Wheeling-Ohio County, WV Call to Action

Wheeling-Ohio County, WV Call to Action (TABLED) 
Tuesday, December 13, 2011 

Wheeling-Ohio County Clean Air Regulation 2011 seeks to "minimize the effects of tobacco smoke on the general public in enclosed public places."

12/13/2011 UPDATE: After several months of debate, the Wheeling-Ohio County Board of Health indefinitely tabled the smoking ban.  The smoking ban faced heavy opposition from the employees of a smoking ban.  The use of e-cigarettes in public places remains legal in Wheeling-Ohio County.  Thank you to the CASAA members who reached out to BOH officials, especially Lorie McClung and Bill Godshall (see below). 

10/28/2011 UPDATE: CASAA adviser Bill Godshall and CASAA member Lorie McClung have testified in opposition to this ordinance at three public hearings (read August news coverage of their testimony here).  The ordinance continues to be considered.  The next meeting will be at some time in December. 

This Ordinance could:
Ban the use of electronic cigarettes, regardless of whether or not they contain nicotine, in all places where tobacco cigarette smoking is prohibited.

The Regulation may be voted upon on July 19 at 12:00 noon at the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, 1500 Chapline Street, Room 106, Wheeling WV.  

Please call or write the members of the Wheeling-Ohio County Board of Health listed below. 

What to say:
1. You want them to amend the bill to delete the last sentence in item "K" in "§ 1003. Definitions."

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco has changed your life

3. Explain how smoking bans are enacted to protect the public from the harm of second-hand smoke, but electronic cigarettes have not been shown to cause harm to bystanders.

In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with electronic cigarettes is comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.  
This is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth and Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.
4. Let them know that vapor does not behave in the same manner as smoke.

There is no "side stream" vapor like the side stream smoke coming from the lit end of a cigarette and unlike cigarette smoke,
The vapor is virtually odorless and dissipates quickly.
There is also no ash or litter.
With so little evidence of use, enforcing indoor use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.
5. Inform them that the ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch.

Surveys of thousands of users indicate that the majority of those who switch very quickly completely replace tobacco cigarettes with the electronic cigarettes, reducing their health risks by 98-99%.  
So even if smokers think they are using electronic cigarettes just for indoor use, the chances are high that they will stop using tobacco cigarettes altogether
6. Tell them that by switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.  

Link to CASAA's letter to the Board of Health:  http://www.casaa.org/news/article.asp?articleID=182

Please contact the Board of Health members individually.  

Contact Information for the Board of Health Members

John D Holloway MD
2115 Chapline Street Suite 202
Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone (304) 234-8361  
Fax (304) 234-8558

Tom Tuttle -- Family Medical Supply
99 Edgington Lane
Wheeling, WV 26003-1541
Phone (304) 243-1904 
Fax (304) 242-2583

Gloria Delbrugge
146 N. 21 St.
Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone 304-277-4640

Cheryl Wonderly Esq.
13 Stonegate Dr
Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone (304) 243-1163

Wilkes E. Kinney - Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce
1310 Market Street, 2nd Floor
Wheeling WV 26003
Phone (304) 233-2575
Fax (304) 233-1320

Michael Caruso
mcaruso@ovrh.org (unconfirmed, but likely)