For Release: February 16, 2016
Contact: Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or cell (703) 477-7476 or [email protected] or Aaron Frazier at (801) 230-8159
Supporters of Health Benefits of E-Cigarettes as Alternative to Tobacco to Speak at Utah State Capitol February 17
Salt Lake City, UT - On Wednesday, Feb. 17th, National Center for Public Policy Research Senior Fellow Jeff Stier will join the Utah Smoke-Free Association and the Utah chapter of the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) in Salt Lake City to take on opponents of e-cigarettes, highlighting the safe use and benefits of e-cigs and encouraging state legislators to oppose any legislation that will harm individuals who want to quit smoking. "Used as a tool for harm reduction, e-cigarettes are a potential boon to public health, because the products are an appealing alternative to smoking. If activists and misguided legislators succeed in making e-cigarettes less appealing to adult smokers, the public health consequences will be severe and long-lasting," says Stier.
Utah's 2016 state legislative session currently has three bills targeting manufacturers and users of e-cigarettes. The bills and sponsors can be found here:
HB0333 - Electronic Cigarette Products, Nicotine Inhalers, and Related Revenue Amendments. Representative Paul Ray, Clearfield
HB0302 - Utah Medicaid Amendments. Representative Raymond Ward, Bountiful
HB0157 - Age Limit for Tobacco and Related Products. Representative Kraig Powell, Heber
Stier is hopeful that as more elected officials realize the public health benefits of allowing the use of e-cigarettes, the more they will oppose policies, including e-cigarette bans and high excise taxes on e-cigarettes, that discourage people from using them to quit smoking tobacco.
With regard to keeping e-cigs away from children, he adds that "Public health advocates who believe in tobacco harm reduction are resolute that we are capable of putting into place strong youth prevention rules as well as reasonable product standards, without unduly diminishing the appeal of e-cigarettes for adult smokers."
Stier has testified before states and localities about the relative safety of e-cigarettes compared to tobacco cigarettes. "The vast majority of those who purchase e-cigarettes are adult smokers trying to quit, so discouraging the use of e-cigarettes actually incentivizes smokers to continue smoking." In addition, he has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. His National Center op-eds have been published in top outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, Newsday, Forbes, the Washington Examiner and National Review Online.
Stier is available to speak to the media at the Utah State Capitol Rotunda, Wednesday, Feb. 17th, from 9 am to 10:30 am.
If you have an interest in talking to Jeff Stier, contact Judy Kent at 703-759-7476 or Aaron Frazier at 801-230-8159.