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Letters: L.A.'s curbs on e-cigarettes

March 07, 2014
  • Jason Wingo, 42, vapes at Natural Vapes in Los Angeles as Elaine Ruggieri looks on. Wingo smoked for 10 years and says vaping helped him quit. Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to impose the same restrictions on e-cigarettes as on traditional tobacco products.
Jason Wingo, 42, vapes at Natural Vapes in Los Angeles as Elaine Ruggieri… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

Re "After heated debate, L.A. restricts e-cigarette use," March 5

Regardless of speculation and hand-wringing by some, there is absolutely no scientific proof that e-cigarettes lead to smoking real cigarettes. The testimony to the Los Angeles City Council that supported treating e-cigarettes as regular cigarettes is based on suspicion and speculation, not fact — and astonishingly, everyone knows that.

However, there exists among our elected leaders a fear that has no foundation, a fear of "what might happen"; this should not guide policymaking. Similarly, some would limit purchasing food and cans of soda for fear that such behaviors lead to obesity. It defies all reason.

I smoked for 46 years and now, for the last year, have smoked only e-cigarettes, and my health is much better. Their use promises billions in healthcare savings. Perhaps now is the time to elect rational thinkers to the City Council.

Royston Thomas

Canoga Park

Pity the fellow pictured on Wednesday's front page who claims that, after 10 years of tobacco use, "vaping" helped him "quit." He has not quit. He has merely found a new way to ingest his addictive substance, nicotine.

Denial is not just a river in Egypt. (Been there, done that; quit cold turkey 29 years ago. Not fun.).

Richard W. Nagle

West Hollywood

City Council President Herb Wesson may well be "the council's No. 1 smoker," but I would dare lay claim to the title of the city's former No. 1 drifting secondhand smoke-filled apartment renter.

The all-night smoker in the unit right under mine died some 10 years ago. Last fall, I had to spend more than a week in the hospital due to a life-threatening lung problem that I do not doubt was contributed to by the roughly 25 years I secondhandedly smoked my neighbor's cigarettes while restlessly asleep.

It's good that the council voted to treat e-cigarettes just like tobacco, but Los Angeles remains far behind other cities in protecting nonsmoking apartment renters from the scourge of drifting, unit-to-unit secondhand smoke.

Harvey Pearson

Los Angeles

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