From the Forums: Thanks SRusackas, keep up the fight !!!
Here is the letter I wrote to all the senators on the Health and Judiciary commission.
I am writing this letter hoping for your time and help.
Please vote NO on SB 648.
I have smoked cigarettes since I was 18. I am in the Navy, and have tried to quit numerous times. With the patch, nicotine gum, even Wellbutrin. All methods failed. E-cigarettes have been the only option that kept me from smoking tobacco.
At our command, of the 30 or so smokers on my detachment, all but 2 have started "vaping" e-cigarettes, and have had the same success as I have. Many now vape e-liquid that even contains ZERO nicotine. It's the vaping itself that keeps us away from tobacco cigarettes.
The benefits have really been adding up for us, both in our personal and professional lives.
Our health, physical training (PT) performance such as running has improved tremendously! We don't cough anymore or get fatigued. We sleep better at night.
We don't smell bad anymore making our offices more pleasant for all to work in.
Litter from cigarette butts has been reduced to almost zero in our building.
The list of benefits we have experienced by SUCCESSFULLY quitting tobacco really does go on and on.
Smoking bans are around to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, and I am all for them!
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 few chemicals in American made e-liquids are all Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, many of them used in products such as asthma inhalers, nebulizers, and hospital air systems.
This is a MUCH better option than the 7,000 chemicals in tobacco cigarettes! Not to mention its much cheaper.
The low risk 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 and by the fact that the publicly available FDA testing data, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.
E-cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. Most "vapers" have long since abandoned the e-cigarettes that look like regular tobacco cigarettes. They are usually of low quality and are not enjoyable to vape. The better personal vaporizers look mothing at all like a tobacco product.
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. Usually vanilla, chocolate, fruits, etc.
Additionally, e-cigarette users can decide whether to release any vapor ("stealth vaping"). With so little evidence of use, enforcing indoor use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.
In health conscious California, I have found when vaping in public, as more people learn what vaping is, people are receptive to it, and appreciative that I am NOT smoking tobacco! Almost every time I vape in public, smokers come up to me and ask questions about it. They are eager to get away from tobacco, and like many of us have had a very difficult time doing so.
We follow social norms for vaping, for example not vaping in restaurants, or during films at the theater. It's all about being polite! But at bars, clubs, in the office non-smokers have not complained about vapers, especially after being told what it is.
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%.
I cannot stress this enough: When smokers see someone vaping, that's another person about to quit tobacco for good.
Because I switched to a smokeless, non tobacco product, I have greatly reduced your health risks, and the risks to those around me.
Please, PLEASE, see the research that has been done around the world, get the true facts, and help all of us stay off tobacco without the use of expensive drugs and pharmaceuticals like the patch or zyban.
I did not include all the research articles in this but a good place to find links to much of it is the CASAA.org website for more information. Or just Google it, as there is an increasing ocean of research on e-cigarettes.
I would imagine many large companies stand to lose billions of dollars as tobacco users desert the sinking ship of that addiction for a much safer alternative. Perhaps that's where this legislation comes from.
E-cigarettes are all about harm reduction to the vaper, and reducing the risk to bystanders to ZERO.
Please keep vaping free, convenient, public ally acceptable and legal. It hams no one and is finally getting smokers to finally quit tobacco for good!
Thank you for your time, and have a fine Navy day!