Supporters of e-cigarettes say that there’s no evidence that the vapor is hazardous to others. Even clinical services director Doug Jorenby at UW-Madison’s Tobacco Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention followed up remarking that switching from regular cigarettes to e-cigarettes reduces harm to the smoker. The problem here is that the science on secondhand vapor isn’t known yet.
President Gregory Conley of the American Vaping Association (AVA) continues to deride the Wisconsin ban on e-cigarettes. According to him, the ordinance has redefined the word smoking to include using smoke-free products. Conley further states “The chemicals that have been identified are present at such trace levels that no toxicologist would claim that vapor poses a health risk to bystanders.” In addition, Conley notes that there’s a bit of municipal hypocrisy in allowing exceptions with the e-cigarette ban. Hookah lounges and cigar bars will remain open. And with the word vaping now being included in the Oxford Dictionary, Conley scolds Madison City for ignoring its legitimacy. While the jury is still out on the secondhand effects of vaping, the American Cancer Society isn’t on board with Conley. This organization feels that e-cigarettes send the wrong message to kids. Plus, with flavors like caramel apple and bubblegum, the products are very enticing to youth.
The AVA has been active trying to reverse the regulatory wave of vaping prohibitions and restrictions. To date, the ban has been successful in 10 states and 172 cities. Along with the efforts of the AVA, the NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment advocacy group has filed a lawsuit to overturn the city’s ban on electronic cigarettes. Likely, it will be an uphill battle. A spokesperson for the city council stated they’re confident the courts will uphold the ban.
It’s tough to understand the logic of anti-electronic smoking groups. Many promote Chantix, which has caused more than 3,000 deaths. At the same time, electronic cigarettes have caused zero deaths. According to recent reports, the U.S. drug maker Pfizer has spent around $270 million settling more than 2,700 lawsuits. Making matters worse, many anti-smoking groups have taken money from Pfizer. There is definitely a severe conflict of interest.
Conley has also criticized big tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds for supporting the ban on e-cigarettes. With more and more traditional smokers turning to e-vaping, it’s clear the company is more than eager to see its competitors banned. R.J. Reynolds has asked the government to ban reusable e-cigarettes along with e-cigarette liquid products. R.J. Reynolds cannot compete with the growing e-cigarette market.
The AVA is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the electronic and vaping industry. Its mission is to educate the government and public that these battery-powered devices are harm-reduction products that effectively help smokers kick the habit.