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MINNESOTA
VAPING ASSOCIATION

At Minnesota vaping association we help people quit smoking tobacco cigars by promoting vaping products. Our group also teaches various vaping techniques and enables you to cope up with quitting smoking in the best possible manner.

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The Minnesota vaping association has helped me a lot with my smoking problems. E-cigars helped me quit smoking tobacco cigars.

LORIA J. JENKINS

It is brilliant to be a part of the association. They have exciting events and also have many ways to help people learn about vaping.

CLAUSEN

Minnesota vaping association has yet again proved to be one of the best vaping groups out there. They have helped me quit smoking and also helped me figure out how e-cigars are a perfect alternative for tobacco cigars.

MICHAEL

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Vaping Advocacy In Minnesota

By | October 10th, 2018|Categories: Vaping|

While we all talk about a world that’s free of addiction, we also need to accept and come to terms with the fact that the world is filled with people who aren’t perfect. And achieving goals such as tobacco-free, alcohol-free world is near impossible. But what we can do is bring in safer alternatives, which don’t cause as much harm and are a lot better than the conventional ones. This is precisely what the Minnesota Vaping advocacy vouches for – introducing vaping will cut down dependency on crude, tobacco filled cigarettes and allow smokers to use alternatives, such as e-cigarettes, which are way healthier than the former.

The Vaping advocacy in Minnesota is fully dedicated to educating people about the benefits of vaping and usage of e-cigarettes over traditional cigarettes. These groups strive hard to ensure that people at large who smoke are aware of these low-risk e-cigarettes and also make them understand how vaping is a solution to the health issues caused by traditional smoking.

Vaping is not banned in Minnesota, but state laws vary from the local laws – the local authorities have the freedom to frame their own laws when it comes to vaping. More importantly, vaping is entirely banned on school property.

But the recent amendments are in favor of vaping, bringing much cheer to the vaping advocacy groups. There has been a move to restrict the sale of tobacco products making it quite clear that they are ready and open to encourage the usage of e-cigarettes among masses. This is definitely a great move, but on the other side, e-cigarettes are taxed just as much as tobacco products would be taxed. This is a drawback – when you’re trying to encourage masses to opt for a safe, low-risk alternative; you need to keep the taxes on the lower side so that the target crowd is actually drawn towards purchasing something because it is a cheaper alternative.

Vaping Group

Minnesota is still struggling to contain vaping and usage of e-cigarettes towards the confines and privacy of your homes, again a disappointing drawback for the advocacy groups – who are vouching for free, open vaping because it is smoke-free and would not cause any harm to the public health.

So basically the situation in Minnesota is neither pro vaping, neither against it – but yes, the neutral stance is not allowing vaping advocacy groups to give up – their efforts still continue.

Call to Action – MN SF2025 & HF2182

By | April 9th, 2015|Categories: Vaping|

UPDATED 04/10/15 – 11:43AM

The Senate Taxes Committee has scheduled SF2025 for a hearing. The committee will meet beginning at 8:30AM on Wednesday, April 15th at the State Capitol, Room 15. If you are able to attend this hearing to oppose the massive tax increase on e-liquid, please do so.

After a relatively calm session at the legislature this year, we have a real doozy on our hands. The time to act is NOW and we need YOUR help in the fight.

If you have any questions regarding these proposals or need some assistance crafting an e-mail, please comment in the MNVA Facebook group or feel free to contact me directly via Jason@mnvapers.com

Two bills have been introduced at the Minnesota legislature which would change the definition of vapor products and impose a $0.30/mL tax on e-liquid. The language present in these bills sets that stage for future taxation of devices and we need your immediate assistance to strongly oppose both bills, as this proposal would increase the retail price of a standard 30mL bottle by at least $9.00 per bottle. Cigalikes would be subject to this tax, but due to their small quantity of liquid, would see a modest reduction from the current structure.

Call and e-mail members of the Senate Taxes Committee and House Health and Human Services Reform Committee as soon as possible to encourage them to strongly oppose these bills, as they are terrible for consumers, terrible for Minnesota business and provide a competitive advantage to products offered by companies like R.J. Reynolds, Altria and Lorillard.

Please start by following CASAA’s call to action, which will send an e-mail to your senator based on address – this form requires that you enter some basic info, but will generate a pre-filled letter that you can edit if you wish or send as-is. This process will take no more than 3-5 minutes, although we strongly encourage you to add a personalized message, as this will have a greater impact.

http://blog.casaa.org/2015/04/minnesota-call-to-action-oppose-sf-2105.html

Please also contact members of the Senate Taxes Committee and House Health and Human Services Reform Committee to express the following.

Tell the committees as well as your own representatives to oppose SF2025 and HB2182 because:

  • Minnesota is currently projected at a nearly $2 billion budget surplus over the next two years, making new taxes unwarranted.
    • Rep. Davids, author of the House bill, recently stated that “when you have a surplus of this magnitude you are basically proving to taxpayers that they paid more than they should have to state government.”
  • It will increase the cost of the e-liquid you enjoy by $9.00 per bottle, or a nearly 50% increase from current retail pricing.
  • The dramatic increase in taxation will force small businesses that you frequent to close their doors.
  • These bills set the stage for further tax increases on devices that have helped you quit smoking.
  • There is a current effort to reduce the tax rate on cigars, a combustible tobacco product. Proposing to increase taxes on non-combustible products sends a message that the Legislature prefers that Minnesotans continue smoking.
  • Imposing unwarranted taxes on vapor products will discourage current smokers from moving to a far less harmful alternative to combustible tobacco.

The time is now – we must oppose these bills swiftly and strongly – if these companion bills pass into law, vaping in the state of Minnesota will be severely damaged, and many of your favorite businesses will be forced to close. Also, you will have less money in your pocket.

Senate Taxes Committee:

Rod Skoe (DFL – Chair)
sen.rod.skoe@senate.mn
651-296-4196

Sen. Ann Rest (DFL – Vice Chair)
651-296-2889

http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/member_emailform.php?mem_id=1051&ls=

Julianne Ortman (R – Lead)
651-296-4837
sen.julianne.ortman@senate.mn

Paul Gazelka (R)
651-296-4875
sen.paul.gazelka@senate.mn

Lyle Koenen (DFL – Senate bill author)
651-296-5094
sen.lyle.koenen@senate.mn

Carla Nelson (R)
651-296-4848
sen.carla.nelson@senate.mn

Roger Reinert (DFL)
651-296-4188
sen.roger.reinert@senate.mn

David Senjem (R)
651-296-3903
sen.david.senjem@senate.mn

Dave Thompson (R)
651-296-5252
sen.dave.thompson@senate.mn

Sen. Thomas Bakk (DFL)
651-296-8881

http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/member_emailform.php?mem_id=1003&ls=

Sen. Kari Dziedzic (DFL)
651-296-7809

http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/member_emailform.php?mem_id=1193&ls=

Sen. Chris Eaton (DFL)
651-296-8869

http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/member_emailform.php?mem_id=1192&ls=

Sen. John Marty (DFL)
651-296-5645

http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/member_emailform.php?mem_id=1035&ls=

Copy & Paste Email List:

(Note: This list does not include Senate members that use email forms for correspondence.  Please contact them via their individual websites listed above.)

sen.rod.skoe@senate.mn, sen.julianne.ortman@senate.mn, sen.paul.gazelka@senate.mn, info@mnvapers.com sen.lyle.koenen@senate.mn, sen.carla.nelson@senate.mn, sen.roger.reinert@senate.mn, sen.david.senjem@senate.mn, sen.dave.thompson@senate.mn

House Health & Human Services Reform Committee:

Tara Mack (R – Chair)
651-296-5506
E-mail: rep.tara.mack@house.mn

Roz Peterson (R – Vice Chair)
651-296-5387
E-mail: rep.roz.peterson@house.mn

Joe Mullery (DFL Lead)
651-296-4262
E-mail: rep.joe.mullery@house.mn

Tony Albright (R)
651-296-5185
E-mail: rep.tony.albright@house.mn

Susan Allen (DFL)
651-296-7152
E-mail: rep.susan.allen@house.mn

Jeff Backer (R)
651-296-4929
E-mail: rep.jeff.backer@house.mn

Dave Baker (R)
651-296-6206
E-mail: rep.dave.baker@house.mn

Matt Dean (R)
651-296-3018
E-mail: rep.matt.dean@house.mn

Peter Fischer (DFL)
651-296-5363
E-mail: rep.peter.fischer@house.mn

Mary Franson (R)
651-296-3201
E-mail: rep.mary.franson@house.mn

Mike Freiberg (DFL)
651-296-4176
E-mail: rep.mike.freiberg@house.mn

Tim Kelly (R)
651-296-8635
E-mail: rep.tim.kelly@house.mn

Tina Liebling (DFL)
651-296-0573
E-mail: rep.tina.liebling@house.mn

Diane Loeffler (DFL)
651-296-4219
E-mail: rep.diane.loeffler@house.mn

Kathy Lohmer (R)
651-296-4244
E-mail: rep.kathy.lohmer@house.mn

Sandra Masin (DFL)
651-296-3533
E-mail: rep.sandra.masin@house.mn

Rena Moran (DFL)
651-296-5158
E-mail: rep.rena.moran@house.mn

Nels Pierson (R)
651-296-4378
E-mail: rep.nels.pierson@house.mn

Duane Quam (R)
651-296-9236
E-mail: rep.duane.quam@house.mn

Joe Schomacker (R)
651-296-5505
E-mail: rep.joe.schomacker@house.mn

Jennifer Schultz (DFL)
651-296-2228
E-mail: rep.jennifer.schultz@house.mn

Nick Zerwas (R)
651-296-4237
E-mail: rep.nick.zerwas@house.mn

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Hennepin County Enacts Public Use Ban (but allows sampling)

By | February 11th, 2015|Categories: News|

On Monday, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 to approve an amendment to Ordinance 24 related to tobacco products. The amended ordinance bans the use of e-cigarettes in all areas prohibited by the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act. Jeff Johnson of the 7th District was the dissenting vote, as this amendment disproportionately affects his constituents, including E-Cig 101 in Rogers.

Naturally, we’re disappointed at this outcome, as the ban will discourage current smokers from exploring a dramatically less harmful alternative to combustible tobacco products by sending a message that they’re just as bad as smoking. Despite over 60 pages of data submitted by Minnesota Vapers Advocacy and testimony from MNVA’s Jason Downing, IVRM’s Cap O’Rourke, Nick Phelps of E-Cig 101 and others, the Board chose to exceed the existing state legislation on the matter.

Hennepin County, like Minneapolis, understood that prohibiting sampling in shops is absolutely vital and included strong protections for sampling within the County. While this language does not supersede any municipal ordinance already in place, we were able to convince the Commissioners not to repeat the mistakes of Bloomington in attacking small business simply for operating legally.

“Nothing in this Ordinance prohibits smoking a tobacco product or electronic delivery device as defined in Minn. Stat. § 609.685 in a tobacco products shop by an employee, customer or potential customer for the limited purpose of sampling a product, product instruction, or testing an electronic delivery device.”

This language was made possible by testimony provided at the public hearing on January 13th. Both MNVA and IVRM testified to the County Board that the original amended language would prohibit sampling entirely and prevent employees from troubleshooting devices. Without the efforts made during the public hearing and behind the scenes with Hennepin staff, this language would never have been included. Without YOUR support, e-mails, phone calls and spreading the word, Hennepin would have banned vaping in shops as well.

While this isn’t a victory as such, it is an important first step to recapturing the drive we had during last year’s state legislative session. MNVA is back in full swing and we hope you’ll continue to support your local shops as well as the community as whole.

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2nd Call to Action – HF 2182 – URGENT!

By | May 24th, 2014|Categories: News|

SF 2025 has been pulled by its author following our strong opposition to the bill. Unfortunately, the House has not yet followed suit.

Please note: Commenting on this post WILL NOT result in your message being sent to legislators! Use the link to CASAA’s web form below, copy and paste the list of House committee members from the bottom of this post into a new e-mail and/or make a phone call to your representative! 

Minnesota Vapers Advocacy is issuing a second call to action related to HF 2182 – there are three parts to this:

  1. Please follow CASAA’s CTA for HF 2182 at this link.
  2. Please send an e-mail to the House Tax Committee (contact info below), which will hear the bill on Thursday, April 16th at 10:15AM.
  3. If you are able, please join us for a rally at the Capitol (State Office Building, west of the main Capitol building) to oppose HF 2182 at 9:45AM on Thursday, April 16th, where we will move to the hearing at approximately 10:15AM.

If you have any questions regarding these proposals or need some assistance crafting an e-mail, please comment in the MNVA Facebook group or feel free to contact me directly via Jason@mnvapers.com.

To recap, HF2182 would change the definition of vapor products and impose a $0.30/mL tax on e-liquid, increasing the retail cost of a 30mL bottle by $9.00 per bottle. The existing language would also set the stage for heavy taxation of all devices other than cigarette-shaped products.

Call and e-mail members of the House Tax Committee as soon as possible to encourage them to strongly oppose this bill. HF2182 is terrible for Minnesota vapers, terrible for Minnesota small businesses and would provide a major advantage to products offered by companies like R.J. Reynolds, Altria and Lorillard (aka Big Tobacco).

Tell the committee as well as your own representatives to oppose HF 2182 because:

  • Minnesota is currently projected at a nearly $2 billion budget surplus over the next two years, making new taxes unwarranted.
    • Rep. Davids, the author of this bill, stated recently that “when you have a surplus of this magnitude you are basically proving to taxpayers that they paid more than they should have to state government.”
  • It will increase the cost of the e-liquid you enjoy by $9.00 per bottle, or a nearly 50% increase from current retail pricing.
  • The dramatic increase in taxation will force small businesses that you frequent to close their doors.
  • These bills set the stage for further tax increases on products that have helped you quit smoking.
  • Imposing unwarranted taxes on vapor products will discourage current smokers from moving to a far less harmful alternative to combustible tobacco.

The time is now – we must oppose this bill in the strongest terms – if this bill moves beyond committee, it could pass into law, which will irreparably damage vaping in the state of Minnesota. Many of your favorite businesses will be forced to close and you will pay over $300 per year in additional taxes for choosing to quit smoking.

House Tax Committee:

Copy/paste e-mail list:

rep.tom.hackbarth@house.mn, rep.tom.anzelc@house.mn, rep.steve.drazkowski@house.mn, rep.sondra.erickson@house.mn, rep.sarah.anderson@house.mn, rep.ron.erhardt@house.mn, rep.paul.torkelson@house.mn, rep.pat.garofalo@house.mn, rep.lyndon.carlson@house.mn, rep.linda.slocum@house.mn, rep.jon.koznick@house.mn, info@mnvapers.com, rep.john.petersburg@house.mn, rep.john.lesch@house.mn, rep.joe.mcdonald@house.mn, rep.jim.knoblach@house.mn, rep.jim.davnie@house.mn, rep.jenifer.loon@house.mn, rep.greg.davids@house.mn, rep.erik.simonson@house.mn, rep.diane.loeffler@house.mn, rep.chris.swedzinski@house.mn, rep.carly.melin@house.mn, rep.bob.barrett@house.mn, rep.anna.wills@house.mn, rep.ann.lenczewski@house.mn

Greg Davids (R – Chair, Author)
651-296-9278
E-mail: rep.greg.davids@house.mn

Bob Barrett (R – Vice Chair)
651-296-5377
E-mail: rep.bob.barrett@house.mn

Ann Lenczewski (DFL Lead)
651-296-4218
E-mail: rep.ann.lenczewski@house.mn

Sarah Anderson (R)
651-296-5511
E-mail: rep.sarah.anderson@house.mn

Tom Anzelc (DFL)
651-296-4936
E-mail: rep.tom.anzelc@house.mn

Lyndon Carlson Sr. (DFL)
651-296-4255
E-mail: rep.lyndon.carlson@house.mn

Jim Davnie (DFL)
651-296-0173
E-mail: rep.jim.davnie@house.mn

Steve Drazkowski (R)
651-296-2273
E-mail: rep.steve.drazkowski@house.mn

Ron Erhardt (DFL)
651-296-4363
E-mail: rep.ron.erhardt@house.mn

Sondra Erickson (R)
651-296-6746
E-mail: rep.sondra.erickson@house.mn

Pat Garofalo (R)
651-296-1069
E-mail: rep.pat.garofalo@house.mn

Tom Hackbarth (R)
651-296-2439
E-mail: rep.tom.hackbarth@house.mn

Jim Knoblach (R)
651-296-6612
E-mail: rep.jim.knoblach@house.mn

Jon Koznick (R)
651-296-6926
E-mail: rep.jon.koznick@house.mn

John Lesch (DFL)
651-296-4224
E-mail: rep.john.lesch@house.mn

Diane Loeffler (DFL)
651-296-4219
E-mail: rep.diane.loeffler@house.mn

Jenifer Loon (R)
651-296-7449
E-mail: rep.jenifer.loon@house.mn

Joe McDonald (R)
651-296-4336
E-mail: rep.joe.mcdonald@house.mn

Carly Melin (DFL)
651-296-0172
E-mail: rep.carly.melin@house.mn

John Petersburg (R)
651-296-5368
E-mail: rep.john.petersburg@house.mn

Erik Simonson (DFL)
651-296-4246
E-mail: rep.erik.simonson@house.mn

Linda Slocum (DFL)
651-296-7158
E-mail: rep.linda.slocum@house.mn

Chris Swedzinski (R)
651-296-5374
E-mail: rep.chris.swedzinski@house.mn

Paul Torkelson (R)
651-296-9303
E-mail: rep.paul.torkelson@house.mn

Anna Wills (R)
651-296-4306
E-mail: rep.anna.wills@house.mn

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EPA & FDA: Vapor Harmless to Children

By | April 26th, 2014|Categories: Vaping|

In the continued war on e-cigarettes, we hear about the “potential dangers” of e-cigarette vapor and the “unknown public health risks.”

First, I find it absolutely absurd that we’re attempting to pass laws based on unknowns, but what makes it even more absurd is the fact that there’s very little that isn’t known about e-cigarette vapor at this point.  The primary ingredient of concern to those who wish to see e-cigarettes banned is the propylene glycol vapor, which has been studied for over 70 years.

I recently came across a document titled, “Reregistration Eligibility Decision For Propylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol“, which was created by the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Catchy title.  I was intrigued.

This quote caught my eye:

Propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol were first registered in 1950 and 1959, respectively, by the FDA for use in hospitals as air disinfectants. (page 4, paragraph 1).

In a previous post, I had shared the summary of research that had been done in 1942 by Dr. Robertson regarding the antibacterial properties of vaporized propylene glycol, but I had never heard that the FDA wound up approving it for the purpose of an air disinfectant in hospitals.

Indoor Non-Food:  Propylene glycol is used on the following use sites:  air treatment (eating establishments, hospital, commercial, institutional, household, bathroom, transportational facilities); medical premises and equipment, commercial, institutional and industrial premises and equipment; (page 6, paragraph 2)

Continued…

Method and Rates of Application

….

Air Sanitizer

Read the directions included with the automatic dispenser for proper installation of unit and refill.  Remove cap from aerosol can and place in a sequential aerosol dispenser which automatically releases a metered amount every 15 minutes.  One unit should treat 6000 ft of closed air space… For regular, non-metered applications, spray room until a light fog forms.  To sanitize the air, spray 6 to 8 seconds in an average size room (10’x10′). (page 6, paragraph 6)

A common argument used to support the public usage ban is that, “Minnesotans have become accustomed to the standard of clean indoor air.”  However, according to the EPA and FDA, so long as there’s a “light fog” of propylene glycol vapor in the air, the air is actually more clean than the standard that Minnesotans have become accustomed to.

General Toxicity Observations

Upon reviewing the available toxicity information, the Agency has concluded that there are no endpoints of concern for oral, dermal, or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol.  This conclusion is based on the results of toxicity testing of propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol in which dose levels near or above testing limits (as established in the OPPTS 870 series harmonized test guidelines) were employed in experimental animal studies and no significant toxicity observed.

Carcinogenicity Classification

A review of the available data has shown propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol to be negative for carcinogenicity in studies conducted up to the testing limit doses established by the Agency; therefore, no further carcinogenic analysis is required. (page 10, paragraphs 1 & 2)

Ready for the bombshell?  I probably should have put this at the top, as it could have made this post a lot shorter, but I figured the information above was important, too…

2. FQPA Safety Factor

The FQPA Safety Factor (as required by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996) is intended to provide an additional 10-fold safety factor (10X), to protect for special sensitivity in infants and children to specific pesticide residues in food, drinking water, or residential exposures, or to compensate for an incomplete database.  The FQPA Safety Factor has been removed (i.e., reduced to 1X) for propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol because there is no pre- or post-natal evidence for increased susceptibility following exposure.  Further, the Agency has concluded that there are no endpoints of concern for oral, dermal, or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol based on the low toxicity observed in studies conducted near or above testing limit doses as established in the OPPTS 870 series harmonized test guidelines.  Therefore, quantitative risk assessment was not conducted for propylene glycol and dipropylene glycol.

In a paper published in the American Journal of Public Health by Dr. Robertson in April of 1946, Robertson cites a study published in the Edinburgh Medical Journal, which was conducted in 1944:

The report of the 3 years’ study of the clinical application of the disinfection of air by glycol vapors in a children’s convalescent home showed a marked reduction in the number of acute respiratory infections occurring in the wards treated with both propylene and triethylene glycols.  Whereas in the control wards, 132 infections occured during the course of three winters, there were only 13 such instances in the glycol wards during the same period.  The fact that children were, for the most part, chronically confined to bed presented an unusually favorable condition for the prophylactic action of the glycol vapor.

An investigation of the effect of triethylene glycol vapor on the respiratory disease incidence in military barracks brought out the fact that, while for the first 3 weeks after new personnel entered the glycolized area the disease rate remained the same as in the control barracks, the second 3 week period showed a 65 percent reduction in acute respiratory infections in the glycol treated barracks.  Similar effects were observed in respect to airborne hemolytic streptococci and throat carriers of this microorganism.

I don’t expect the prohibitionist lawmakers to delve this deeply into this subject on their own, but I certainly hope that when presented with this data that they reevaluate their stance on the subject and consider what science has to say.  If they don’t, they’re simply basing their judgement off of rhetoric, misinformation, and personal bias and we all know where that gets us.

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American Lung Association EXPOSED

By | March 18th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|

It’s no secret that Pfizer is losing money on it’s failed cessation products; such as Chantix & Nicotrol.  As it turns out, when your product kills your customers (500 suicides and counting), you lose customers.  Q3-2013 earnings were down 15%, “amid continuing safety concerns…”

Also, the Nicotrol Inhaler is losing market share to new generation electronic cigarettes and Pfizer is scrambling to reclaim that lost market.  One method has been to publicly scrutinize electronic cigarettes due to “safety concerns”, which is ironic, considering that their Nicotrol Inhaler is nearly identical in form and function:

Additionally, one well known group, the American Lung Association, has been especially active in this continued debate over electronic cigarettes and has taken a hardline stance against these harm reduction products for all sorts of different reasons – regardless of relevance or scientific evidence.

We wanted to find out why, exactly, the American Lung Association was so active in this fight, considering that e-cigarettes are accomplishing what the ALA has been attempting to accomplish for decades – getting people to quit smoking.

We didn’t have to look too hard to find the motivation:

(Those are snippets from Pfizer’s annual reports from 2011-2013.  You can find the full reports here.)

So, as I see it, the American Lung Association is lobbying on behalf of Pfizer (aka, “Big Pharma”), which is one of the ALA’s biggest grantors.

I truly believe that this brings into question the American Lung Association’s morals and ethics.  For them to turn their backs on a product that is saving peoples lives, simply because they’re receiving checks for $900,000 from a huge drug company, is disgusting.

Additionally, the fact that the American Lung Association is also urging people to consume Chantix, instead of using e-cigarettes, when Chantix has been SHOWN to cause people to commit suicide, has me baffled.  They question the safety of electronic cigarettes, yet urge people to take a cessation drug that has a side effect of, well, death.  Really?

I mean, I suppose if you’re dead, you’re not smoking.

But, seriously.  Can we honestly trust the opinion and input from an organization that cares about the checks that they’re receiving more than people’s lives?

I can’t and I would urge lawmakers to question it as well.

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