An ordinance to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in Seattle has grabbed the attention of electronic cigarette users all over the United States. The Housing Authority in Seattle had initially planned to release an ordinance that banned the use of electronic cigarettes in community spaces, public facilities and individual apartments all over Seattle. When CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association) learnt about this shocking proposal late October, it immediately sprung to action.
Greg Conley, Director of CASAA, posted details of the ordinance and also notified readers and users of electronic cigarettes that they could take action at the upcoming meeting with the Board of Commissioners mid November. Conley encouraged members of CASAA as well as others to send out civil e-mails requesting the board to reconsider the ban on electronic cigarettes.
A flood of emails were sent to the housing authority in Seattle requesting to exempt electronic cigarettes from the proposed smoking ban. Executive Director of Seattle Housing Authority Tom Tierney confirmed that they received innumerable emails and phone calls to revise the ordinance. The overwhelming response influenced the housing authority to exempt e-cigarettes and allow their usage in all housing developments.
Many questions have been raised regarding the safety of electronic cigarettes by health boards and local authorities. Despite the proof provided by studies conducted all over the world, the hazards of electronic cigarettes remain unproven. Similar attempts to ban electronic cigarettes even though they are safer than tobacco cigarettes are bring countered in other parts of the country.
CASAA's victory in Seattle also proves that with enough support from the public, smokers can look forward to safer methods of getting their nicotine fix. CASAA also urges people to support their cause of allowing safer methods of 'smoking' to save millions of lives. It is estimated that there are approximately fifty million smokers in the country who could lower their risk of contracting multiple types of cancer and heart disease if e-cigarettes are declared legal.