Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Electronic Cigarette Users Fighting Back

Petition Aims to Save Lives

Tobacco smokers aren't known as a politically active group. Even though they make up over 20% of the adult population in the U.S. and make a significant contribution to federal and state revenues, after years of being vilified and desocialized, they've pretty much accepted that the rest of the population won't acknowledge them until they either quit smoking or die.

Their electronic cigarette-using counterparts, however, have no intention of going so quietly into the night. They believe their devices are the antithesis of tobacco cigarettes and are life-savers worthy of a petition against moves by the FDA and numerous anti-smoking groups to remove electronic cigarettes from the market.

Electronic cigarettes have been on the market worldwide for over five years.1 Some models look like a traditional cigarette, but they are actually made from a battery-powered heating element that vaporizes a water-based, flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable mist.2

As of this writing, nearly 600 people had signed and commented on the six-day-old petition posted at and they have pledged to withdraw any further financial contributions to organizations, such as the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society, until those groups reverse their current policies against e-cigarettes.3

The petition, written by the Vapers Coalition4, quoted the named organizations' own statements about the dangers of tobacco smoking and pointed out how, according to published test results, electronic cigarettes are no more of a danger to smokers than FDA-approved smoking cessation products.

As word spreads, the petition numbers are growing and organizers hope to reach at least 10,000 signatures by September 1, 2010. They intend to hand-deliver a hard copy of the petition to each organization and are encouraging petitioners to send their own individually signed hard copy, as well.

Comments on the petition ranged from testimonials of the benefits of electronic cigarettes to angry accusations of financial interests winning out over public health. Many promised to get their friends and families to support boycotting the health organizations and others warned that removing electronic cigarettes from the market would have devastating consequences.

"I am a 1 1/2 year user of PV's (e-cigs) and have been tobacco free for over a year," wrote petitioner Brenda Wood. If a ban were to take effect, I know I would revert to tobacco, as NONE of the NRT's on the market worked for me, and some made me very, very ill."

Mark Watkinson made an appeal on behalf of his father writing, "My father is dying from his habit. If he doesn't switch to an E Cigarette he may be dead in as little as 2-5 years. Please don't ban this life saving device. Nothing can be worse health wise than the legal tobacco cigarette!"

Alluding to federal and state tobacco tax revenues and the multi-billion dollar smoking cessation industry, petitioner George Seder wrote, "Which conflict of interest are you going to side with? Smokers who want to stay healthy or special interests who depend financially on misery and death?"

Electronic cigarette users are adamant that they have finally found a way to painlessly replace tobacco smoking with a product that has been shown, through testing and real-life application, to be multitudes safer than smoking. Unlike tobacco cigarettes, petitioners say electronic cigarettes are worth fighting for.


1. A Historical Timeline of Electronic Cigarettes,




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