Jan 20, 2014

An Open Letter About E-Cigarette Bans

Open Letter to Employers & Legislators About Banning E-Cigarettes 

As the mother of a daughter who quit smoking using the e-cigarette, the owner of the e-cigarette business Vaping Vamps and a P.R. counselor to several small business owners, I feel I’m in the position to offer advice on proposed e-cigarette bans.

First of all, I have to believe that anyone who proposes a ban on e-cigarettes truly means well. We ALL want to eradicate smoking in this country.

Cigarette smoking should be banned from inside buildings. But an e-cigarette is a totally
different animal. Studies show there's nothing harmful in e-cig vapor, which dissipates immediately. 
Nevertheless, 20 percent of Americans remain addicted to smoking, and that number has not changed in years. Nor have the long-term success rates for quitting smoking, which is well under 7 percent (some estimates are as low as 2 to 3 percent).

The e-cigarette is finally moving the needle on those numbers. Two studies conducted in the last several months and reported in JAMA and Addictive Behaviors found that the e-cigarette is effective in helping people quit smoking and reduce their cigarette consumption.

The latest longitudinal (year-long) study of 367 e-cigarette users clearly concludes, "E-cigarettes may contribute to relapse prevention in former smokers and smoking cessation in current smokers."

The Royal College of Physicians and a growing number of physicians now back e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking.

The E-Cigarette is the ANTI-Cigarette

The whole idea behind smoking bans (which I support 100 percent) is to protect people from harmful secondhand smoke. But the e-cigarette is an entirely different animal.

Studies on e-cigarettes, such as the most recent one by Drexel University which reviewed all the available data on 9,000 uses of e-cigarettes, clearly state there is NO risk to either the e-cigarette user or to bystanders:

"Current data do not indicate that exposures to vapors from contaminants in electronic cigarettes warrant a concern." In other words, Drexel's Dr. Burstyn says: "It's about as harmless as you can get. I wouldn't worry at all if someone was using one of these by my kids," he said.

As comprehensive as this study was, it is by far not the only study done on e-cigarettes. Research has also been conducted by Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr Maciej L. Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand and Dr. Farsalinos of Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center.

Ironically, even the FDA's own testing failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in e-cigarette vapor.

In short, banning the use of a smoke-free product is based on fears and not on the undisputed facts:

  • There is no such thing as secondhand smoke, since the e-cigarette user is blowing vapor, which is harmless to bystanders.
  • Nicotine, while addictive, is not a carcinogen. 
  • E-cigarette companies such as Vaping Vamps do not sell to minors. 
  • E-cigarettes are not only safer than cigarettes, they’re also cheaper. The argument that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking has no basis in fact and makes no sense. 
  • The FDA’s own study on e-cigarettes, conducted in 2007, failed to find any substance of harmful levels to humans. Diethylene glycol is not found in e-cigarettes. The main ingredient is food-grade propylene glycol, found in nebulizers, inhalers and foods. 
  • The nicotine amount in e-cigarettes is more measurable and predictable than in cigarettes, which has increased by an average of 1.6 percent a year, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
Some restaurants such as McDonald's are setting the trend and allowing their employees and customers to vape inside. Vaping is also allowed inside many bars and restaurants, as it leaves no lingering odor and is harmless to anyone nearby. When employers do their research, they'll find more and more information that clearly supports the fact that vaping an e-cigarette is far safer than smoking, while posing no harm to anyone nearby.

I truly believe that if you propose and pass a ban on e-cigarettes, you will actually make it MORE difficult for people to quit smoking. Smoking-related illnesses and premature death cause employers to lose $92 billion in productivity every year.

E-cigarettes also have a potential huge upside for your community, as e-cigarette stores are continuing to pop up all over, adding new jobs and contributing their fair share of taxes. Bars and restaurants can now increase their revenues as they lure back smokers-turned-vapers who left after indoor smoking bans passed.

I would be happy to discuss your concerns and help you make a decision that is truly in the best interest of your employees, customers and constituents.

Maria Verven
Vaping Vamps

1 comment:

  1. You go girl!
    Kudos to you for doing your homework, I agree with you 100%
    I wonder if the big debate on E cigs comes from officials not being sure how to tax it. : )
    Jen Lebel Vamp Sister