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4/6/14 - 4/9/14 Media Roundup

I need to stop getting so far behind. I hope to post the update for the today tonight, so I'll be back on track. Sorry about that ...

1) In a first of its kind, a vaping=smoking ban in St. Joseph MO was narrowly passed by referendum. The ordinance was promoted as an indoor tobacco smoking ban, but also included vapoing. Apparently both federal and state tax dollars were used to fund the effort on behalf of the law (this is also a first, insofar as a referendum result was so influenced).

2) New paper in Nature suggests a link between vaping and lung cell damage which may be associated with mutations (cancer).

3) New study from the UK suggests that vaping may be "Accelerate Smoking Cessation, Not Hinder It" (quoting Dr. Siegel).

4) CASAA alert for vaping=smoking ordinance to be discussed in Baytown Tx, tomorrow morning:
CASAA: Local Alert! Baytown, Texas E-Cigarette Usage Ban

5) The last bill in the US which might've explicitly excluded vaping from an indoor clean air act appears to have died:

6) NJOY sued in CA Federal Court in a class action which alleges that the plaintiff was injured by the use of the product, and NJOY made false claims about its safety.

7) Vaping=smoking indoor/outdoor bans passed unanimously in the following places: Smith co. TX; Reno co. KS; Del Mar CA; and Orland CA.

8) Vaping=smoking indoor/outdoor bans passed with dissenters in the following places: Hancock co. IN (2-1); Duncan OK (4-1); Austin MN (4-3); and Yolo co. CA (4-1).

9) Greg Conley from ECF confronts Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia, at signing ceremony for city's vaping=smoking indoor ban.

10) US House subcommittee has hearings regarding FDA's slow approval rate for "substantial equivalence" applications under its tobacco products jurisdiction, which is precisely what vaping will be under in the event of FDA regulation under the current rubric.

11) Extremely thoughtful and well-researched article on vaping in Baltimore MD's free paper.

12) Poison control center call stories continue to flow in, at a rate of approximately 15-25/day. Most are from last week's CDC press release, although a few state and local poison control centers are dribbling in with their data. We can probably expect to see these stories for months, because they make good "filler." I'm monitoring them and will review/post the unusual ones as I see fit. But I won't start doing them regularly until the end of the month or so, which is when I anticipate that the flow will slow to a trickle. We are already seeing rare "reposts" of stories on Dutra & Glantz (minor gateway-to-tobacco junk study) and Grana et al. (junk cessation letter), which may be a sign that the "thrill" (as it were) from the poison headlines is subsiding. But the "e-cigarette poisonings of children skyrocket" meme is now well-established as part of the background lore in the US press, and we can expect to see this cited in most future anti-vaping hit jobs, as well as gratuitously added to vaping stories in the indefinite future.



Title: E-cigarettes affect cells [possible cancer link]
(Nature) http://www.nature

It's not clear exactly what this means, although it seems to have generated far fewer stories than I'd have anticipated. It's currently being discussed in this ECF thread:

Title: New Data from England Suggest that Electronic Cigarettes are Helping to Accelerate Smoking Cessation, Not Hinder It
(Dr. Siegel's Blog)
"Opponents of electronic cigarettes have spent most of their time speculating about the negative impact of these products. They have argued that electronic cigarettes undermine the motivation to quit, normalize smoking, and undermine years of tobacco control efforts. However, a look at the actual scientific evidence suggests that this is not the case at all. Quite the opposite, it appears that electronic cigarettes are enhancing the process of smoking cessation among active smokers."

Title: Contrary to Claims of Many Anti-Smoking Advocates, New Study Shows that Electronic Cigarettes Decrease Nicotine Addiction
(Dr. Siegel's Blog)
Survey study of vapers presented at 014 annual conference of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco indicates reduction in intensity of nicotine dependence.

Title: E-Cig Presence at Big Tobacco Hosted Trade Show
(ECF's InfoZone)
E-Cig Presence at Big Tobacco Hosted Trade Show - ECF InfoZone
What's happened in Vegas this week is The National Association of Tobacco Outlets (yes, it's "NATO"), and Gary Cox isn't going to let it stay in Vegas. The mouse that's roaring at the conference is vaping, because BT knows that its days are numbered. Will what Gary Cox refers to as the "fledgling industry" tolerate being taking under BT's wing?

Title: NEJM Fails to Correct Data on Children’s E-Cigarette Use
(Dr. Rodu's blog)
The New England Journal of Medicine doesn't intend to correct an overestimate of the number of US schoolchildren who are either vapoing or using tobacco cigarettes, due to dual use. The overestimate is approximately 1/7.

Title: Florida debates local vs state or federal control of e-cig sale to minors
(ECF's InfoZone)
Florida debates local vs state or federal control of e-cig sale to minors - ECF InfoZone
If you've been following the US legislative battles, you'll know that the ANTZ orgs managed to snatch defeat directly out of the jaws of victory in a number of states such as OR, where they opposed certain niceties of vaping=smoking legislation. In fact, OR didn't even end up with a simple minor sales/possession ban, which CASAA and virtually all vapers support. Now it's déjà vu "all over again" in FL, as a statewide battle erupts over two alternate minor sales/possession bans. One would keep local jurisdictions from imposing more stringent labelling and display requirements, and one would not. (Guess which one the ANTZ orgs oppose?) In this case, FL isn't so "weird," but it might be left with no bill at all.



Title: e-cigarettes next big smoking poison, warns study
(Sydney Aus.-Based Israel/expat. news site) http://www.israelherald

This isn't particularly remarkable for its content, but is yet another rare international report on the CDC press release. It doesn't mention the proposal by Israeli health minister Itamar Grotto to ban vaping.



Title: The Great British Vape-off debate
(UK Nat'l paper) http://www.telegraph

This piece refers to vaping as "smoking," and also contains this curious comment about heating elements:
"Fire chiefs are also concerned that smokers are unaware of risks. The South Yorkshire brigade warned last week that people did not realise that the heating elements within e-cigs can overheat and start fires." (A reference to charger fires?)

More significantly, this piece incorrectly suggests that there's a conflict between what it describes as the EU's desire to regulate vaping as a "consumer product," versus the UK's gov't's alleged desire "to see e-cigarettes licensed as medicinal products."

That statement is true in the very limited sense that the UK gov't has opened the door to medicinal licensing (both BAT and Nicoline have applied to the NHS, as this space reported on 2/2/14). It's also true that the MHRA announced last year that it intends to regulate vaping as cessation therapy - http://uk.reuters

The article is also correct insofar as the EU's TPD regulates vaping products as consumer (recreational, i.e. non-therapeutic) products.

However the writer is incorrect about the UK gov't's position - despite some rather mixed messages, about whether vaping will be regulated as both a consumer product (as advertising currently is), and as a medical product (to which the door has been opened), OR whether vaping is to be removed entirely from the consumper product regulatory framework and restricted to the therapeutic category. The article also wrongly suggests that the EU's TPD indicates anything about medicinal regulation, other than limiting what can be permitted under the consumer product framework (e.g. nicotine content and refillable cartridge size). In fact, medical use of vaping as cessation therapy is not regulated by the TPD, or by the EU at present: by all accounts the TPD currently envisions a two-track system which is entirely compatible with the UK's current direction, viz., member states will regulate vaping-based cessation therapies.

All of that said, the piece is generally balanced, and contains none of the sorts of factual inaccuracies designed to discourage vaping (or to encourage support for taxing and restricting the use of vaping) that we typically find in the press.

{Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
Title: Britain’s efforts to reduce smoking are becoming a cash cow for big tobacco
(UK adademics' blog site) http://theconversation

Makes the point that NRT was a huge boon to big pharma, via the strategy of harm reduction, ,and that vaping will be an equal benefit to BT, if/when it's approved as cessation by the MHRA (Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency). The authors conclude:
"Likewise, only profound dizziness explains the about face on nicotine which a decade ago was villainous enough to launch a thousand clinics but is now being rehabilitated with the NHS drug regulator as its cheerleader. But it takes real blindness to consider perpetual nicotine use, with all the dependence, disempowerment and regressive inequalities this presumes, to be sound public health policy."

Apparently the authors' preferred solution to the public health issues surrouding combustible tobacco smoking can be summed up in one word: abstinence.



Title: London Café Invites Customers to Pair E-Cigarettes with Coffee
(London-based culinary 'zine directed at consumers) http://www.foodbeast

Short but entertaining junk-free review of the vape-and-coffee shop, which this space first reported on 3/20. For a more detailed story, see: http://www.theguardian




Title: Barmaid hit by exploding e-cigarette
(BBC) http://www.bbc

I try not to cover charger fire stories (which the US media has apparently tired of), but this one is everywhere. Apparently there's YT video of this which has gone viral. In a nutshell, some cheap cigalike was plugged into an iPad charger, and it took off like a rocket, causing minor injuries to a bar tender.



Title: Venomous vaping? Debate over 'poison vapours' threatens to send e-cigarette craze up in smoke
(Manchester MCH UK local news amalgam site) http://www.mancunianmatters

This is another general survey piece, which begins with some comments about the concerns of regulators such as Drakeford, and moves on to list the usage policies of various local businesses and public authorities. It soesn't attempt to make any sweeping statements about cessation, but does cite the US CDC report about poision center calls. As we so often see in the press, it conflates calls with adverse outcomes, and it also fails to clarify that users of disposable cigalikes do not handle liquid nicotine. Your Correspondent wonders whether this wasn't generated by the usual cut-and-paste technique of mixing google search results with a trip to a local vape shop. That said, it contains little in the way of the sorts of hit job allegations that we find in US articles produced by cub reporters who feel the need to contact their local ALA or tobacco control officer.



{Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
Title: No proof e-cigarettes are safe
(Ottawa ON Ca local paper) http://www.ottawasun

This article basically consists of two multi-paragraph quotations.

Dr. Andrew Pipe, of the U. Ottowa Heart Inst., presents the classic Glantz position - vaping will encourage teen smoking, and will not discourage adult smoking, i.e. it leads to "more smoking, not less" (Glantz). Apparently he's unable to crystalize this into a nifty sound bite:
"'There are pretty profound concerns that the use of these devices will not actually assist with (quitting), but will actually perpetuate smoking. They will be attractive to adolescents who want to experiment, and the use of these devices will result in a very rapid addiction to nicotine,' says Pipe. 'Anything that glamourizes the use of a highly-addictive drug is problematic. Impressionable people see (celebrities) vaping, and it appears to be novel, alluring and sophisticated. 'Unfortunately we dealt with that with tobacco products and now it seems we're going to have to deal with the same thing with a different drug delivery device.' [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"

[So the bottom line is that a Dr.'s fears and concerns are facts. We don't need any evidence, the "MD" after the name is good enough to ensure that all predictions will become reality.]

The rest of the article consists of a second long multi-paragraph quote, this time from Dr. Jon Ebbert of the Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center (your tax dollars at work). Once again - no cessation evidence, and dual use (you know, like with NRT and cigarettes:
"'On one side you've got no evidence (e-cigarettes) are helping people quit -- especially when you look at the fact that most people who use them are actually continuing to smoke cigarettes, and so you've got this dual use phenomenon -- and on the other side you've got a developing body of evidence that it could be harmful.' [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"

But wait, there's more:
"'You've got 'Mom's Apple Pie' flavour, bubblegum flavour, whatever flavour you like, and there's massive amounts of nicotine in these bottles of e-juice,' says Ebbert. 'Potentially lethal doses of nicotine are being sold as a cottage industry, and they can be mailed right to your house. We've had increasing reports to poison control about the ingestion of e-juice, and just touching the fluid can make people, especially kids, quite sick. [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"

(As I always say - if you want a professional hit job, hire an American ANTZ.) What this story illustrates rather well is the success that the CDC has had in adding this third part of the meme to the collective "factoid" background - vaping poisons small children, it hooks teens on tobacco cigarette smoking, and it encourages adult cigarette smokers to smoke more cigarettes (or at least not quit).

Title: E-cigarettes can save lives
(Ottawa ON Ca local paper) http://www.ottawasun

This piece says what every vaper knows, and what even virtually all ANTZ acknowledge:
"'We've known for decades that if we can deliver the nicotine without the process of combustion, we could essentially end the epidemic,' says Sweanor, University of Ottawa law professor who has spent 30 years as a public health advocate. The readily-available and government-regulated alternatives -- the nicotine patch, chewing gum, lozenges -- have not had nearly the desired impact in the drive to quit, says Sweanor.

[...] Sweanor acknowledges there will still be risks associated with inhaling the vapour -- which contains propylene glycol along with nicotine and various flavouring agents -- but he equates the difference between vaping and smoking to getting a caffeine fix from a cup of coffee instead of lighting up tea leaves. [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"

Sadly, Prof. Sweanor doesn't address the principal anit-vaping meme to the effect that vaping poisons small children, causes teens to take up tobacco cigarettes, and encourages adult tobacco cigarette smokers to either smoke more, or not to quit.

[In fact, everything he says is entirely compatible with eliminating all "recreational" vaping - i.e. full "medicalization," which Your Correspondent believes to be the ultimate objective of the health authorities in the US and the UK, as well as Canada. This goal also formed the basis of the original EU TPD.



Title: Dangerous Consumer Product Lawsuits -- E-cigarette Maker Facing Class Action
(Law firm based in Tampa FL US) http://www.swoperodante

NJOY sued in class action. Plaintiff alleges that "are dangerous and contain levels of nicotine, toxins and carcinogens in amounts that vary from the labels," that NJOY failed to disclose this info., and that he had to stop using the product after it caused "him to exhibit symptoms including dizziness, nausea and chest pains."
"McGovern alleges that he, along with tens of thousands of other consumers, relied on NJOY's representations that e-cigarettes are healthier than conventional cigarettes, including representations on NJOY's website that the nicotine found in its e-cigarette cartridges is, '...found in certain plants, predominantly tobacco, and in lower quantities, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, cauliflower, bell peppers, and some teas.' McGovern's lawsuit contends that this statement implies the product is safe and that NJOY misrepresents its e-cigarette product as a smoking cessation device. [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"

Suit was filed in the US District court for the Central Dist. of California. (The report doesn't indicate a federal claim, so persumably the case was filed under diversity jurisdiction.) More details in the story.

Title: E-cigarettes have risks but they also offer public health benefits
(US National Paper) http://www.washingtonpost

.com/opinions/e-cigarettes-have-risks-but-they-also-offer-public-health-benefits/2014/0 4/09/72dad318-bc34-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_story.html
As we discovered some weeks ago in a New York Times editorial that appeared to endorse the EU TPD (Tobacco Products Directive), the editors of major U.S. newspapers don't seem to know even the most basic facts about the regulatory framework - both actual and proposed - that governs or will govern vaping. In this case, it's not even clear what the editors are proposing, other than avoidance of an outright ban. Do they support taxing vaping at the same level as tobacco cigarettes? Are they in favor of banning interstate sales? Do they think that flavors and/or refillable cartridges over (say) 2ml - just to pick a random number out of the air - should be prohibited? What about full "medicalization" as some think that the UK's NHS and/or MHRA may be considering? (I.e. available by prescription only.) Your Correspondent has no idea, other than to be absolutely certain that the writers' level of igorance is well beyond the merely profound.

Title: Senate Dems want crackdown on e-cigs
(US Nat'l Politics 'zine) http://thehill

Nothing too surprising about the letter sent by Sen.s Boxer (CA), Blumenthal (CT), Brown (OH), Durbin (IL), Harkin (IA), and Markey (MA), in which they ask the FDA and the FTC to take action against web sites that advertise vaping as cessation. This has mainly gotten attention on political blogs because Sen.s Boxer et al. have sent several similar missives to the FDA and FTC. However Sen. Blumenthal and Rep. Etsy (CT) held a press conference on Monday which was widely covered by the CT media (see collection below). However later this week, I'll be collecting all the articles that cite this letter, to survey them for other junk content (which the CT press articles certainly don't lack). As always, we hear about bubble gum flavoring, etc. in the letter. You can read the letter and the press release here: http://www.boxer


Title: House Subcommittee Examines Implementation of Tobacco Control Act
(Convenience and fuel store trade 'zine) http://www.nacsonline

Title: House Subcommittee Looks at Center for Tobacco Products

US House hearings on the FDA's very slow pace of processing "substantial equivalence" applications are relevant to any future regulation of vaping. As I understand it, if vaping is regulated under the FDA's existing tobacco products jurisdiction, then vaping products will have to wait in the existing queue behind thousands of other requests regarding combustible tobacco products. This is one (among other) reasons why FDA regulation of vaping would effectively amount to a ban. This topic is already being discussed in legislation:



{Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
Title: To Vape Or Not To Vape? E-Cigarettes Raise Questions
(Newtown CT US local paper) http://www.newtownbee

It looks as if this reporter did her best to do some research initially, even going to the point of presenting conflicting statements about nicotine:
"Information at WebMD.com states that while e-cigarettes may be safer due to that fact that no burning smoke is inhaled, nicotine is still being delivered to the system. Nicotine is dangerous for those with heart problems and can be harmful to arteries when used over time. There is also evidence of nicotine use being linked to increased blood clotting, branchiospasm of the lungs, and gastrointestinal issues. While not a carcinogen, nicotine may stimulate tumor growth, and there is evidence of increased risk for birth defects when pregnant women use nicotine.

But at the same time, we hear:
"TobaccoHarmReduction.org asserts that the effects of nicotine itself are hardly more than those of caffeine, increasing blood pressure and heart rate temporarily."

At this point, the writer seems to have finished her research, dispensed with her journalism training, and simply turns the rest of the article over to local health "experts," with the expected result: a hit-job-by-proxy:

We start with Marianne Mitchell, "a pulmonary nurse practitioner with Western Connecticut Health Network (Danbury Hospital).":
1) "'We don't even know what's in them,' she said, and she is alarmed by recent findings that the biggest ingredient in e-cigarettes is the same chemical found in antifreeze." [...]
2) "Refilling the cartridges with illegal substances and smoking them is a problem, too, she said. As a pulmonary nurse practitioner, it is the act of smoking that worries her." [...]
3) "'A heavy smoker will inhale,' she said. Nor, said Ms Mitchell, who has run the smoking cessation program 'Quit Now' for 12 years, do e-cigarettes help smokers to stop." [...]
4) "'The top four tobacco companies have bought into e-cigarettes. The tobacco companies are making money off of our youth,' she said."" [para breaks omitted, boldface added][/I]"

Next, we hear from Donna Culbert, "director of health for the Town of Newtown." ECF readers and vapers in general who are familiar with US media coverage can quite likely predict how things will go down from here:
1) Citation of CDC data and a "study" showing that teen vapers are switching to tobacco cigarettes (which is presumably Dutra & Glantz).
2) Citing the CDC poison control calls data.
3) Citing Grana et al. for the "lack of cessation evidence."

In other words, this reporter started off with what appear to be the best of intentions, but was steered into becoming a mouthpiece for the ANTZ playbook by the local "experts."

As a final note, this argument about caffiene vs. nicotine caught Your Correspondent's attention:
"Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs, though, she stressed, and while the immediate physical effects may not seem much more dangerous than caffeine, 'you would not be drinking coffee every 20 minutes, which is about how long nicotine affects the body,' she said. [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
[ CT 24 (proposed by gov) minor sales ban is still in cmte. More troubling:

HB 5286 - burdensome labelling requirements whose purposes is to "destroy the e-cig industry" (Bill Godshall): http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/for...-feb-28-a.html ]

{Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
Title: Editorial: FDA must regulate e-cigarettes, liquid nicotine
(West Hartford CT US local paper) http://www.westhartfordnews

This dreadful editorial is interesting insofar as it mixes in the CDC minor junk usage statistics with the CDC's release of the poison control center call data (and press release). Evidently the two things they have in common are the CDC, and vaping (did the teens surveyed by the CDC use tanks?). It also quotes Sen Blumenthal's alarmist rhetoric:
"'E-liquids are the new snake oil of cigarette marketing -- with purity and potency varying widely, and no safeguards. The FDA must act immediately to forestall imminent public health threats from e-cigarettes and toxic nicotine e-liquids.'" [boldface added]

Title: New Bill Aims to Curb Teen E-Cigarette Use
(West Hartford CT US NBC affiliate) http://www.nbcconnecticut

Short note about CT's SB-24, which is Gov. Malloy's simple minor sales/possesion ban. (It's not clear if this bill carries a "SB" or "HB" prefix, since it was proposed by the Gov. CT is one of those few states in which the Gov. can directly introduce a bill.) Primarily noteworthy because Rep. John Sheban voted against it, saying: "'E-nicotine devices don't contain tobacco, and I am hesitant to begin categorizing them as though they are synonymous with cigarettes,' Shaban said in a statement. 'I want to ensure there is a reasonable level of oversight for these devices that is consistent with their contents.'"

(The piece also quotes a married vaping couple, one of whem seems to rather regrettably embrace the minor gateway-to-tobacco argument.)



Title: NJ should not impose a 'sin tax' on e-cigarettes: Editorial
(Newark NJ US local paper) http://www.nj

This is basically the reverse argument from what you see immediately below from the Vineland Daily Journal: i.e. if there's any possibility that vaping can help smokers quit, then it shouldn't be taxed the same as cigarettes. (Whereas the article below presumes that vaping is recreational, therefore vaping taxes should be used to fund anti-tobacco-smoking efforts.) I won't say more, since this particular editorial is already being discussed on this ECF thread:
[ NJ's house bill A1080 was originally proposed as a ban on tobacco smoking in parks and beaches, but was immediately ammended to include vaping as soon as it got on to the house floor. Passed by the house last month, now ready for the Sen:
Also, Gov. Christie says he wants to tax vaping at the same rate as analogs, and S1867 has been introduced in the Sen. for that purpose:
CASAA: Call to Action! New Jersey's Governor Christie is Proposing a Tax on E-Cigarettes at the Same Rate as Combustible Cigarettes (Significantly UPDATED 3-27-14) ]

Title: Concern over teens getting high using e-cigarettes
(Newark NJ Verizon radio) http://www.fios1news

It's not entirely clear that there was any specific event or occurance that precipitated this piece, which curiously begins with: "Teenagers using electronic cigarettes - sometimes to get high - has one New Jersey anti-teen smoking advocate worried. Middle school and high school students are reportedly pouring mar1juana extract into e-cigarettes to get high. Karen Blumenfeld, executive director of GASP - the Global Advisors Smokefree Policy - in Summit, said she hasn’t heard of the new trend but isn’t stunned by it." [boldface added, para break omitted]

After this, the writer effectively gives Ms. Blumenfeld "the floor" as it were, and we hear about the minor-gateway-to-tobacco, and the CDC's posion control center call statistics. Although in one small concession, the writer apparently declines to go along with the ANTZ view of vapor, penning "... there is debate over whether the vapor is clean or laden with chemicals."

Your Correspondent has no idea why this story was written in the first instance, other than perhaps to satisfy a requirement for vaping-related verbiage.

[Repost due to re-run]
{Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
Title: Use e-cig tax for anti-smoking fight
(Vineland NJ US local paper) http://www.thedailyjournal

Title: EDITORIAL: Taxes on e-cigarettes have merit, if ...
(Monmouth/Ocean Co. NJ US local paper) http://www.app

Editorial writer is suspicious that vaping taxes will be used for smoking cessation, but argues that these taxes make sense if used for public health. Why should vaping be taxed? Answer:
"It seems reasonable that a cigarette that doesn’t include burning tobacco represents a healthier alternative. But we don’t yet know the health risks of e-cigarettes. And let’s not forget: Once upon a time supporters made plenty of safety claims about regular cigarettes as well, which proved to be wildly disingenuous. It is also an open question as to whether the e-cigarettes function as a smoking cessation product, helping to wean smokers off tobacco - while still providing the nicotine - or whether they could actuallyincrease smoking by introducing more children to a cigarette habit at an earlier age. While electronic cigarettes aren’t typically marketed to children, they do come in many flavors most likely to appeal to kids."
In other words, because there are "unknowns" and "concerns" about vaping, and because tobacco cigarettes have an evil history, vaping should be taxed to support public health (even if vaping proves to be a desireable cessation technology).

The older clone of this editorial is also being discussed in this ECF thread:

Title: E-cigarettes can help smokers quit, but they are not without risks
(Vineland NJ US local paper) http://www.dailyrecord

.com/article/20140408/NJLIFE04/304080011/E-cigarettes-can-help-smokers-quit-they-not-without-risks (Monmouth/Ocean Co. NJ US local paper) http://www.app

Relatively junk-free, and very different from the tone of the two editorials above (both of these papers are in the same Gannet group: the Daily Record and the Asbury Park Press. Contains a rather mild statement about nicotine from Dr.Robert Lahita, chairman of medicine and vice president of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility:
"... use/overuse of nicotine can cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, back pain, depression, anxiety, nausea and sleep disturbances - all reasons why the FDA considers nicotine a drug and potential poison and regulates the sale of tobacco products."

Followed by this rather surprising apparent endorsement:
"In addition to offering a design that satisfies those with an oral fixation or the need to hold something, which nicotine patches and gum products may not completely fulfill, 'e-cigarettes are a cleaner delivery system for nicotine,' he said, 'and may be among the best options out there for mature adults who are trying to wean themselves off of nicotine and quit smoking.' [boldface added]"



{Comments posted to page containing this story, &/or e-mail to Editor would be helpful.}
Title: Nic Fit - Puffing through the great “vape” debate over electronic cigarettes
(Baltimore MD US local free alternative paper) http://citypaper.com/news/nic-fit-1

A genuinely wonderful personal pro-vaping in depth piece that beats just about anything I've ever seen in a mainstream (or quasi-mainstream) publication. This writer has clearly done his homework, and you'll see many familiar names. This is a must-read and I'd encourage everyone to congratulate the writer on his diligence and sophistication. (Who says the journalism profession is dead in America?)
[ MD's legislature will not be back in session until 2015. ]



Title: Nutter signs law that bans 'vaping'
(Philadelphia PA US local paper) http://www.philly

.com/philly/news/politics/20140410_Mayor_Nutter_signs_law_that_bans__quot_va ping_quot__just_about_everywhere_in_Phila_.html
Interesting only because ECF's own Greg Conley got involved in the action (also see the collection below on the Blumenthal/Etsy Press Conf. that I'll cover in this space in the next update):
"As Mayor Nutter took out his pen Wednesday to sign two bills that crack down on 'vaping,' or puffing on electronic cigarettes, Gregory Conley broke the silence in the Mayor's Reception Room at City Hall. 'Congratulations on hurting public health and deceiving smokers into believing that e-cigarettes are harmful,' Conley shouted at the mayor while holding an e-cigarette. As a member of Nutter's security team stood in front of Conley, an e-cigarette lobbyist, the mayor fired back: 'That device might be harmful, but he's harmless.' [para breaks omitted, boldface added]"
ECF'rs know Greg as "Placebo Effect," and you can read/view some of his extremely persuasive testimony in the legislative forum. You go, Greg!
[ PA's SB 1055 a simple minor sales ban, hasn't passed the state sen. No other threats. ]



Title: Youth Council approaches Mobile City Council with e-cigarette, hookah concerns
(Mobile AL US local paper) http://blog.al

The Mobile City Youth Council is described as: "15 teenagers from high schools around the county who meet regularly to discuss a variety of issues -- drugs, smoking, obesity, etc. -- and serves as a liaison to the local governing bodies." They met with the City Council earlier this week to request that the City Council "look for ways to tighten restrictions on underage e-cigarette and hookah use. Also, they want to urge the Police Department to consider compliance checks at convenience stores and restaurant/bars that allow e-cigarette and hookah smoking."

Unforunately this article seems to move seamlessly between hookah use and vaping (both of which are illegal for minors in AL). It does cite the CDC statistics for minor vaping, and reports that more than half the calls to poison control centers involving vaping were about children under 5. However it says nothing else that's particularly negative, and closes with some quotes by a vape store owner, who says that he has "zero tolerance" for sales to minors.

A city councilman indicated that he felt that it's not the city's business to "legislate morality," and the Youth Council "head" indicates that a "fall campaign" is planned. Hopefully the Youth Council will not approch the City Council to request a pre-emptive vaping=smoking indoor/outdoor ban, in order to protect minors. (As nearly all vapers know, this rationale is nearly always invoked by elected officials who support vaping restrictions.)
[ AL's legislature will not be back in session until 2015. ]



Title: E-Cigarette Debate : Shrouded in vapor
(South Bend IN US local paper) http://www.southbendtribune

For a general survey article, this is fairly free of junk. For starters, IN Dep't of Health's director of tobacco prevention and cessation is quoted as making this unbelievably mild statement:
"We don't know enough about these products (e-cigarettes) to guide people."

Almost grudgingly, the reporter quotes last week's CDC report about poision control center calls and minor use, briefly referring to Dutra & Glantz: " The study also found that 76.3 percent of those students who used e-cigarettes within 30 days also smoked conventional cigarettes during that period."

However virtually all of the space in this piece is reserved for postive coverage of vaping and the local vape shop, which apparently has its own vape group and recently held its own Vape Meet.

Interestingly, the piece also suggests that IN's proposed 24% tax seems to be dead for the time being. No other threats exist in IN.

Title: E-cigarette users seek exemption from smoking ban [Hancock Co.]
(Indianapolis IN US NBC affiliate) http://www.wthr

As readers of this space know, the Hancock co. bd. was advised by its health comm'r that its indoor/outdoor ban on smoking already covered vaping. The Bd voted unanimously last month to affirm this decision. After discovering it, a local vape shop owner organized a petition with over 400 signatures and appeared with supporters in front of the co. bd. on Tues 4/9. This story indicates that the decision was made by "the smallest of margins." It also says: "The Board of County Commissioners had sought the recommendation of the county's Board of Health." However the Greenfield Reporter article from last week reported that the BOH had initiated the request to the board. If so, this wouldn't be unusual - BOHs all over the US are working with the ALA and related orgs to advance these proposals at both the city and the county level.

Title: Opponents of e-cig ban vow to keep fighting [Hancock Co.]
(Greenfield IN US local paper) http://www.greenfieldreporter

Title: Debate over e-cigarettes ignites in Greenfield
(Indianapolis IN US CBS affiliate) http://wishtv

The first article above in the Greenfield Reporter is behind a pay wall. The second link adds nothing to the WTRH report described immediately above.



Title: Lighter regulations on e-cigarettes desired
(Depaul U. Chicago IL US student paper) http://www.depauliaonline

This is one of those rare stories that seems to have had the content driven entirely by vapers instead of local Health Dep't or Tobacco Control personell, MDs etc. I can't find a single word of junk in it. It's basically crafted around a single vape shop near campus.
[ Most serious threat in IL right now is HB 5689, which has passed the house, and which would ban the sale of e-liquid until the IL Health Dep't issues standards:
CASAA: Call to Action! Illinois Bill Would Ban Sale of Liquid for E-Cigarettes Until Illinois Department of Public Health Establishes Packaging Standards

And this thread:

IL is also considering two bills that require vaping supplies (but not non-cigarette tobacco) to be behind the counter (HB 5868 = SB 3268), see: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/for...ty-stores.html Also worth watching: SB2659, which would ban smoking in cars containing a minor - however the definition doesn't currently include vaping (and is still in the Public Health Cmte, with a status of "postponed." See: Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for SB2659 ]



Title: Our view: State can follow Duluth on e-cigs
(Duluth MN US local paper) http://www.duluthnewstribune

Given Duluth's history as a hotbed of anti-vaping activity, this junk-filled cesspool of an editorial should come as no surprise. Yes, we find out that calls to poison control centers are "skyrocketing" - that's the beginning. But then, of course we have the nanoparticles:
"Researchers have found metal and silicate particles along with the nicotine in e-cigarettes. Are they at levels so low as not to be dangerous? The problem is we simply don’t know. There hasn’t been anywhere near enough research and there has been little to no oversight to assure safety. But that’s not stopping the use of e-cigarettes, including by those trying to quit real cigarettes, never mind far more effective and proven cessation methods are out there. Even more troubling is the use of e-cigarettes by children ..."

Okay let's see: vaping poisons small children, it hooks teens on cigarette smoking, and it doesn't do much to help adults quit. And it may be poisoning vapers and everyone else around them. Where have we heard that before? But, there's more ...
"E-cigarettes, as addictive, dangerous and harmful to health as they may be, are actively being marketed to kids, just the way tobacco cigarettes used to be.

Now for the finishing touch:
"'Although the [vaping=smoking indoor/outdoor clean air act extension] bill has come a long way in a very short period of time, there is still a lot that can happen,' Jill Doberstein of Duluth, the manager of tobacco prevention and control programs for the American Lung Association in Minnesota, told the News Tribune Opinion page last week. 'Because we know this is an election year for House members across the state, the strong support for policies regulating e-cigarettes ... is a wining issue for any candidate.' [boldface added]"

Wow, now politicians can do the right thing, and get votes too! What's not to hate about vaping, and what's not to like about banning it? (Oh, sorry. They're not calling for a ban. Not yet. Although it's hard to see why not.
[ As long as Gov. Dayton continues to impose MN's proposed indoor vaping ban, there are no serious threats there. ]

Title: Council passes e-cigarette ban [vaping=smoking]
(Austin MN US local paper) http://www.austindailyherald

Title: With city approval, ban on e-cigarettes in public places to start next week
(Austin MN US local paper) http://www.austindailyherald

Title: Austin City Council Passes Temporary E-Cigarette Ban
(Austin/Rochester/Mason City MN US ABC affiliate) http://www.kaaltv

The local paper's articles contain little information about the motives of the Council, although the vote was (amazingly) 4-3 - one of very few instances in which any local official has voted against a vaping=smoking indoor/outdoor ban. The ABC affiliate's story contains these tid-bits:
"'It's really an opportunity for us to have a year of time to see what the FDA does and to find out more about the health risks associated with e-cigarettes,' said councilor Janet Anderson. [...] And while experts agree more research is needed, they said the ordinance will help protect people until that information is available. 'I think it's good for the public safety, there's just too many unknowns yet with e-cigarettes,' said Deb Skare, a tobacco cessation specialist at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. [para breaks omitted"

Austin is in an area of MN that's seen a great deal of activity from ALA rep.s, who have succesfully passed vaping=smoking indoor clean air act extensions in Manketo (home of Sen. Kathy Sheran, a vaping opponent who seem to do her best to memorize and repeat ALA talking points), N. Manketo, New Ulm, Sleepy Eye, Rochester, Waseca and others. MN is beginning to look like a "poster state" for the idea that it's possible for vapers to successfully push back against statewide legislation, only to lose in virtually every city and county.

Title: 15-Minute Advocate: Support E-Cigarette Regulation [by pointing to the # of cities that have passed vaping=smoking indoor/outdoor bans]
(League Of MN Cities web site) http://www.lmnc

Although MN's senate vaping=smoking indoor/outdoor ban isn't a current threat so long as Gov. Dayton holds to his position, the League of MN Cities is urging vaping opponents to contact the Gov. and/or their elected rep.s to express support for a vaping ban. The three "talking points" are:
1) The FDA doesn't consider vaping to be a form of smoking cessation.
2) The legislature passed the indoor clean air act in 2007, but local jurisdictions can enact more restrictive policies.
3) "Because of potential health concerns and the current lack of regulation, at least 21 cities have passed ordinances on an individual basis that range from to whom they can be sold to prohibiting their use in public places."

In other words, what the League is saying is that local jurisdictions' decisions to ban vaping are themselves "talking points," for urging state legislators to do so. (In fact, this same phenomenon occurs nationally - members of the US Congress are often urged to adopt legislation on the grounds that states have done so.



Title: Smoking [and vaping] ban passes in close vote [St. Joseph]
(St. Joseph MO US local paper) http://www.newspressnow

Referendum in St. Joseph MO on an indoor smoking ban passes by 818 votes: 52.75% to 47.25% out of 14,880 votes (32.2% turnout). This ord. defined vaping as smoking. It appears that both federal and state money were likely used to fund the effort, since these funds support "Clean Air St. Joe" which is apparently the organization behind the initiative. See this web site:
Clean Air St. Joseph | Supporters
also the now-obsolete CASAA call (for background):
CASAA: Local Alert! St. Joseph, Missouri - April 8, 2014 Public Vote on Ordinance That Would Ban E-Cigarette Use as "Smoking"
[ Missouri presently only has a simple minor ban under consideration SB 841 = HB 1690 and: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/for...uct-minor.html ]



Note: These three different stories paint a picture of the situation in Smith Co., whose commissioners appear to be quite sure that vaping should be treated as smoking, and that public safety requires a 50-ft perimeter around all co. facilities.

Title: Electronic cigarettes could be vaporized from Smith County buildings
(Tyler TX US ABC affiliate) http://www.kltv


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