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Dear Senator Roz Baker,
We are Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (tveca.com), and we are writing this open letter to you respectfully on behalf of the electronic cigarette industry. We will address to you and report to the “e-cig” industry in regards to your shockingly cavalier, wholly un-researched and entirely dismissive email reply to one of our members who reached out to you to initiate a sincere dialogue in regard to your sponsored Hawaiian Bill SB2495 “Relating to Electronic Smoking Devices”. Your reply to our member was wholly unprofessional from a person in your position and extremely dismissive of an industry deserving great respect for the work that is being done to provide a more logical and vastly less harmful option for smokers and those who freely choose to enjoy the stimulating effects of nicotine.
To refresh your memory you wrote in regard to his email asking a no vote on the bill the following:
“Your facts are incorrect. Nicotine is a poison and a carcinogen and causes a variety of changes in the body, none of which are healthy. There are also fine particulates in the aerosol (it isn’t just water vapor) that contain toxins, as well as a number of organic and toxic substances. E-cigs are not approved as a smoking cessation device and if they are marketed as such, then that company is in violation of the terms of a settlement agreement with the FDA. If you go to the e-juice website you’ll find their warning on the use of ESDs and their contents. If you are an adult and want to risk your health, by all means use ESDs. But our children should not be exposed to them or encouraged to develop a nicotine addiction by using them. The contents by and large are imported from China where there are no quality controls and no tests to ensure that other harmful substances are also in the product.
Senator Baker, you are a civil servant simply tasked to perform duties to benefit and promote the societal welfare. You have a fiduciary responsibility to review all facts and science when proposing legislation that, in this case, vastly affects your constituents well being. It is your determination by your own decree to wrongly classify nicotine as a “poison” and a “carcinogen” simply for the purposes of advancing your predetermined position and subsequently state from your elected seat that the e-cig is a “harmful product” on your own without any supporting scientific evidence or studies to substantiate your claim. Sadly to all of us engaged in providing this fabulous technology to the public, you simply have a predetermined conclusion that the electronic cigarette is “harmful” and are searching for any fact to support your scientifically untenable position. I would like to address two of your claims:
NICOTINE IS NEITHER A POISON NOR A CARCINOGEN. Nicotine, per the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), is a naturally occurring liquid alkaloid that is similar to and only separated by a single hydrogen molecule to caffeine. Nicotine and Caffeine are classified as secondary stimulants and not poisons when used for human consumption. You falsely state that nicotine is carcinogenic in hopes of supporting your conclusion that the e-cig is “harmful” yet the CDC states “nicotine as a carcinogen is inconclusive”.
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN FOUND ANY CONTAMINANT IN ANY ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE OR SAMPLE AT ANY LEVEL HARMFUL TO HUMANS. In now over 35 studies done on the electronic cigarette domestically and internationally, there has NEVER been found any contaminant, “particulate”, toxic or “organic” compound at any level harmful to humans. There have been BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of uses of the electronic cigarette spanning years and to date not a single person has ever been harmed by the use of the electronic cigarette. In fact In the FDA’s 2009 “study” and subsequent press release found only trace amounts of “carcinogens and toxins” and actually showed the e-cig is over 1,400 times less harmful than a single tobacco cigarette…that’s 1,400 times less harmful! Dr. Brad Rodu of the University of Louisville who is the Endowed Chair of Tobacco Harm Reduction Research states about the FDA’s study, “Unfortunately, the agency did not report TSNA levels. Instead, it reported that TSNAs were either “Detected” or “Not Detected,” which is entirely inadequate. For hundreds of years, one of the basic tenets of medicine has been the dose makes the poison. Mere detection of a contaminant is meaningless; the critical question is: At what concentration is it present? “
Also the Washington DC Appellate Court hearing the case that determined that the electronic cigarette was indeed a tobacco product stated in its final decision (after the FDA had over two years to present to the court whether the e-cig harmed anyone) “Regarding harm to third parties and to the public interest, the district court observed that the FDA had cited no evidence to show that electronic cigarettes harmed anyone.” That decision was rendered December 2010 and it is now March 2014 and still no harm has been found in any electronic cigarette nor has any e-cig user experienced any harm from its use.
We can go on but we would rather the electronic cigarette industry be alerted of your position, your comments, thought processes and lack of any due diligence prior to your initiating legislation on the electronic cigarette and forward to you their thoughts. As a group we were literally sickened when we read your email. We as an industry have to start to aggressively take action to expose those who are attacking our industry with baseless accusations and false claims of harm. The e-cig industry is now providing to millions of Americans products smokers have embraced as their first tenable option to smoking tobacco cigarettes.
For the industry’s information, Senator Baker can be reached at 808-586-6070, fax: 808-586-6071 or/and email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please make Senator Baker fully aware of our industries great disdain of public officials NOT researching the e-cig fully before initiating any legislation to ban or restrict the electronic cigarettes use by private citizens who choose this fabulous option to the smoking of tobacco cigarettes-the one product we know kills over 450,000 Americans annually.
We the TVECA are very respectful of public officials and have worked with legislative bodies to bring guidance and the most responsible path of regulation. The TVECA has successfully litigated in the U.S. and now lobbied the EU to keep the electronic cigarette available to consumers; yet this lack of any scientific review by a state senator prior to initiating state legislation to attempt to ban or greatly restrict its sales and use has to be exposed and there must be very vocal and social commentary. It is time for the industry to address and call out these elected officials who are now comfortably passing use restrictions on the one product smokers have embraced to transition away from tobacco cigarettes-without the proper scientific review which is now readily available.
The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association