New York State battles E-Cigarettes

WANTED to pass on a note from Bill Godshall from SmokeFree PA.

Situation: The NY Senate Health Committee may consider a bill (S7234) that would ban e-cigarette sales as soon as Tuesday, April 27.

The NY Assembly may consider an identical bill (A9529) at any time.

Action requested: Call/e-mail/fax/snail mail NY Senate Health Committee members, and e-mail NY Assembly members urging them to oppose S7234 & A9529, and urging them to amend the legislation to ban e-cigarettes sales to minors.

Smokefree Pennsylvania sent the following letter to NY Senate Health Committee members (and a similar one to NY Assembly members).  Contact information for NY Senate Health Committee members and NY Assembly is below.  Please forward this e-mail to e-cigarette consumers and other tobacco harm reduction advocates ASAP.

The Honorable Thomas K. Duane, Chair

New York Senate Health Committee

430 State Capitol  Building

Albany, NY 12247

Re: Health Committee legislation to ban sales of electronic cigarettes (S7234 & A9529)

Dear Senator Duane:

Smokefree Pennsylvania strongly encourages you to OPPOSE S7234 & A9529 because they would force e-cigarette consumers (who quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes) to either go back to smoking deadly cigarettes, or to purchase these life saving products from a newly created black market.  An even better alternative is to AMEND the legislation so it just bans e-cigarette sales to minors, as is the law with all other tobacco products.

The growing body of scientific evidence consistently indicates that e-cigarettes (also called nicotine vaporizers) are at least 99% less hazardous alternatives to smoking cigarettes, as they emit no smoke.  Since 2007, an estimated 300,000–500,000 smokers in the US (including tens of thousands of New Yorkers) have switched to e-cigarettes, which emit smokefree nicotine vapor.  The American Association of Public Health Physicians, American Council on Science and Health, and many other health policy experts agree.

Instead of protecting health (as some groups claim), S7234 & A9529 threaten public health by protecting the deadliest consumer product (cigarettes) from market competition by far less hazardous smokefree alternatives.  E-cigarette consumers and smokers have a human right to access and use far less hazardous tobacco alternatives to cigarettes.

By creating a black market for e-cigarettes, S7234 & A9529 would force e-cigarette suppliers in NY to move to other states, encourage e-cigarette consumers to buy from a black market, and waste state and local tax dollars for enforcement and adjudication.

Although the cigarette industry would be the chief beneficiary of S7234 & A9529, tobacco companies aren’t lobbying for the legislation.  Rather, drug industry funded abstinence-only anti-tobacco groups are pushing the bills because they vehemently oppose smokers reducing their health risks by switching to less hazardous smokefree tobacco alternatives.
After 25 years of advocating laws that reduced smoking, I cannot think of a more effective way to protect cigarette markets or to harm/kill hundreds of thousands of smokers than by banning sales of e-cigarettes or other smokefree alternatives, as S7234 & A9529 would do.

Once again, please reject or amend this outrageous and inhumane legislation.


William T. Godshall, MPH
Executive Director


#1 Jim on 04.23.10 at 8:25 PM

Very Interesting story from your banner ad!

The Safe Smoking Alternative? The Answer to Quit Smoking?
As part of a new series: “Health Trends: A look at America’s Top Quit Smoking Tips” We examine consumer tips for stopping the smoking addiction during a recession

Jennifer investigates the Electronic Cigarette to find out for herself if this smoking alternative works.

Have you heard of the E-Cigarette or Electronic Cigarette? If you haven’t and you’re a smoker or even a non-smoker, today is your lucky day. An E-Cigarette looks like a cigarette, feels like a cigarette, taste like a cigarette, but there’s something very different about it–it’s a better, healthier way to smoke. To be good to be true? Actually no, it’s not. Thousands of customers are raving about how amazing this product is. So much that they are recommending this product to everyone they know as a substitute for friends, colleagues, and loved one as a way to smoke, but in a non-harmful and cleaner manner. This high-tech electronic smoking device provides the nicotine individuals crave, with none of the chemicals and tar that comes from your typical cigarette. Not only does it not harm the smoker, but there is none of the harmful second hand smoke either.

But we here at News 10 are a little skeptical and aren’t sure that we’ve seen any real proof that these electronic cigarettes work to aide in quitting smoking. So we decided to put these products to the test. What better way to find out the truth than to conduct our own study?

To get started, I have smoked for nearly 10 years and I volunteered to be the guinea pig. I applied for free trial of the Smoking Stick Electronic Cigarette. While there are a few of electronic cigarettes ads online, Smoking Stick is one of the most credible and trustworthy suppliers on the market. It included the free trial of the product and it did not try to fool me into agreeing to additional hidden offers. Another reason why I chose Smoking Stick is because it is the most practical and best designed product I found. It has an integrated charger so no need for cables and clutter. The Smoking Stick came in a cigarette box-like case, which makes it easy and convenient to carry. Also, Smoking Stick offered 25 nicotine cartridges in the trial while other companies only offered me 5 cartridges which is not practical. The 25 cartridges gave me a month supply.

Here is what Smoking Stick claimed on their website…

* Can smoke in public places
* Had no tar or tobacco
* No carbon monoxide, no dangerous chemicals
* Can help stop the smoking addiction

Were pretty skeptical, but wanted to find out for ourselves if this product could actually do everything that it claimed. Most of the success stories talk about trying a 4-6 week program to quit smoking, tapering off the nicotine cartridges as you advance in the program.
Putting Smoking Stick to the Test

The Smoking Stick electronic cigarette arrived within 4 days of having placed my order online for the trial.

The package I received had 25 nicotine cartridges, a month’s worth of supply which worked out perfect as I wanted to follow a 4 week program to stop smoking and document my progress throughout.
My Test 4 Week Quit Smoking Program with Smoking Stick:

* Smoke one Smoking Stick nicotine cartridge per day

My Results

Week One

After one week smoking the Smoking Stick Electronic Cigarette I was surprised at the dramatic results. My energy level was up, I felt better, and I wasn’t even craving the nicotine. It was apparent the side effects of smoking were slowly going away. Also, I was able to smoke the electronic cigarette in public places and even in the office which was very convenient.

I honestly felt fantastic.

And I didn’t even change anything about my daily routine. On day 7 I started to smoke half a nicotine cartridge per day. My nicotine addiction seemed to taper down a bit. But I still wasn’t convinced as they say its easy to get “hooked” again. I wanted to wait and see the results in the upcoming weeks. But it sure was looking up! I was feeling better for the first time in years!

Week Two

After two weeks of using Smoking Stick, I started the week off with even more energy and was actually sleeping more soundly than before. I started exercising and found myself with even more energy and not breathing heavy during my routines. I still remained at smoking a half a nicotine cartridge per day.

I must admit that I’m starting to believe that this electronic cigarette is more than just a gimmick.

Week Three

After 3 weeks all my doubts and skepticism had absolutely vanished! I still have a ton of energy and i felt my nicotine desire really diminish. I felt so confident on Smoking Stick that I started to recommend it to family and friends that smoked. In week 3 I was smoking less the half a nicotine cartridge per day.

Week Four

After the fourth week, my final results were shocking to myself as well as family and friends. I quit smoking! Actually everyone at News 10 that smokes cigarettes is kicking themselves for not having volunteered to be the guinea pig. Using the Smoking Stick electronic cigarette in week 4 helped me quit smoking. I feel better physically and mentally.
I couldn’t be any happier with the results.
I Stopped Smoking in 4 Weeks, No patches, No prescriptions, No WITHDRAWL

Conclusion Like us, here at News 10, you might be a little doubtful about the effects of electronic cigarettes, but you need to try it for yourself; the results are real. After conducting our own personal study we are pleased to see that people really are finding success with it (myself included 🙂 ). And you have nothing to lose…but your health if you dont. Follow the links to the free* trials I have provided and know that you are getting a quality product that works; no strings attached!

Good Luck with stopping your smoking addiction,

Jennifer Miller

#2 Bob on 04.24.10 at 2:39 PM

They are extremly dangerous to the bottom line of Pfizer, the cessation manufacturing company that spent millions using tax exempt political action committees (charities) to get these smoking bans in the first place, They are undermining the entire purpose of expensive smoking bans. Also, unlike Chantix, they have no mind altering drugs and can be safely used by airline pilots, railroad engineers, truck drivers, and others in jobs where public safety is an issue. Seeing that semi driver in my rear view mirror with a cigarette is a comforting sight.

#3 Bertram52 on 04.27.10 at 11:40 AM

If these marketers would stop making unsubstantiated health claims, they would have an easier time…. By making such claims, they are leading with their chin and they are getting smacked big time.

#4 Ron on 05.03.10 at 2:18 PM

After 20 years of smoking 1-2 packs a day, I finally quit by using e-cigarettes. I have tried the patch, the gum, the meds, and cold turkey with no success. It took me about 3 weeks to fully quit and feel relieved. I’ve been free of the stink sticks for nearly a month now.

To ban this product is ridiculous and it makes me think that greed plays a role due to lost tax money.

#5 Vapor Vixen on 05.06.10 at 11:50 PM

The thing that puzzles me is why does the FDA only attempt to stop the importing of the nicotine e-cigs? I mean why are they doing this?

#6 Native Son on 05.10.10 at 12:36 AM

New York should just do what they do best. Put a tax on the product and call it a great day!

#7 OTP Kid on 05.12.10 at 12:35 PM

Willie, if you have any financial interest in E-cigarettes, either as an active or passive investor, or have any vested interest in any E-cigarette, it’s components, or remuneration in any way, we are asking you to disclose this immediately for the record.

#8 Jim on 05.12.10 at 7:28 PM

OTP Kid,

I think Bill is clean.


#9 OTP Kid on 05.13.10 at 3:54 PM

I’m not saying he is or he isn’t, just asking for full disclosure so these blogs are not used to gain commercial advantage.

#10 Vapor Vixen on 06.01.10 at 3:15 PM

Just heard a very interesting rumor today. Can anybody confirm that Ruyan is back in the mix with a new product with a tobacco manufacturer as a partner? Any one have any details? It seems as though several midwest retailers are doing very well with the product.

#11 Vapor Vixen on 06.04.10 at 9:48 PM

Really interesting story about e-cigs – Check it out!

#12 Bill Godshall on 07.12.10 at 5:27 PM

More than two and half months have passed since the e-cigarette sales ban legislation approved by the NY Assembly was referred to the NY Senate Health Committee, which has taken no action on the legislation (probably due to the hundreds of letters, e-mails and calls to, and visits with, Senate Health Cmte members from/by e-cigarette consumers and public/consumer health advocates). So far, no state has enacted legislation that would ban e-cigarette sales, and we intend to keep it that way.

#13 TAZ on 11.07.10 at 12:16 AM

Michael Siegel’s Blog

Groups Warning Against E-Cigarettes Due to Propylene Glycol Should Also Warn the Public Not to Use Cough Medicine, Nasal Sprays, and Many More Meds
Many anti-smoking groups are publicly discouraging smokers from using electronic cigarettes as a tool to achieve smoking cessation because many of these devices use propylene glycol to vaporize the nicotine. These warnings are highlighted by the proclamation of one chemist, quoted in an article yesterday in the Casper Journal, who said that propylene glycol should not be ingested nor inhaled, because it causes respiratory irritation, convulsions, and gastrointestinal distress.

The article first documents the anecdotal finding that many electronic cigarette users experience a rapid improvement in their health as soon as they quit smoking and switch to e-cigarettes. According to the article: “Bar Nunn resident Duane Gray is also a vaper, having begun “smoking” the e-cigs eight months ago. He loves them, he says. “My lungs and sinuses have cleared up, there are no more tobacco stains on my fingers or the smell of smoke on my clothes.” …

NSA manager, Tammy Waltemath, stopped smoking the day she tried the e-cig. … “I believe in the product,” she says. “I had a pack of regular cigarettes in a drawer and I just opened the drawer and said, “Aha!…because I no longer needed them.” … Waltemath reported her smoker’s cough was gone in less than a week.”

Then, the article provides the other side of the story: “The e-cig’s are not without controversy, however, and have not yet been approved by the FDA. In July, 2009, the FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis released a warning that a cartridge from one leading brand of e-cigarettes was found to contain one percent diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze, as well as detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could potentially be exposed.”

“Byron says that the e-cigs he sells do not contain diethylene glycol, but propylene glycol. However, chemist Michael S. Sommer from the University of Wyoming in Laramie says, “As far as saying that propylene glycol or ethylene glycol are detrimental to one’s health, it is safe to say that neither should be ingested. Both, if inhaled, seem to cause irritations to the respiratory system, and both can cause convulsions and gastro-intestinal distress.””

“Sommer also says that there is no solid proof one way or the other as to whether these glycols cause cancer. He adds that diethylene glycol may be used in antifreeze but is more commonly found in hydraulic fluids, such as brake fluid. Propylene glycol, as ethylene glycol, is commonly used in antifreeze.”

The Rest of the Story

For the sake of argument, let’s stipulate that Sommer and the anti-smoking groups are correct and that propylene glycol is hazardous and should not be ingested or inhaled. Let’s assume that it is essentially the equivalent of ingesting or inhaling antifreeze, as the FDA and many anti-smoking groups would like us to believe. Then, the question I would ask is:

Why isn’t Sommer, and why aren’t these anti-smoking groups, calling for the removal of cough medicines like Robitussin from the market?

Many formulations of Robitussin cough medicine contain propylene glycol. These include: Robitussin DM Max, Robitussin DM, Robitussin DM To Go, Robitussin Sugar-Free DM, Robitussin Long-Acting Cough Gels, Robitussin CF Max, Robitussin CF, Robitussin CF To Go, Robitussin Cough & Cold Long-Acting, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough, Cold, & Flu, Robitussin Children’s Cough & Cold Long-Acting, Robitussin Children’s Cough Long-Acting, and Robitussin Children’s Cough and Cold CF.

Numerous other common allergy, cough, and cold medications, for both adults and children, contain propylene glycol. These include: Advil Children’s Suspension, CVS Flu and Severe Cold Nighttime, CVS Children’s Chest Congestion Expectorant, CVS Tussin Cough Formula, Dimetapp Cold & Allergy for Children, Theraflu Warming Relief Cold & Chest Congestion, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold, TheraFlu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat Cherry, Triaminic Children’s Chest & Nasal Congestion Syrup Tropical Flavor, Tylenol Sore Throat Liquid Daytime Cool Burst, CVS Children’s Allergy Relief Oral Solution, CVS Children’s Allergy Relief Cetirizine Hydrochloride Liquid Grape, and Claritin Children’s Allergy Solution Grape Flavor.

Other medications which contain propylene glycol include Amantidine (which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease), Epivir (used to treat HIV/AIDS infection), the Flector patch (used to treat pain), Qusetran (used to reduce cholesterol), Ursodiol (used to treat gallstones), metoclopramide (used to treat certain gastrointestinal disorders), Methadone (used to treat opiate dependence), and Invega (used to treat schizophrenia).

A number of eye drop formulations contain propylene glycol, which is presumably absorbed via the tissues of the eye. These include: Alcon Systane Lubricant Eye Drops and Alcon Systane Lubricant Eye Drops Vials.

Several nasal sprays contain propylene glycol, which presumably could deliver this chemical to the respiratory tract. These include: Afrin Nasal Spray No Drip Severe Congestion, Afrin Pump Mist Original, Afrin Nasal Spray Original, Ayr Saline Nasal Gel, and Ayr Saline Nasal Gel Moisturizing Swabs.

Propylene glycol is injected directly into the bloodstream when patients receive IV dilantin, an anti-seizure medication. It is also injected directly into the bloodstream when patients are treated with melphalan and istodax, which are chemotherapeutic agents. Fenoldopam, an intravenously-administered drug to treat high blood pressure, contains propylene glycol. Also containing propylene glycol for injection are IV valium and IV ativan.

Where are all these medications on the list that this chemist is warning people about because they contain propylene glycol, which should not be ingested or inhaled? Why is the FDA not warning us that all of these other medications contain a chemical that is used in anti-freeze? Why are the anti-smoking groups not instructing the public not to use the medications on this list because they contain a component of anti-freeze?

#14 Bill Godshall on 11.11.10 at 3:59 PM

Please note that the legislation in NY to ban the sale of e-cigarettes is dead, as the term is done.

Although the Democrat sponsors have said they’ll reintroduce the legislation next session, it appears that the Democrats aren’t going to control the NY Senate next session (they haven’t declared winners yet in 3 senate races, but Republicans are leading in vote counts in all three, and they’ll take control of the Senate if they just prevail in 2 of the 3 races).

But even if the Dems keep control of the NY Senate, I’m confident that we’ll defeat the legislation again next session.

Four e-cigarette supporters (including me) testified at the 9/23/10 hearing held by NY Senate Health Committee Chair Tom Duane. Our testimony is at:

#15 OTP Kid on 11.15.10 at 5:24 PM

Bill Godshall:

Please state for the record you have no financial interest in any Ecig company. Failure to do so will prove that you do to this blog.

#16 OTP Kid on 11.23.10 at 1:45 PM

We continue to wait, now for more than a week, for Mr. Godshall to state for the record he has no interest in any Ecig company whatsoever.

Obviously this hasn’t happened because he is not in a position to do that I suspect.

#17 jersey boy on 11.23.10 at 8:42 PM

pretty funny

#18 SamboEciger on 10.11.12 at 10:44 AM

@ OTP Kid,
You have been whining since Ecigs were introduced. Today they are a billion dollar industry. Stop your whining, and accept them as a viable industry and an integral part of the Tobacco landscape. Since Bill did not respond to your whining, here is an independant article about him.
Investment site Minyanville ran an article about harm reduction advocate Bill Godshall. The article, which prominently featured the prohibitionists Godshall frequently rails against eventually got around to the question of whether or not Godshall takes handouts from tobacco companies. The answer was a resounding “no.”

“Naturally, this raises an important question: Who pays Bill Godshall for his advocacy work?

“Most of my money comes from me and my wife’s personal finances,” Godshall said. “Tobacco companies have offered me money, but I’ve never taken it. They can’t believe I’m giving them all these great ideas for free. I got into this field because of ethics and humanity, I was always taught to tell the truth and to be honest with the public and not deceive them. I spent 20 years going after the cigarette company executives for lying and misrepresenting the dangers of cigarette smoke and held them accountable in court, but now no one is holding these so-called public health agencies accountable. They are lying; it is outrageous. They are frauds, they’ve been covering up, lying, and misleading the public for the past 25 years about smokeless tobacco and now they’re afraid they’re going to get caught.”

Could it really be that Godshall’s is a personal crusade not financed at all by Big Tobacco?

One well-placed source in the public health community who spoke to me on condition of anonymity thinks so.

“Bill Godshall is a true believer,” the source says. “I really don’t think he’s been bought off by anyone; he’s not taking money from the tobacco companies. There’s no smoking gun here — I think he just really, really believes in what he’s doing.”

“I’ve been falsely accused many times,” Godshall told me. “Now that I’m doing harm reduction, the prohibitionists, moralists, they just want to ban it outright because it’s coming from a tobacco company.”

Read more:

#19 OTP Kid on 10.16.12 at 8:04 AM

The Costa Rican Ministry of Health said it is considering banning the import of electronic cigarettes, citing the dearth of evidence on the safety of the product. (Costa Rica News 10/15)

#20 Bill Godshall on 10.19.12 at 7:03 PM

In fact, in the article OTP Kid is referencing at
the Costa Rican government merely repeated a one sentence soundbite from FDA’s July 2009 press conference where then Deputy Commissioner Josh Sharfstein intentionally decieved the public about the health risks of e-cigarettes and the FDA lab test results (which found no hazardous levels of anything in any of the e-cigarettes they tested).

BTW To answer OTP Kid’s question of me (that I hadn’t seen until now), I have never received any money from any e-cigarette company (nor from any tobacco or drug companies).

#21 OTP Kid on 10.22.12 at 10:51 AM

Thank you for responding for the record Bill. Here’s an excerpt from the article>>>

According to the FDA, when a person inhales, the device ejects nicotine and contains toxic ingredients and chemicals hazardous to health as ethylene glycol, used in antifreeze for vehicles.

#22 Vapor Vixen on 10.25.12 at 1:57 AM

And by the way OTP KID we all know that the FDA is always right. keep drinking the koolaid

#23 OTP Kid on 10.25.12 at 12:24 PM

Vapor I am hopeful one day we will not allow sales people from ecig companies to join the blog since they cannot provide any objective information or opinions.

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