WANTED to pass on a note from Bill Godshall from SmokeFree PA.
Situation: The NY Senate Health Committee may consider a bill (S7234) that would ban e-cigarette sales as soon as Tuesday, April 27.
The NY Assembly may consider an identical bill (A9529) at any time.
Action requested: Call/e-mail/fax/snail mail NY Senate Health Committee members, and e-mail NY Assembly members urging them to oppose S7234 & A9529, and urging them to amend the legislation to ban e-cigarettes sales to minors.
Smokefree Pennsylvania sent the following letter to NY Senate Health Committee members (and a similar one to NY Assembly members). Contact information for NY Senate Health Committee members and NY Assembly is below. Please forward this e-mail to e-cigarette consumers and other tobacco harm reduction advocates ASAP.
The Honorable Thomas K. Duane, Chair
New York Senate Health Committee
430 State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12247
Re: Health Committee legislation to ban sales of electronic cigarettes (S7234 & A9529)
Dear Senator Duane:
Smokefree Pennsylvania strongly encourages you to OPPOSE S7234 & A9529 because they would force e-cigarette consumers (who quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes) to either go back to smoking deadly cigarettes, or to purchase these life saving products from a newly created black market. An even better alternative is to AMEND the legislation so it just bans e-cigarette sales to minors, as is the law with all other tobacco products.
The growing body of scientific evidence consistently indicates that e-cigarettes (also called nicotine vaporizers) are at least 99% less hazardous alternatives to smoking cigarettes, as they emit no smoke. Since 2007, an estimated 300,000–500,000 smokers in the US (including tens of thousands of New Yorkers) have switched to e-cigarettes, which emit smokefree nicotine vapor. The American Association of Public Health Physicians, American Council on Science and Health, and many other health policy experts agree.
Instead of protecting health (as some groups claim), S7234 & A9529 threaten public health by protecting the deadliest consumer product (cigarettes) from market competition by far less hazardous smokefree alternatives. E-cigarette consumers and smokers have a human right to access and use far less hazardous tobacco alternatives to cigarettes.
By creating a black market for e-cigarettes, S7234 & A9529 would force e-cigarette suppliers in NY to move to other states, encourage e-cigarette consumers to buy from a black market, and waste state and local tax dollars for enforcement and adjudication.
Although the cigarette industry would be the chief beneficiary of S7234 & A9529, tobacco companies aren’t lobbying for the legislation. Rather, drug industry funded abstinence-only anti-tobacco groups are pushing the bills because they vehemently oppose smokers reducing their health risks by switching to less hazardous smokefree tobacco alternatives.
After 25 years of advocating laws that reduced smoking, I cannot think of a more effective way to protect cigarette markets or to harm/kill hundreds of thousands of smokers than by banning sales of e-cigarettes or other smokefree alternatives, as S7234 & A9529 would do.
Once again, please reject or amend this outrageous and inhumane legislation.
William T. Godshall, MPH