Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Indoor Vaping Bans – Talking Points

  • You are a resident and you oppose banning e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited. (If you are responding to a Call to Action or Local Alert for a city or state in which you are not a resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel there on vacation or have friends/family in the area.)
  • Other governments are taking exactly the opposite approach; Public Health England (the government public health agency) and The Royal College of Physicians (a 500 year old association of 32,000 medical professionals in the UK) recently explicitly endorsed a policy of encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and vapor products.
  • Tell your story about how switching to vaping has changed your life. (Avoid using slang terms such as “juice.”)
  • Clarify that:
    • Smoking bans are ostensibly 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 is comparable to other smoke-free 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 vapor products 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 often 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 (“discrete vaping”).  With so little evidence of use, enforcing use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.
    • The ability to vape in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other people who smoke to switch and reduce their health risks by an estimated 99%.
    • In cases where ordinances would prohibit vaping in vapor shops, losing the ability to test e-liquids before purchasing will have a significant and negative impact on your ability to choose which e-liquids to buy.
    • Many people who smoke first try e-cigarettes because they can use them where they cannot smoke, however, they often become “accidental quitters.” This is a documented phenomenon unique to e-cigarettes. It may take a few months or only a few days, but they inevitably stop smoking conventional cigarettes. This is why including vaping in smoking bans could have serious unintended consequences!
    • By making people who vape go outdoors, the city will also be sending a strong message to people who smoke that e-cigarettes are no safer than smoking. This will actually maintain the number of smokers, rather than help reduce smoking. This is a far more realistic risk to public health than any unfounded concerns about possible youth or non-smoker use uptake. In fact, the most recent report by the CDC showed that the dramatic increase in e-cigarette use over that past 3 years has not led to an increase in youth smoking. Youth smoking of traditional cigarettes continues to decline to record low levels.
    • The children of parents who smoke are far more likely to initiate smoking than the children of non-smoking parents who see strangers smoking in public. Children with parents who quit smoking aren’t any more likely to smoke than those of non-smoking parents. Prohibiting vapor products in public does little to protect the children of non-smoking parents from becoming smokers, but significantly increases the likelihood that many smoking parents won’t switch to a smoke-free product. This only serves to keep the highest-risk children at risk.
    • Vaping does not promote combustible tobacco use, nor does it threaten the public health gains the past few decades. In fact, by normalizing vaping over traditional smoking, the efforts of tobacco control are being supported. If anything, vaping denormalizes conventional smoking by setting the example of people who smoke choosing a vastly safer alternative to combustible tobacco products. CDC surveys clearly show that there has been no “gateway effect” causing non-smokers to start smoking. As vaping has become more popular, evidence shows that more and more people who smoke are quitting traditional cigarettes, including young people who smoke.
    • Important Note: A typical and frequent lawmaker response to people who vape who object to public use bans is “We aren’t banning all use or sales, just use where smoking is also prohibited.” Don’t give them the opportunity to counter you in that way! Make it very clear that you understand that this is not a ban on e-cigarette sales or a ban on vaping where smoking is allowed. But what IS being proposed is still a step backward for public health policy, not a step forward.