This was posted today at:

http://vaping.info/blog/2014/tn-department-of-health-vaping-harms-smokers

I will re-post the full article, then my statement will be below this.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2014 at 10:45 am CDT

TSFA-AVA

TN Department of Health’s Hardline Stance on Vaping Harms Smokers’ Health

Dep’t of Health should tell the truth to adult smokers

NASHVILLE, T.N. – Today, the consumer advocacy and trade group Tennessee Smoke Free Association, joined with the American Vaping Association, a leading advocate for the benefits of vapor products such as electronic cigarettes, to issue a response to a recent advisory about vapor products issued by the Tennessee Department of Health.

In the advisory, the TN Department Of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner discourages Tennessee’s 1,000,000-plus adult smokers from using vapor products, which have grown in popularity among smokers searching for smarter alternatives.  Instead, Dreyzehner recommends that smokers only using FDA-approved cessation products like the nicotine patch and gum.

Dimitris Agrafiotis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Smoke Free Association (TSFA), issued the following statement:

“With Tennessee ranked 46th in the nation in smoking prevalence, we are disappointed that the Department of Health continues to dissuade adult smokers from switching to vaping. The body of scientific evidence on vapor products clearly demonstrates that these products present dramatically reduced risk versus combustible products like cigarettes.

“By inexplicably portraying nicotine as the primary risk factor in smoking — rather than the smoke and tar created by combustion — the Department of Health sends an irresponsible message to the over one million smokers in Tennessee. This deceit not only impacts adult smokers who may be scared away from using e-cigarettes, but also could result in smokers believing that FDA-approved quit methods like the nicotine patch and gum are harmful due to presence of nicotine.

“The TSFA and its member stores are proud to have helped thousands of Tennesseans stop using combustible tobacco products. We urge the Department of Health to review the current body of research and work with us to reduce smoking rates statewide.”

Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, issued the following statement:

“Tennessee smokers have a right to truthful and accurate information about the relative risks of different tobacco and nicotine products. And the Tennessee Department of Health has the responsibility and  obligation to provide it. Regrettably, the agency is refusing to even admit that vaping is a smarter option for adult smokers who cannot or will not quit using traditional means.

“Instead of trying vaping, the Department of Health recommends smokers attempt to quit using nicotine replacement therapy products like the nicotine gum and patch. What advice does the Department of Health have for the over 95% of smokers that fail to succeed with these products? It appears they have no guidance other than, ‘Try again.’

“In the United Kingdom, where public health officials have taken a balanced approach to harm reduction, British smokers have felt comfortable switching to vaping. This has been an enormous public health success, asas quit attempts and quit successes have both steadily risen in the country since vaping took off in early-2013.

“To solve the public health crisis of smoking, it is not necessary that state health authorities explicitly endorse vaping by adult smokers. However, there is no justification for virulently opposing vaping by inveterate adult smokers, as the Department of Health has done and continues to do.”

You can learn more about the TSFA by visiting the TSFA website. You can also find them on Facebook.

You can learn more about AVA by visiting the AVA website. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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About the Tennessee Smoke Free Association:
The Tennessee Smoke Free Association is a consumer advocacy group and trade organization with a focus on tobacco harm reduction (THR) through the use of vapor products (electronic cigarettes) and other smoke-free products that have been shown to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with smoking. The TSFA focuses on the prevention of tobacco harm and seeks to cooperate with Tennessee health authorities to function for the greater health of the Tennessee public. The TSFA currently represents 30 small- and medium-sized businesses in Tennessee.

About the American Vaping Association:
The American Vaping Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates for small- and medium-sized businesses in the rapidly growing vaping and electronic cigarette industry. We are dedicated to educating the public and government officials about financial and public health benefits offered by vapor products, which are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine or nicotine-free solution and create an inhalable vapor.

Contacts: Dimitris Agrafiotis (TSFA) / Gregory Conley (AVA)
Tel:   423-451-6150 / 609-947-8059
Email: dimi@tnsmokefree.org / gconley@vaping.info

My statement to you:

As a vaper, you need to be heard, so blog about it, post on Facebook, and many other outlets. We can not sit idly by, while people that know better, do the wrong thing, tell flat out lies, and give bad info, regardless of the fact that they are supposed to support public heath and betterment.

I used to go to the health dept., for my medical care.  The doctor that I talked to told me that he thought vaping was definitely better than smoking.   My cardiologist, and his whole team, told me to get as many people on ecigs and away from smoking cigarettes as I could.  They were thrilled that we opened a store!

Then, along comes a posting from the head person at the TN dept of health stating how bad ecigs are, because they do not know anything about them.  Then, later that week, I hear how the health dept is not getting over $200K, because so many people are no longer buying packs of cigarettes.  Makes me wonder…  A lot!!!  Because it sounds to me, like they are loosing tax revenue from smokers that are not smoking, and they want to tell people to use products that absolutely have been proven to fail 95% of the time, so they go back to smoking, so they can get their tax revenue.

They sound more worried about their budget than they do our health.  They can easilly do the same research that you and I have done.  Google ecig research and you get tons.  How can they tell us that they do not know,,, unless they willfully do not wish to know.

Post your thoughts on this subject on your own blogs, or Facebook, news sites, and other places.  We need to get vocal, and we need to do it now.  Blog now, and blog often!  Write, and email your senators, and congressmen – Your legislators, and other officials.  We clearly need to educate those in power, before false information from people like this that are supposed to care about our health.