco cigarettes with the electronic cigarettes, reducing their health risks by 98-99%. 

6. Tell them that by switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.

7. Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.
 
While e-mails are easier, phone calls will have a larger impact, even if you are simply leaving a message after hours. 
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