The American Heart Association and the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont celebrated 10 years of smoke-free bars and restaurants in Vermont on September 1st with a celebration of public health groups, patrons and lawmakers and called on the crowd to support the inclusion of e-cigarettes in Vermont’s clean indoor air laws.
Commending the decade of smoke free success in Vermont, Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen urged the crowd gathered at the Double Tree in South Burlington to continue to be vigilant as the tobacco industry continually comes up with new products to addict kids and adults, including e-cigarettes.
Dr. Jan Carney, AHA Board member and Professor of Medicine at University of Vermont School of Medicine, reiterated the importance of addressing e-cigarette use before the problem became more serious, noting, “E-cigarette use by high school students has tripled in a single year and U.S. sales are projected to rise almost 25 percent each year.”
The American Heart Association and Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont will be launching 2016 campaign to include e-cigarettes in Vermont’s Clean Indoor Air Laws. Our concerns include the following:
- Allowing e-cigarette use in public and work places normalizes smoking behavior and is a real risk to public health.
- It’s a logical next step to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes where smoking is prohibited so the norms we’ve worked so hard to establish aren’t eroded.
- Children who see e-cigarettes used in public places may perceive them as regular cigarettes, threatening to re-glamorize the act of smoking.
- Allowing the use of e-cigarettes in the workplace also discourages quitting tobacco use by offering smokers an alternative way to get nicotine when they cannot smoke.