In Arizona, we have a fight on our hands. With growing public awareness on the ill-effects of cigarettes, the tobacco industry has been hard at work creating new alternative tobacco products to hook the next generation of smokers. To complement the release of new tobacco products including e-cigarettes, snus and dissolvables; the tobacco industry has crafted a public relations campaign to promote alternative tobacco products as “safe” alternatives to smoking.
As part of the tobacco industry’s effort to disguise alternative products as safe, they are sponsoring Senate Bill 1209 in Arizona to exempt products like e-cigarettes from existing smoke-free laws and policies. Alternative tobacco products have not been proven to be safe, and are currently under Food & Drug Administration (FDA) review. On Tuesday, April 23 Senator Driggs confirmed his commitment to protect Arizona Youth from Big Tobacco. SB 1209 was scheduled for a final vote in the Senate and was steps away from the Governor's desk when Senator Drigg requested the bill be held.
Preliminary research by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Office on Smoking & Health has indicated that alternative tobacco products actually increase the consumption of tobacco-derived products, posing a significant health risk. Because of these reasons and many more, the AHA does not support SB 1209 and needs your help to thank Senator Driggs for pulling the bill from consideration until the FDA has made its recommendations on the products.
Please take a moment out of your day to thank Senator Driggs.