Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CASAA Podcast Update June 29, 2015

CASAA's Jan Johnson and Alex Clark discuss legislative- and advocacy-related matters of current interest to CASAA members and THR (tobacco harm reduction) advocates.




Monday, June 29, 2015

Snohomish County, WA

The Snohomish County Board of Health is seeking comment from county residents* about vaping in public. Specifically, the Board of Health will be considering a county-wide indoor vaping ban similar to regulations adopted in neighboring counties.

Please take a moment to send comments - please see talking points below - to:
or, by mail:
  • Snohomish Health District, 3020 Rucker Ave., Everett, WA 98201

The first subcommittee hearing will be held on
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Snohomish Health District Auditorium

Although no public comment will be taken at this hearing, the public is welcome to attend. For more details and information on scheduled hearings, please visit the Snohomish Health District’s web site: http://www.snohd.org/Healthy-Living/Smoke-Free-Living/Vaping-Vapor-Products .

*Salyer, Sharon. “Health officials considering ban of public 'vaping.'” The Herald of Everett, Washington 22nd June 2015: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20150622/NEWS01/150629827

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Connecticut Call to Action: Take action to oppose ANY new tax on vapor products!

Vapor taxes in Connecticut may be back on the table as the legislature scrambles to finish the state’s budget. It is vital that Connecticut vapers take action now by reaching out to lawmakers and urging them to oppose any bill that would enact taxes on vapor products.

Oppose Vapor Taxes in Connecticut - Send an Email

In addition to contacting lawmakers from your district, please take a moment to connect with house and senate leadership. We have provided contact information and talking points below.


Connecticut - House and Senate Leadership
Sen. Martin M. Looney
1.800.842.1420
Sen. Bob Duff
Bob.Duff@cga.ct.gov
1.800.842.1420
Rep. J. Brendan Sharkey
Brendan.Sharkey@cga.ct.gov
1.800.842.1902
Rep. Joe Aresimowicz
Joe.Aresimowicz@cga.ct.gov
1.800.842.8267



(Writing Tip #1) If you have a lot to say, please craft your email in a separate word doc and then copy/paste it into the field provided.  If you take too long, they system will time out and you will lose your work.
(Writing Tip #2) Although we've provided a prewritten email with compelling talking points, we would strongly encourage you to edit the email because personalized communications to legislators are far more persuasive than form letters.  At a minimum, PLEASE INSERT YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

1).  Ostensibly, taxes on tobacco products are intended to discourage use.  However, due to the fact that e-cigarettes are neither tobacco nor shown to be a threat to public health, discouraging use is counter to goals of reducing smoking rates.

2).  Sin Taxes are regressive.  The smoking population, those switching to vaping, is disproportionately made up of poor and low-income people.  Sin Taxes place unnecessary burdens on an already financially challenged group.

3). Imposing a tax on these products will drive consumers to shop in neighboring cities and/or states that do not have a similar tax.  Concurrently, consumers will be encouraged to shop online for better deals sending even more money out of the community.  Local businesses will not be able to compete, be forced to close their doors, and jobs will be lost.

4).  Taxing e-cigarettes in a manner similar to how cigarettes are taxed sends a confusing and inaccurate message to would-be adopters that these two very different products present similar risks.  The result of this message is that more people, those that otherwise would have switched to a smoke-free product, will be encouraged to continue smoking.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

CASAA Podcast Update June 22, 2015


CASAA's Jan Johnson and Alex Clark discuss legislative- and advocacy-related matters of current interest to CASAA members and THR (tobacco harm reduction) advocates.





Thursday, June 18, 2015

Minneapolis, MN - Oppose limited access to flavored vapor products

Minneapolis, MN

Elected officials in Minneapolis want to make cigarettes (including menthols) more freely available than flavored e-liquids and vapor products. Help us stop this!

Minneapolis is currently considering an amendment to its Tobacco Dealers Ordinance that would BAN the sale of flavored “tobacco” products (including e-cigarettes) in places like convenience stores, pharmacies, gas stations, dollar stores, etc. Only vape shops and specialty tobacco retailers will be permitted to sell flavored vapor and smokeless tobacco products, and those that do will be required to obtain tobacco licenses.

This ordinance is scheduled in The Minneapolis Health, Environment, & Community Engagement Committee for further discussion on:
City Hall, Rm 317

Although public comment for this ordinance is currently listed as “closed,” attending the meeting is still valuable as it demonstrates the large number of people engaged in and affected by this issue.

We believe that it is perverse and wrong to allow convenience stores to sell deadly combustible cigarettes while, at the same time, prohibiting them from selling flavored e-liquids and other smoke-free products. Even if you only purchase your vapor products from vape shops or the internet, it is extremely important that elected officials in Minneapolis hear from you.

First, take action NOW by sending a fully editable, pre-written email we have provided. Remember to add your personal story (see “writing tips” below).


Second, take time now, before the committee meeting, to communicate with your district representative on the city council. We have provided their contact information and talking points below.

Third, please make plans to attend the committee hearing.

Minneapolis - City Council
District Info
Council Member
Email
Phone
Kevin Reich
kevin.reich@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2201
Cam Gordon
cam.gordon@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2202
Jacob Frey
jacob.frey@minneapolismn.gov
n/a
(612) 673-2203
Barbara Johnson
barbara.johnson@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2204
Blong Yang
blong.yang@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2205
Abdi Warsame
abdi.warsame@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2206
Lisa Goodman
lisa.goodman@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2207
Elizabeth Glidden
elizabeth.glidden@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2208
Alondra Cano
alondra.cano@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2209
Lisa Bender
lisa.bender@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2210
John Quincy
John.Quincy@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2211
Andrew Johnson
andrew.johnson@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2212
Linea Palmisano
linea.palmisano@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2213

Sugested Talking Points

1). We know from recent surveys that adults prefer flavors other than traditional tobacco and menthol (http://vaping.com/data/big-survey-2014-initial-findings-eliquid), (http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/10/12/7272)

2). Flavors are an important aspect of vapor products as they help former smokers disassociate nicotine consumption from inhaling smoke.

3).  Prohibiting the sale of flavored smoke-free products alongside traditional combustible products keeps adult smokers unaware of low-risk alternatives and creates a barrier to becoming smoke free and, as a result many, adult residents will actually be encouraged to continue smoking instead of making the switch to a product that is estimated to be 99% less hazardous than smoking.



(Writing Tip #1) If you have a lot to say, please craft your email in a separate word doc and then copy/paste it into the field provided.  If you take too long, they system will time out and you will lose your work.
(Writing Tip #2) Although we've provided a prewritten email with compelling talking points, we would strongly encourage you to edit the email because personalized communications to legislators are far more persuasive than form letters.  At a minimum, PLEASE INSERT YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.

(Urgent) New York State Call to Action - Oppose Indoor Vaping Ban (SB 2202, AB 5955)

(URGENT) The New York Legislature has gone to extra innings and two bills that would severely limit where electronic cigarettes can be used are still in play. Even if you have previously taken action on this issue, it is critical that you join your fellow New Yorkers and take action again.


Please take action NOW to urge NY lawmakers to oppose both Assembly Bill 5955 and Senate Bill 2202.




Please also take a moment to call Senate President John Flanagan and politely, but firmly, urge him to oppose AB 5955.

  • Call Sen. Flanagan - 518-455-2071

Are you able to do more? After sending an email above to your reps in the NY State Assembly and Senator, it would be helpful if you also called their offices. You can easily find their contact information using this tool.





(Writing Tip #1) If you have a lot to say, please craft your email in a separate word doc and then copy/paste it into the field provided.  If you take too long, they system will time out and you will lose your work.

(Writing Tip #2) Although we've provided a prewritten email with compelling talking points, we would strongly encourage you to edit the email because personalized communications to legislators are far more persuasive than form letters.  At a minimum, PLEASE INSERT YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.