weebly reliable statistics
BRAVE supports candidates at the local, state and federal level who favor reasonable regulation for vaping products based upon scientific data.

Candidate Name: Amy Poelker
District Number:
St Louis County Council 
Phone Number: 314-517-2378 

1. As a St Louis County Councilman, would you support legislation that would classify vapor products as tobacco products? 
     A:  No

2. As a St Louis County Councilman, would you support or oppose legislation to impose any new special taxes on vapor products?
     A:  Oppose

3. As a St Louis County Councilman, would you support or oppose legislation to require a tobacco license for vapor product merchants? 
     A: Oppose 

4. As a St Louis County Councilman would you support or oppose state legislation to further restrict the marketing or advertising of vapor products? 
     A:  Oppose

5. As a St Louis County Councilman, would you support or oppose legislation to prohibit or restrict the sale of certain flavors of e-liquid? 
     A:  Oppose

6. As a St Louis County Councilman, would you support or oppose legislation to limit locations where vapor products can be sold? 
     A:  Oppose 

7. As a St Louis County Councilman, would you support or oppose legislation to limit the number of retailers of vapor products? 
     A:  Oppose 

"For myself the answers are fairly simple, I am an ex smoker. The Patch worked for me but I only smoked on and off for about 5 years. The addiction is real. Many of my friends and residents are grateful for the Vapor Products. It has indeed helped them to stop smoking. "
The St. Louis County Council votes tonight to decide whether to raise the age limit to purchase tobacco products to 21. We support that measure, but not as it currently reads.

Councilman Page has sponsored Bill 199 which includes vapor products and ecigs in the definition of tobacco and smoking. That provision is misguided and could have the opposite effect of keeping young people addicted to tobacco cigarettes and to creating new addictions in our young people.

We ask the County Council to amend the bill to exclude vapor products for the following reasons:

Vaping is NOT Smoking - Vapor products contain no tobacco or anything derived from tobacco except nicotine, which is used in small amounts only in some vapor products. Young people who try vapor products typically use zero nicotine liquid, so there is absolutely no similarity to the combustible, addictive and carcinogen laden tobacco cigarettes.

Vaping is NOT a Gateway to Smoking Combustible Cigarettes

Vaping is a far safer alternative to smoking.

Vaping is an effective tool to help smokers kick the habit.

Restricting access to vapor products could cause young people to begin and continue to smoke combustible cigarettes.

Young people who already smoke are more likely to quit smoking using vapor products than any other available smoking cessation or nicotine harm reduction product.

We request the Council amend Bill 199 to exclude vapor products. Amending the bill will result in fewer young smokers in St. Louis County, a goal upon which we all agree.

Today, Tuesday, October 27th, longtime vaping opponent the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) has organized a call-in action to urge President Obama to put pressure on the FDA to finalize their Tobacco Deeming Regulations. What CTFK and others are failing to mention is that if the deeming regulations are enacted as written, 99.9% of the vapor products currently on the market will be gone within two to four years. Make no mistake, the current proposed regulations will have a devastating impact on consumers and businesses alike; not to mention the obvious damage to public health.

(Please note: At the time of this writing, changes to the FDA deeming regulations have not been published. CASAA’s assessment of the FDA’s proposed regulations is based on the version that was published in 2014. That having been said, it will take nothing short of a complete overhaul of the proposed deeming rule in order to allow nearly even 10% of vapor products currently on the market to remain on the market.)

  • First, if you have not already done so, it is critical that you send an email to your Congressional representative and Senators asking them to support and co-sponsor HR 2058, a bill that would stop the FDA from banning 99%-plus of vapor products.

  • Second, please take a moment, on Wednesday, October 28th, to Call the White House at 202-456-1111. 
    We have provided talking points below.

  • Third, please share this post with your friends.

Talking points:

  • I am calling to urge President Obama to protect consumer choice and demand that the FDA re-work its Tobacco Deeming Regulations so that the existing wide variety of e-cigarette and vapor products can remain on the market.

  • As written, the FDA’s proposed e-cigarette regulations will remove 99.9% of vapor products from the market.

  • Please briefly share your personal story about switching to vapor products. Make sure to include any improvements in health you have experienced or, perhaps, that your doctor has observed. If the variety of flavors are important to you, be sure to mention that too.

  • Thank you. I hope we can count on the President to protect adult access to these life-saving products.
ST. CHARLES, MISSOURI – May 20, 2015
On May 19, 2015, the St. Charles City Council voted to amend an Ordinance enacted earlier this year that improperly included electronic cigarettes in the definition of smoking. Bill #11583, sponsored by Council President Mary Ann Ohms, and Co-Sponsored by Councilwoman Laura Feldman mirrors Missouri state statute and allows business owners to decide whether or not to allow vapor products in their establishments. The bill now goes to Mayor Sally Faith’s desk, where she is expected to sign the measure into law.

A.J. Moll, a spokesperson for the Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education (BRAVE) said “We applaud the council’s decision to rectify the prior ordinance, which was at odds with state law.  Under Missouri law, vapor products and smoking must be regulated separately. St. Charles is now in compliance with state law.” Moll added, “This bill is merely a public information act which allows business owners to decide how to operate their stores and what signage they want to put on their doors.”

Electronic cigarettes are small, battery-powered devices that heat up a liquid and create a vapor instead of smoke. Studies have shown that electronic cigarettes do not produce the tar or many of the other carcinogenic compounds produced when burning tobacco. According to a recent study at Drexel University, Conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn, Peering Through The Mist, second hand vapor poses no harm to bystanders. 

 # # #

A.J. Moll, Vice President of Media Relations
Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education

Video Record: http://stcharlescity.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1666

Public Comment on #11583 begins and ends at 24:10-28:46 

ABOUT BRAVE:  Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education, or BRAVE, is a St. Louis based, grassroots not-for-profit organization. Brave’s mission is to promote; science, health and legal aspects of vapor and nicotine alternatives through advocacy and education. BRAVE partners with state legislators in Missouri and Illinois, and local councils.  BRAVE is available for comment to media outlets and state or local lawmakers.
UPDATE: St. Charles City Council will NOT be voting on the bill on May 5th. New date is likely May 19th. Please keep up the phone calls and check back - we we need you!

We need you to show up AND make a couple phone calls to keep vaping defined separate from smoking in St. Charles City.

On Tuesday, April 7th Bill #11583 was introduced and will amend the definition of smoking to EXCLUDE vaping. Over half of the council members will likely vote against the bill if we do not take action now.

Constituents are requested to attend the council meeting for the second reading and vote on Tuesday, May, 5th 7p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 200 N. Second Street, Saint Charles, MO 63301. Those that wish to speak will need a speaker card and are asked to state: "I fully support this bill and encourage you to vote yes, if this bill is not passed, St. Charles City will remain in direct violation of Missouri state law." "This bill is does not address illegal drugs, nor health issues, the bill is about business owners rights and complying with state law."

Phone: 636-949-5208
Email: john.hanneke@stcharlescitymo.gov

Phone: 636-949-0100
Email: jerry.reese@stcharlescitymo.gov

Phone: 636-946-9670
Email: rod.herrmann@stcharlescitymo.gov

Phone: 636-946-4030
Email: Ronald.stivison@stcharlescitymo.gov

Email: bridget.ohmes@stcharlescitymo.gov
Page 767 of the agenda 

SMOKING: Inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any ignited, lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe or other smoking product, equipment or apparatus involving tobacco, or other plant material, or nicotine in any form, except shall not include a vapor product.
This CTA was originally issued by CASAA on December 9, 2014, but they have reposted it so we are all asked to take action.
As noted in our blog last week, Representatives Boehner, McCarthy, and Upton wrote a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services suggesting that the grandfather date of February 15, 2007 for "new tobacco products" under the Tobacco Control Act (TCA) be changed. Such a change would result in tens of thousands of e-cigarette products not being summarily removed from the market, so we believe this presents a huge opportunity for consumers.

FIRSTClick here to send an email to your federal representative and senator, asking them to support a change in the grandfather date as a short-term solution and then to work with their fellow legislators to consider a better regulatory system for technology-based e-cigarettes than the Tobacco Control Act.

‘Long term e-cigarette use can substantially decrease cigarette consumption in smokers not willing to quit.’

Feb. 24, 2015 6:48 p.m. ET (originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal)
When electronic cigarettes came to the U.S. about 2007, I was skeptical. My assumption was they were a ploy by the tobacco industry to hook more people into smoking under the guise of being a safer product—the notorious low-tar cigarette scam all over again. But as I talked to many e-cigarette users, known as “vapers,” conducted research (Journal of Public Health Policy, 2011) and reviewed a growing body of scientific evidence, I became convinced that e-cigarettes have dramatic potential for reducing disease and death caused by smoking.

Yet many in the antismoking movement—in which I have been involved for decades—are conducting a misleading campaign against these products. And this campaign may be doing harm to public health.

The most common claim about e-cigarettes is that they are a “gateway” to smoking. In September 2013 Thomas Frieden , director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said “many kids are starting out with e-cigarettes and then going on to smoke conventional cigarettes.” He added that electronic cigarettes are “condemning many kids to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine.”

These statements had no basis in fact when he made them, and the evidence is that they are bogus. One recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (January 2015) suggests that e-cigarettes are not acting as a gateway to smoking among youth. Another study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence (February 2015) suggests the addictive potential of e-cigarettes is substantially lower than that of tobacco cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes might even be a deterrent to tobacco addiction. Their use by high-school youth tripled between 2011 and 2013, rising from 1.5% to 4.5%, according to CDC data, and then, according to a University of Michiganstudy, skyrocketed in 2014, when 16% of 10th-graders and 17% of 12th-graders reported using them. That study reports a decline in youth smoking to a historically low level in these years, with smoking among 10th-graders dropping to 7.2% from 11.8% and among 12th-graders falling to 13.6% from 18.7%.

Other unfounded fears about e-cigarettes abound. There is no evidence that e-cigarettes entice ex-smokers to return to nicotine use and then back to cigarette smoking. There also is no evidence that e-cigarettes are hindering the quitting process for smokers who—if not for e-cigarettes—would have quit completely. What we do know suggests that e-cigarettes are indeed a gateway: a one-way gateway away from combustible cigarettes and toward a much safer alternative product.

Are electronic cigarettes safe? Of course not. But e-cigarettes don’t need to be absolutely safe. By definition, harm reduction involves an alternative product that is much safer. As electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco and do not involve combustion, they do not expose users to most of the more than 60 carcinogens in tobacco smoke, and they appear to be safer by orders of magnitude.

Still, to address legitimate safety concerns, the Food and Drug Administration should set uniform safety standards for e-cigarettes and “vaping” products. These standards should include childproof packaging, battery safety, quality-control standards for nicotine labeling and for the production of e-liquids, and modest regulation of flavorings such as a ban on diacetyl, a flavoring which when inhaled can cause a rare form of obstructive lung disease. The temperature of the coils also needs to be regulated to prevent overheating of the e-liquid, which results in the production of formaldehyde, a recognized carcinogen.

These regulations would go far toward maximizing the benefits of e-cigarettes while minimizing the risks. But instead of working to get them, the products are being demonized by those who should know better.

Earlier this month the California Department of Public Health published a pamphlet, “Protect Your Family From E-Cigarettes,” that claimed“E-cigarettes are just as addictive as regular cigarettes.” This flies in the face of the research published in December by the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, which showed that e-cigarettes are much less addictive than tobacco cigarettes. That study found that the addictiveness of e-cigarettes is equivalent to that of nicotine gum, an FDA-approved smoking cessation product.

The same pamphlet asserted that “studies show that e-cigarettes do not help people quit smoking cigarettes.” But a rigorous clinical trial in the Lancet showed e-cigarettes to be just as effective as the nicotine patch in getting smokers off cigarettes.

A January report by the California Department of Public Health on electronic cigarettes—“State Health Officer’s Report on E-Cigarettes: A Community Health Threat”—concludes that “there is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers successfully quit traditional cigarettes.” But it does not cite the Lancet study, nor another, earlier clinical trial (Internal and Emergency Medicine, August 2014), which concluded that “long term e-Cigarette use can substantially decrease cigarette consumption in smokers not willing to quit and is well tolerated.”

Last month a New England Journal of Medicine article reported extremely high levels of formaldehyde in the aerosol of an electronic cigarette and concluded that vaping may therefore be more harmful than smoking. But the study was carried out under unrealistic conditions in which the e-liquid was severely overheated. Under more realistic conditions the study failed to detect any formaldehyde. Unfortunately, the e-cigarette cancer scare had already been spread through the media.

In the U.K., the percentage of smokers quitting each year steadily declined until 2011, but increased from 2011 to 2014, a period when the proportion of smokers using e-cigarettes increased from 2% to 14%. A U.S. study (Nicotine & Tobacco Research, October 2014) reported that during the same period smokers who used e-cigarettes daily were six times more likely to quit than those who did not. This was extremely good news, but more recently the news is not so good.

Bloomberg Business reported last summer that e-cigarette sales began to slip in the U.S., and their use by smokers may even be declining in the U.K. The percentage of the public that believes smoking is more hazardous than electronic cigarettes has fallen to 65% in 2013 from 85% in 2010, according to a 2014 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

This is a tremendous lost opportunity. Vaping technology—or something like it that may be developed—has the potential to be one of the greatest antismoking breakthroughs. I would hate to see its promise wasted because of misinformation by the very public-health authorities who should be in the vanguard of reducing the harm from cigarettes.

Dr. Siegel, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, has conducted tobacco research for 25 years and has been an advocate for antismoking policies.

2nd UPDATE: The bill has been scheduled for a vote at the next Council meeting:

     March 17, 2015 at 7:00 PM (CST)

     St. Charles City Hall
     Council Chambers
     200 N. 2nd St.
     St. Charles, MO 63301

UPDATED:  Many thanks to our members who participated in the St. Charles, MO city council meeting. The council will address the issue again and likely vote on Bill #11543 on April 7th, 2015 at 7:00 PM (CST).

Bill 11543 will be introduced in the St. Charles, MO City Council TUESDAY, March 3rd, 2015 at 7:00 PM (CST).  This bill would expand the city’s definition of “smoking” to include the use of electronic cigarettes.  By deceptively equating vaping with smoking, this bill would require businesses that might allow vaping but prohibit smoking to now ban the use of both products.  Read more at CASAA ...
Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education (BRAVE) is coordinating efforts with a local grassroots group to recall by petition restrictive tobacco and e-cigarette ordinances. Three ordinances were passed last Monday, December 15th at the Columbia City Council meeting that raised the tobacco sale age to 21 and banned the use of e-cigarettes indoors

Spencer Pearson, author of the referendum petitions, now being distributed in Columbia said, “While I’m sure these policies are well-intended, they will do little to curb actual use of cigarettes by 18-20 year olds. The only thing these smokers have to change is where they purchase their cigarettes. Local business will take a big hit in tobacco sales because of this legislation, and tax revenue will simply be sent to Ashland or Lake of the Woods instead of being collected here in Columbia.”

BRAVE V.P. of Media Relations, A.J. Moll said, “Making electronic cigarettes less attractive or unavailable to adult smokers is horrific for public health, and sends the message to smokers to continue smoking. BRAVE condemns the actions of the Columbia City council; their actions went directly against the will of the Missouri Legislature that late last year correctly defined vapor products separate from tobacco and set the purchase age at 18+.  Current science tells us that e-cigarettes are magnitudes less harmful than combustible cigarettes and pose no harm to bystanders. The city council and health committee succumbed to special interest health groups and were led astray by outdated scientific studies, some suspected to be funded by makers of ineffective nicotine patches, gum and inhaler.”

Petition volunteers have until Monday, January 5th 5:00 p.m. to collect just over 3,200 valid signatures and present to the city clerk.  Pearson said, “We are mounting a strong push to gather signatures because we know we must move quickly. According to our city charter, petitions for referendum must be submitted within 20 days of an ordinance passing. That’s why we are moving full-speed-ahead on this process. There is a strong core of community groups behind this issue, so if you see citizens canvassing during the next two weeks in Columbia, you can bet they are working hard to gather signatures for these referendum petitions.”

Ironically the tobacco ordinances’ sponsor, first ward Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick, currently faces recall of her seat by petition.  Signatures on that initiative are in the validation process.

# # #

A.J. Moll, 314-488-5124, media@mybraveaction.org


Spencer Pearson, 816-729-6963

 About BRAVE                                                          

Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education (BRAVE) is a statewide Missouri consumer advocacy group, whose mission is to promote science and health of vapor products, commonly known as e-cigarettes.

BRAVE was instrumental in the passage of Missouri Senate Bill 841, which became law in late 2014.  This legislation prevents the sales of vapor products to minors, below the age of 18, and correctly and importantly draws a distinction between combustible tobacco and vapor products. BRAVE actively works with all forms of media to educate the public about tobacco harm reduction.  BRAVE is and remains available for comment.