What’s eating Gilbert Ross, the Medical and Executive Director of the American Council on Science and Health and an M.D.? Apparently, it’s lawmakers and mayors in a number of major U.S. cities who are blindly jumping on the bandwagon to restrict the use of e-cigarettes.
In his Forbes’ article entitled, “Big U.S. Cities Foment Baseless, Superstitious Fear of Electronic Cigarettes,” Dr. Ross calls out city and state officials who are giving into bullying and propagating irrational fear because of pressure from other big cities.
“Whatever became of urban sophistication, especially on matters scientific and technological?” said Ross, who goes on to liken the craze to a witch hunt—with e-cigs being burned.
According to Ross, at first the Chicago City Council held strong against the demands of Mayor Rahm Emanueal, who was on a mission to ban public e-cig use last December. However, a month later, the Council caved into the Mayor’s bullying and forced e-smokers to stand out in the cold with tobacco cigarette smokers.
This move left Dr. Ross fuming:
Agenda-driven and conflicted opponents cry, “Regulate e-cigs!” They mean to regulate them off the market and into the hands of Big Tobacco. I say, Yes, regulate them, by all means: age restrictions, ingredient labels, and good manufacturing practices all need to be mandated. But making e-cigs inaccessible for desperate smokers by inane restrictions will send this message: “Keep on smoking.”
To those who say, “We just don’t know what might happen,” I respond, we sure do know what happens with the real ones: almost half a million dead American smokers every year.
Thus far, three major cities have established measures to include e-cigs in their public bans, starting with New York last December. Chicago followed suit shortly after by approving a proposal to ban e-cig use in indoor public areas like offices and within a certain distance of building entrances.
Now, the latest news out of L.A. indicates that the trend to restrict e-smoking has hit the west coast as well. A committee on the Los Angeles City Council is currently drafting a proposal to ban e-cigs in public places—including parks, recreational areas, farmer’s markets, beaches, bars, nightclubs and outdoor dining areas. Interestingly, vaping lounges and movie sets would be exempt from the proposed ban (much to Leonardo DiCaprio’s relief, undoubtedly).
To oppose the e-cig restrictions being discussed in L.A., or any other city for that matter, we encourage you to voice your concerns by calling your City Council Representative and telling them how e-smoking has affected your life.
And be sure to visit our E-Cig Resource Center to learn about the latest e-cig legislation.