Category Archives: smoking

Just Say No to E-Cig Lobbyists

E-Cig Lobbyist David Pasch’s car

Late last month, I received the following note from Raymond Glendening, the CEO of Scarlet Oak Strategies lobbying firm:

I hope you’re well.  I wanted to reach out for an idea for Seventh State.  As you likely know, the e-cig industry is currently being regulated by the FDA and there is looming regulations coming out of Annapolis (21 bill) and Baltimore City (flavor ban).

We are reaching out to see if you have interest in interviewing the vaping industry’s national spokesperson, David Pasch, on one of your talk shows.

We want to help balance the coverage, as there is considerable evidence that vaping products and e-cigarettes are among the most useful tools to help adult smokers’ quit traditional cigarettes, as noted in this recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine.

This new tax would make it harder for adults to gain access to these life changing products which are not only 95% safer than combustible cigarettes, they have been proven nearly twice as effective as other nicotine replacement products – like patches and gum – at helping adults quit smoking.

David Pasch, a spokesperson for Voices for Vaping, is available to further discuss the impact this tax would have, especially for adults seeking alternatives to smoking. David previously served in a senior communications role at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, as a Communications Director in the House of Representatives, and for various non-profit organizations active in the healthcare and public health space. 

Maryland became one of the first states to ban smoking in indoor workplaces in the country under the leadership of the then-Gov. Parris Glendening, Raymond’s father. While e-cigs may help smokers quit, they have also proven to be quite the gateway drug for teenagers, who are more likely to take up smoking if they used e-cigs. Of course, there is nothing healthy about e-cigs, which contain nicotine and formaldehyde among other noxious chemicals.

Trump Cheerleader David Pasch is one heck of a choice of a representative for this industry, as Politico reported:

David Pasch, who ran HHS’ digital communications until this month, regularly parked his car — with “FAKENWS” vanity license plates — outside agency headquarters.

This Trump hack ought who went from HHS to advocating for the tobacco industrial complex ought to be a real hit on State Circle. Of course, it helps to have the son of a former Democratic governor paving the way

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Air In, Vaping Out in MoCo

On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council looks set to pass Council Vice President Nancy Floreen’s bill to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The bill would also prohibit their use where smoking is already not allowed and mandate child-resistant packaging.

Here is Councilmember Floreen’s argument for the bill:

It is hard to keep up with the mounting evidence that electronic cigarettes pose more risks than their marketers would like us to believe, especially for children and teens.

Although electronic cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, they do contain nicotine and other dangerous chemicals. That’s why I introduced a bill in the Montgomery County Council to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes in public spaces where traditional cigarette smoking is banned, including in public buildings and restaurants. The bill also would prohibit use of electronic cigarettes by minors and would require child-resistant packaging for them.

The use of electronic cigarettes, commonly called “vaping,” has grown dramatically since the product’s introduction in 2007. The practice has become so commonplace that the Oxford Dictionary selected the word “vape” as its 2014 “Word of the Year.”

Perhaps swayed by the belief that electronic cigarettes are safe, or emboldened by the fact that e-cigs have little odor that parents could detect, teens who have never tried traditional cigarettes are using e-cigs. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that e-cig use has tripled among teens in just two years. These young people are unwittingly putting themselves at risk for nicotine addiction and nicotine poisoning, as well as potentially graduating to harmful tobacco products.

What exactly is in an electronic cigarette? It is hard to say. In addition to the most common ingredients — propylene glycol, nicotine and flavorings — studies have revealed a lot of unsavory things, like carcinogens, heavy metals and even silicon fibers in some e-cigs. But with 90 percent of electronic cigarettes being manufactured in China, where production lacks even the most basic of regulations, they could contain just about anything.

Many states, including Maryland, prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. Municipalities including New York City, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago, also have enacted restrictions on their use.

While the Food and Drug Administration is currently considering regulations to address electronic cigarettes, it is not clear when those regulations would be finalized or take effect. In the meantime, I’m not willing to gamble with the health of our current generation of young people. We must put some protections in place, and we must do it now.

Councilmember Floreen makes a good case. It seems very odd that someone can buy vaping materials at a mall kiosk but that cigarettes must be sold behind the counter. If adults want to use these materials, that’s their business. But we shouldn’t facilitate the addiction and the poisoning of people who are not yet legal adults.

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