June 19, 2014

San Mateo, CA - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City), San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar, tobacco experts, doctors and anti-smoking activists will hold a press conference on Friday, June 20, 2014 at 10:30 am at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center to announce the introduction of her Stop Selling and Marketing to Our Kids E-Cigarettes (SMOKE) Act.

Speier’s legislation will extend the same Food and Drug Administration regulations of tobacco products to electronic cigarettes and address gaps in the current FDA proposal.

“The industry has lured children and teenagers with aggressive marketing tactics to use its products. With flavors like gummy bear, cotton candy, and chocolate cake, our kids are literally vaping these things up. With ads using sex and sex appeal, our teens are lusting after these objects. It’s time to regulate these products and protect our children.”

Speier will be joined by San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar; Dr. Stanton Glantz, Director UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education; Dr. Robert Jackler, cofounder of SITRA, Stanford Research Into The Impact of Tobacco Advertising; Dr. Tomas Aragon, Director of the Population Health Division at the SF Department of Public Health; Dr. Neal Benowitz, Associate Medical Director of the San Francisco Division of the California Poison Control System; and Elle Nguyen, Vietnamese Youth Development Center.

Supervisor Mar introduced legislation in March that regulates e-cigarettes locally. “The new law is a common sense policy for San Francisco that regulates the smoking of e-cigarettes in the same way that cigarettes are already regulated. You can smoke e-cigarettes in all the places where you can currently smoke. You are prohibited from smoking them where you already can’t smoke.”

Dr. Aragon says that as health officer of San Francisco, his job is to "call it as I see it. These facts are indisputable: nicotine is addictive, e-cigarettes are unregulated nicotine delivery devices, and the e-cigarette industry is targeting our youth. Common sense says regulating e-cigarettes like regular cigarettes will preserve our public health protections against smoking and nicotine addiction, will preserve our social norms against smoking cigarettes of any type, and will prevent increased recruitment of our youth into a life of nicotine addiction.

Dr. Benowitz of the California Poison Control Center, housed at San Francisco General Hospital, pointed to the increase in poisonings and burnings caused by e-cigarettes. “We have seen a significant jump from two to three cases of e-cigarette related poisoning per month in 2012 to twelve cases in 2014. In the last 17 months we’ve had 207 cases, 105 of them affecting children under the age of six.”

Nationally, the U.S. Poison Control Centers reports that from 2012 to 2013 the number of exposures rose from 1.36 per month to 9.6 per month with the majority of cases occurring in children ages 5 and under.   

Who:        
Congresswoman Jackie Speier
SF Supervisor Eric Mar
Dr. Stanton Glantz, Director UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education
Dr. Robert Jackler, cofounder of SITRA, Stanford Research Into The Impact of Tobacco Advertising
Dr. Tomas Aragon, Director of the Population Health Division at the SF Department of Public Health
Dr. Neal Benowitz, Associate Medical Director of the San Francisco Division of the California Poison Control System
Elle Nguyen, 17, Vietnamese Youth Development Center

What:        
press conference

When:        
Friday, June 20, 2014
10:30 – 11:30 am

Where:    
San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, in front of the Emergency Room
1001 Potrero Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110