Sunday, January 24, 2010

Smokefree Wisconsin Continues Endangering Smokers

It seems that Smokefree Wisconsin has finally woken up and realized that electronic cigarettes (personal vaporizers) are not a plot by Big Tobacco to hook kids on nicotine, yet they continue their campaign of lies and misinformation about the devices.

In a post dated 1/20/10, they comment on the recent ruling in the case of Smoking Everywhere vs. FDA:

A statement from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said, "In ruling today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may not regulate electronic cigarettes as drugs or medical devices, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon has ignored decades of precedent and put America's consumers at unnecessary risk."

This statement couldn't be more true. Electronic cigarettes are not being marketed as tobacco products they are being marketed as cessation devices or as some sort of healthier alternative to smoking.

Not only have they done a complete 180 on electronic cigarettes being a Big Tobacco product, now they claim e-cigs are drug devices, make cessation claims and a danger to consumers.

This statement couldn't be any LESS true and puts the health of millions of ex-smokers using the devices at risk.

What is Smokefree Wisconsin's true goal here? To improve the health of Wisconsin residents by getting smokers to quit smoking or to eliminate all forms of nicotine?

If Smokefree Wisconsin truly cared about consumers, ie. smokers, they would worry first about reducing smokers' exposure to the true danger of nicotine addiction - SMOKE - and then worry about nicotine addiction.

Judge Leon ruled that the electronic cigarette companies have absolutely NOT been marketing the product as cessation devices, although many consumers of the product have reported that, while they still consume nicotine, they have ceased smoking tobacco to do so. Leon also rebuked the FDA for it's actions, stating that treating a reduced harm product as a drug product is absurd:

To treat as a drug any tobacco product that merely claims to be a healthier alternative would effectively nullify the provisions relating to modified risk tobacco products, which represent Congress’s implicit acknowledgment that those products were outside of FDA’s jurisdiction prior to the Tobacco Act. Moreover, it would create the absurd result that certain tobacco products-like...electronic cigarettes-would be exposed to the more onerous regulatory burdens for drugs and devices merely because they claim to be healthier alternatives to traditional tobacco products.

Judge Leon also refused to fall for the FDA's and other organizations' claim that electronic cigarettes are a danger to consumers:

Given the particular facts and circumstances of this case, I am not convinced that the threat to the public interest in general or to third parties in particular is as great as FDA suggests. Together, both Smoking Everywhere and NJOY have already sold hundreds of thousands of electronic cigarettes, yet FDA cites no evidence that those electronic cigarettes have endangered anyone. Nor has FDA cited any evidence that electronic cigarettes are any more an immediate threat to public health.

Now, that is a statement that couldn't be more true.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CASAA Applauds Electronic Cigarette Ruling

by Krisitn Noll-Marsh

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) applauded the recent ruling of U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in the case of Smoking Everywhere v. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The group advocates providing consumers with affordable and effective alternatives to tobacco smoking, including electronic cigarettes.

Leon granted the injunction sought by the plaintiffs, Smoking Everywhere and NJOY (d.b.a. Soterra), to release shipments of electronic cigarettes that had been seized by FDA as "unapproved drug-delivery devices." The injunction prohibits FDA from seizing future shipments as well. (1)

"Judge Leon's decision that reduced risk tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes, are not drug delivery devices and should not be placed under FDA jurisdiction as such is a step in the right direction," stated CASAA president Michal Douglas. "The process of approving new drugs is prohibitive and would leave millions of electronic cigarette users at risk."

E-cigarettes can be used as an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. The devices use a battery and atomizer to vaporize a small amount of liquid in a cartridge that contains propylene glycol--the chemical used to create artificial fog in theatre productions and dance clubs—as well as water, flavoring, and a small amount of nicotine. As many as 80% of regular users of the product are now using it in place of all the tobacco cigarettes they formerly smoked.

"Judge Leon's ruling is a step forward in public health, despite what some anti-smoking organizations may claim. Getting thousands of smokers to stop smoking is a good thing, even if it's with a method that currently only common sense can say is safer," said Dr. Theresa Whitt, CASAA's Medical Director.

Tobacco cigarettes deliver nicotine via the process of combustion, which produces smoke that contains tar, particles of tobacco and paper ash, carbon monoxide, heavy metals, hundreds of carcinogens, and thousands of toxins. "In the absence of quitting," continued Dr. Whitt, "smokers must have alternatives available to them, to reduce their exposure to the dangers of tobacco smoke."

Many organizations have taken a position that smokers must achieve smoking cessation only through complete nicotine abstinence. This position has been characterized as a "quit or die" mentality.

Public health groups such as the American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) have called for a Tobacco Harm Reduction approach which steers smokers toward less-harmful sources of nicotine such as smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes, as well as nicotine replacement products in higher more-satisfying dosages. (2)

"When anti-tobacco groups fail to acknowledge the viability of reduced harm alternatives, disregarding the fact that 93% of smokers fail at repeated attempts to quit, they ultimately fail to protect public health," stated Whitt.

"Anti-smoking activists and the FDA should be encouraging smokers to make the switch to reduced harm products such as electronic cigarettes, not making it harder for them."

1. Smoking Everywhere vs. FDA,,

2. American Association of Public Health Physicians,,
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