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Local Alert! St. Joseph, Missouri - April 8, 2014 Public Vote on Ordinance That Would Ban E-Cigarette Use as "Smoking"

Voters in the City of St. Joseph, Missouri will be deciding on April 8th, 2014 whether to approve a smoke-free ordinance that would not only ban smoking in virtually all workplaces, but would also deceptively include smoke-free e-cigarette use as "smoking."  We do not believe that most citizens of St. Joseph understand that e-cigarettes, which are estimated to be approximately 99% less hazardous than smoking (and which pose no risk to bystanders), will be banned.

We are asking that you (1) contact the NewPress newsroom at (816) 271-8500 and ask them to do a story highlighting the fact that use of smoke-free e-cigarettes would be treated exactly like smoking, and (2) and share information with friends and family (personally and via email and social media) encouraging St. Joseph residents to vote AGAINST the ordinance.

If you live in St. Joseph, Missouri, we ask that you VOTE against the ordinance on TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014.

Points to keep in mind:

Smoking bans are enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been found to pose a risk to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with e-cigarettes are comparable to other smokeless nicotine products. The low risks 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, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor. A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found "no apparent concern" for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under "worst case" assumptions about exposure. Electronic cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. 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. Additionally, e-cigarette users can decide whether to release any vapor ("discreet vaping").  With so little evidence of use, enforcing use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible. The ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch and reduce their health risks by an estimated 99%.
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