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More Medical Professionals Back E-Cigarettes As Reliable Adult Alternative

As electronic cigarettes continue to become more mainstream, the Food & Drug Association (FDA) is expected to announce proposed regulations on the industry as early as this month. In preparation for this legislative move, the Smoke Free Alternative Trade Association (SFATA) is urging elected officials and government agencies to consider respected medical professionals expertise on the e-cigarette field when creating recommendations.

E-cigarette advocates and business owners across the United States are concerned that the FDA will make the mistake of lumping e-cigarettes in with traditional cigarette regulation as part of its oversight. Such a move could impose severe restrictions on e-cigarette production, advertising, flavor selection and online sales. If this course of action becomes a reality, not only will access to e-cigarettes be severed, but economic growth will be negatively impacted.

SFATA is encouraging the FDA and elected officials to refer to research established by credible health professionals who offer scientific evidence proving that e-cigarettes are a reliable, adult alternative and that they are producing results that other smoking cessation methods are not.

Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health, is a prominent e-cigarette expert and a dependable source for information on why regulation under the tobacco act is inappropriate for these innovative products.  Through his Tobacco Analysis blog and 25 years of experience in the field of tobacco control, Dr. Siegel has learned the science and mechanics behind electronic cigarettes. In addition, he understands why e-cigs offer an alternative for adults looking to switch to a smoke-free lifestyle. Dr. Siegel spent two years working at the Office on Smoking and Health at the Center for Disease and Control (CDC), where he conducted research on secondhand smoke and cigarette advertising. With nearly 70 published papers related to tobacco, Dr. Siegel has the knowledge to assist the FDA in creating fair regulation that would not impede American’s rights or interrupt economic growth.

Dr. Richard Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general who highlighted the dangers of secondhand smoke and supported a ban on all tobacco products, joined the board of directors of a prominent electronic cigarette company earlier this year. SFATA is hoping that this move will add legitimacy to e-cigarettes as a viable alternative to traditional cigarettes.

The latest medical professional to come out and support e-cigarettes as an adult alternative is Gilbert Ross, a medical doctor and the executive and medical director of The American Council on Science and Health in New York. In a recent Forbes article, Dr. Ross argued that e-cigarettes are actually helping individuals switch from a worldwide condemned habit that has killed millions of people across the world. Dr. Ross stated in Forbes that “e-cigarettes work by delivering a potent ‘hit’ of nicotine in water vapor, with flavorings and propellants of no significant health concerns — neither to the “vaper” (as they call themselves), nor to bystanders.’

If you are an e-cigarette business owner or advocate, make sure to share this blog post with your friends and family members in an effort to further educate & inform the public about electronic cigarettes. To receive further updates on the electronic cigarette industry, “Like” the Official SFATA Facebook Fan Page and follow SFATA on Twitter.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Releases Misleading E-Cigarette Study

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report earlier this month claiming the percentage of minors using electronic cigarettes has more than doubled compared to previous years. Many electronic cigarette advocates and insiders have examined this evidence and found several fallacies within the report.

The two surveys included in the CDC’s new report were given to respondents in 2011 and 2012. The first red flag in the CDC’s report appears where the government agency did not include numbers reflecting continued use of e-cigs, but instead focuses on teens that have tried an e-cig at least once or have used one in the previous 30 days.  In the first survey, students were asked if they have ever used e-cigarettes. In the second survey, respondents were asked if they had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.  The inconsistent questions do not allow for an accurate representation of respondents answers over the two surveys and leaves room for skewed results.

In addition, many e-cigarette advocates have taken issue with the different number of teens who were questioned in each survey. In the first survey, 19,000 minors were interviewed whereas in the second survey, 25,000 were interviewed.  Accurate and unbiased results depend on proper survey techniques, which in this case, would have dictated surveying the same number of teens with similar backgrounds. Shortly after the report was releases, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) released a statement refuting the CDC’s study explaining that the findings were misleading because of unequal survey methods.

According to the CDC study, about 3 percent of respondents said they had tried an electronic cigarette at least once. Without any other knowledge about e-cigarettes, many readers would assume the CDC’s 3 percent number represented all minors in the United States. The CDC did not specify that 3 percent of its survey respondents have tried an e-cig, which leaves room for many to interpret that thousands or millions of minors are using e-cigs, when in reality, they are not. The second survey conducted in 2012 noted that the number of minors who have tried an e-cig had increased to 7 percent, which could be interpreted as nearly 1.8 million minors in America if you perceive the information in the report as covering most minors in America. In reality, 7 percent of the respondent pool tried an e-cig, which represents less than 2,000 minors. Without understanding the numbers, one would not understand the true reality of the results. The e-cigarette industry does not in any way promote the sale or use of e-cigarettes to minors and promotes e-cigs as an adult alternative only, but that does not mean the CDC can inflate data.  

The timing of this report has many e-cigarette insiders speculating the CDC’s motives; many believe it may be designed to put additional pressure on the Food Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the e-cig industry. Many e-cigarette advocates are having trouble understanding why a national government agency like the CDC would treat the health risks of traditional cigarettes exactly the same as electronic cigarettes when the scientific data clearly proves that e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes have very few similiarities. Whether you are pro or anti-electronic cigarettes, scientific evidence states that e-cigarettes do not contain the nearly 4,000 deadly chemicals that traditional cigarettes possess. In addition, e-cigs do not contain tobacco, the ingredient known to cause serious health risks in humans.

It is important for the public and especially the FDA to know that e-cigarettes generally only offer a combination of nicotine and various food flavorings. E-cigarettes do not produce an explosive combustion, like that of traditional cigarettes. Furthermore, e-cigs do not produce smoke, but instead an odorless vapor. It is SFATA’s mission to be the voice of the e-cigarette industry, advocate for business owners and promote the truth about e-cigarettes as a reliable alternative for adults.

For more information about SFATA, visit www.SFATA.org. To receive the latest e-cigarette industry news, tips and advice, follow SFATA on Twitter and “Like” the Official SFATA Facebook Page.

 

Mayor Bloomberg Introduces New York City Ordinance to Ban and Regulate Electronic Cigarettes

NYC Bloomberg E-Cig Ban

NY Magazine published an article Friday afternoon revealing that new anti-electronic cigarette ordinances have been presented by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. If passed, these ordinances would include restrictions and limitations on electronic cigarettes. Three tobacco-related bills are expected to be presented and voted on by the New York City Health Committee in the coming weeks and the language would change the definition of “tobacco products” under city law to include e-cigarettes and related components, parts and accessories. In addition, these proposed ordinances would require e-cigarette retail stores to hide e-cigarette products in their stores, ban promotional coupons and increase the age that New Yorkers must be to purchase cigarette products to 21.

As most informed electronic cigarette users are aware, the majority of e-cigarettes contain zero or less than one percent tobacco. Unfortunately, if e-cigarette advocates sit by and allow these bills to pass, New York City would identify e-cigarettes and related products, parts and accessories as traditional cigarette products. “We encourage all SFATA members and e-cigarette advocates in New York to write the members of the New York City Health Committee and tell them to reject all three bills,” said Cynthia Cabrera, Executive Director of SFATA.org, a non-profit advocacy and educational group for the electronic cigarette industry.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe even discussed Mayor Bloomberg’s move to regulate and ban e-cigarettes in New York City on Monday’s show with Former White House Advisor for Health Policy, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. Although Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborogh advocated for electronic cigarettes during the segment, Dr. Emanual revealed several fallacy’s about e-cigarettes and the industry as a whole. “Dr. Emanual stated in the MSNBC segment that electronic cigarettes are marketed to children but that is absolutely false – only adults 18 and older can buy e-cigarettes and e-cig providers are limited to minimal advertising and marketing avenues,” said Cabrera. “Reputable electronic cigarette companies like V2 Cigs, GreenSmoke and Vape NY do not perform any radio, TV or Internet ad promotions, which minimizes the exposure of e-cigarettes to the general population, including individuals under the age of 18.”

Mayor Bloomberg’s regulation ordinances also call to ban all sales of e-cigarettes or e-liquid in flavors other than tobacco, menthol, mint and wintergreen citing that other “fuity” flavors appeal to children, although there is absolutely no proof to back this theory up.

The ordinances have yet to be voted on and although the next meeting of the Health Committee is scheduled for August 22, 2013, the exact details of the next meeting have not been disclosed yet. In the meantime, SFATA encourages all electronic cigarette advocates in the New York area to contact the Members of the NYC Health Committee and ask them to reject all e-cig ordinances.

EMAIL ADDRESSES:

Jotero@council.nyc.gov

Mathieu.eugene@council.nyc.gov

Jferreras@council.nyc.gov

Helen.foster@council.nyc.gov

Joel.rivera@council.nyc.gov

Rosie.mendez@council.nyc.gov

Drose@council.nyc.gov

Vallonejr@council.nyc.gov

Jvanbramer@council.nyc.gov

Albert.vann@council.nyc.gov

Peter.vallonejr@council.nyc.gov

For more updates on e-cigarette ordinances, legislation and bills, follow SFATA on Twitter and like its official Facebook Fan Page.