- - Friday, January 31, 2014

Stephen Dinan’s story about the “We the People” petition site has the subheading “Obama is given credit for trying” (“Deport Justin Bieber: White House goes mum on ‘We the People’ petition site,” Web, Jan. 28). Not by former smokers who finally quit by switching to electronic cigarettes.

The first petition on the subject asked the administration to recognize e-cigarettes as an effective alternative to smoking. It was filed on Sept. 27, 2011, when the requirement for receiving White House attention was 5,000 signatures within 30 days.

The response arrived on Dec. 15 and was disappointing, to say the least. The White House had punted to the Food and Drug Administration, which continued to insist that e-cigarettes are not effective.

The second petition was created Jan. 14, 2013, by which time the goal had been raised to 25,000 signatures. The new petition called on the administration to prevent the FDA from banning the sale and use of e-cigarettes by applying all sections of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (“Tobacco Act”) via a deeming regulation.


The goal was reached on the evening of last Feb. 6, and was surpassed, amassing a total of more than 34,000 signatures.

The table in Mr. Dinan’s story shows that one petition was successfully completed in February 2013 and that the White House responded to one. Well, it wasn’t the e-cigarette petition, since nearly a year has passed with no response.

ELAINE KELLER

Springfield