Hello, Council. Thank you for having me. I'm just here to say that e-cigarettes do save lives. I smoked a pack a day for 13 years. April 11th of 2013 is my quit date. So I am coming up on my one-year mark of being smoke-free. It's the only thing that has worked since I've tried to quit over the years, and I've become involved in the very supportive vape community.
The claims that e-cigarettes are dangerous to users and those around them are baseless, and, Council, I find it no coincidence that organizations such as the American Lung Association, who actively lobbied for Pfizer, have spoken against e-cigarette usage. Pfizer is the maker of Chantix, an FDA-approved medication used for smoking cessation. Chantix is responsible for 500 suicides and counting. E-cigarettes are responsible for zero.
We simply cannot trust these healthcare profiteering organizations, and I refuse to fall for the alarmist scare tactics used by the American Lung Association and its pharmaceutical donors. They do not care about the lives of smokers. There's no money to be made off of healthy people. There is a financial incentive to keep people smoking.
My life, the lives of my friends, family, and the lives of all e-cigarette users are more valuable than the profits of big tobacco and big pharmaceutical, and I will consider the passage of this bill a vote for profit over people.