As a public health organization concerned with the massive toll of cigarette smoke on our nation, we at ACSH were dismayed last month by measures taken in New York and Los Angeles to restrict the use of e-cigarettes indoors. We were, however, heartened to see the good Alderman of Chicago flouting the strong-arm tactics of its power-hungry Mayor, ex-Obama insider Rahm Emanuel, who seemed desperate to keep e-cigs out of reach.
However, yesterday, the Council voted overwhelmingly to reverse their previous stance and ban e-cigs indoors and wherever cigarettes (the real ones) are banned. There will also be licensing requirements for selling e-cigs.
ACSH s Dr. Gil Ross had this gloomy analysis: We here at ACSH have been, and remain, at a loss to explain this seeming juggernaut of antipathy towards e-cigarettes. The various chemical and toxicological analyses have shown between minuscule and zero levels of health threat to...well, to anyone, bystanders, vapers, whoever. But the key is this: millions of smokers have quit by switching to e-cigarettes. ACSH s Facebook page, HelpingAddictedSmokers, has 32,000 fans and gets hundreds of daily anecdotes about the miraculous benefits of quitting by using e-cigs. But the public health authorities and politicians nationwide are up in arms over these miraculous little cigalikes, citing protecting our children and fear of addiction and fear of second-hand vapor. But none of these pompous and ignorant folks seem to have any knowledge of (much less concern or compassion for) the 45 million smokers and the 440,000 deaths each year from cigarettes. I was especially saddened to learn of this perverse and baseless reversal of fortune in Chicago. Why use strong-arm political muscle against e-cigarettes. It just makes no sense.