Thursday, April 24, 2014

FDA releases e-cigarette rules

Today the FDA finally released its long-awaited proposed rules on e-cigarettes.

On its face, it appears that it is not as bad for consumers as it might have been, but there are still serious concerns. The FDA approval process is very complicated, and the details matter. Unlike some commentators, we are not prepared to say much more until we have a chance to examine them and consider them in the context of existing institutions.

It's important to remember that the recently published rules are only proposed rules at this time.The next step for the FDA will be to open a docket for public comments, which will last for 75 days. After analyzing the 240-page document, CASAA will issue a Call to Action for its members detailing any consumer concerns, instructions for submitting public comments and possible talking points.

To download a copy of the rules: Click Here

Call to Action! Iowa - Support Ban on Sales to Minors (HF 2109 with Dotzler Amendment S-5088)

Iowa: Ask Iowa State Senators to to Vote YES on HF 2109 with Dotzler Amendment (S-5088)
 [HF 2109 with Amendment S-5088]

 If enacted, this bill would:


  • Ban sales of "vapor products" (e-cigarettes) and "alternative nicotine products" to minors.  (In connection with "vapor products," the Dotzler Amendment would ban e-cigarette sales to, and use by, minors of devices and e-cigarette liquid, including no-nicotine liquid.)
  • NOT impose an additional tax on these these products  
  • NOT define these products to be "tobacco products" under Iowa law 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Local Alert! Watauga, Texas has Banned Sale of E-Cigarettes.

The City of Watauga, Texas has banned sale of e-cigarettes, preferring for the residents of Watauga to have access only to traditional combustible cigarettes, which are estimated to be 99% more hazardous than e-cigarettes.  The City has made provision for local businesses currently selling e-cigarettes to apply for a two-year variance, which basically gives the City two years to close down all e-cigarette sales if it is so inclined.  In the meanwhile, sale of traditional combustible cigarettes remains completely legal.

The ordinance has passed, but CASAA is asking its members, particularly those in Texas, to contact the City Council to let them know how damaging this ordinance is, not only to the rights of adult vapers in Watauga, but also to the interests of public health, and ask that the City Council immediately rescind it.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Local Alert! San Jose, California - E-Cigarette Usage Ban


Memorandum from Councilmember Ash Kalra

The City of San Jose is considering adding e-cigarettes to its smoke-free ordinance, effectively banning e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited (including many outdoor venues).  The Rules and Open Government Committee members will be hearing from staff regarding the ordinance TODAY, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. (City Hall Wing Room 118/119, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA  95113).  Parking can be found below City Hall, and you should ask to receive validation at the Committee Meeting.   (When you arrive at the meeting, please fill out a yellow speaking card to be recognized to speak.)

Councilmember Rose Herrera sent an email yesterday to members of her district asking that residents show up in support of the ordinance, noting that, "Going up against big tobacco and addiction is not an easy feat and I need your help."  She apparently doesn't realize that the battle she is waging isn't against "big tobacco," but, rather, against thousands of individual vapers in San Jose who have improved their health and dramatically reduced their health risks by switching (either in whole or in part) to a product estimated to be 99% less hazardous than smoking.  CASAA is asking residents of San Jose to show up, call, and email to let the City of San Jose know that you oppose any efforts to treat low-risk, smoke-free e-cigarette use like smoking, 

Please (1) email and call members of the Rules and Open Government Committee to explain why you oppose efforts to ban e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend the meeting and offer testimony in opposition to an ordinance treating the use of low-risk, smoke-free e-cigarettes the same as smoking.
(As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the  meeting.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CASAA Testimony - Vermont Senate Finance Committee April 8, 2014

Testimony of Carl V. Phillips, PhD, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA)

in Opposition to bill H 884

8 April 2014

I am Carl V Phillips, PhD, Scientific Director of CASAA, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association.  I live in xxxx, New Hampshire. 

I urge you to not support H 884, which would inappropriately place a disproportionate tax burden on people who have used e-cigarettes to quit smoking and discourage further switching to this low-risk alternative to smoking.

Local Alert! Oceanside, California - E-Cigarette Usage Ban


The City of Oceanside is poised to deceptively define smoke-free e-cigarette use as "smoking."  The ordinance is set for a public hearing (and is expected to be voted on) TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014 at 5:00 P.M. (300 North Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA  92054).  

Please (1) email and call the mayor and members of the City Council to explain why you oppose efforts to ban e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend the meeting and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to define smoke-free e-cigarette use as smoking.
(As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the City Council meeting.)

Local Alert! Pleasanton, California - E-Cigarette Usage Ban


The City of Pleasanton is considering adopting an ordinance that would deceptively define smoke-free e-cigarette use as "smoking."  The issue will be discussed at the regular City Council meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 7:00 P.M. (City Council Chamber, 200 Old Bernal Avenue, Pleasanton, CA 94566 ).  
Please (1) email and call the mayor and members of the City Council to explain why you oppose efforts to ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend the meeting and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to include  smoke-free e-cigarette use in a smoking ban
(As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the City Council meeting.)

Local Alert! Corte Madera, California - E-Cigarette Usage Ban


The Town of Corte Madera is considering adopting an ordinance banning smoking in various areas.  They are considering two ordinances, one of which would include e-cigarette use in the ban, and the other which would not.  The ordinances will be discussed at the regular Town Council meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 7:30 P.M. (300 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera, CA 94925 ).  

Please (1) email and call the mayor and members of the Town Council to explain why you oppose efforts to ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend the meeting and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to include  smoke-free e-cigarette use in a smoking ban
(As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the Town Council meeting.)

Local Alert! Scotts Valley, California Ordinance - E-Cigarette Use Ban


The City of Scotts Valley is poised to deceptively define smoke-free e-cigarette use as "smoking."  The ordinance is set for a second reading and vote on the Consent Calendar for TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014 at 6:00 P.M. (City Council Chambers, 1 Civic Center Drive, Scotts Valley, CA  95066).  

In addition to banning e-cigarette use as "smoking," the ordinance also bans sales to minors and bans location of retail tobacco stores (50% or more of annual gross receipts are from sale of tobacco and/or e-cigarette products) near schools.  (CASAA supports bans on sales to minors and does not object to reasonable restrictions regarding location of shops selling e-cigarettes or tobacco products.)
Please (1) email and call the mayor and members of the City Council to explain why you oppose efforts to ban e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend the meeting and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to define smoke-free e-cigarette use as smoking.
(As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the City Council meeting.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Local Alert! Newton, Massachusetts Ordinance E-Cigarette Use Ban, Flavor Ban, Restrict Place of Sale, Increase Age of Purchase to 21

Last updated 4-15-14

UPDATE 4-15-14 P.M.:  We have received confirmation that the flavor ban will NOT apply to retail tobacco stores or retail nicotine delivery product stores.  However, it would obviously apply to e-cigarettes that are sold in other retail establishments, and CASAA opposes laws which limit the availability of adult consumers to these legal products.  Rather then banning the sale of  e-cigarettes with characterizing flavors in convenience stores and other non-specialty retail settings, the Board of Aldermen should simply enforce bans on sales to minors.  

UPDATE 4-15-14 A.M.:  The measure passed out of committee with a favorable vote, and now will be heard by the full Board of Aldermen on TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014 at 7:45 P.M., Newton City Hall (1000 Commonwealth Ave, Newton, MA 02459).

We do not expect that testimony will be allowed at the hearing, but we are asking vapers and harm reduction advocates to (1) attend the hearing to show opposition to the ordinance, and (2) phone, email, and ask to meet in person with members of the full Board of Aldermen.  (Contact information below.)

The ordinance being considered by the Board of Aldermen on TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014 would impose devastating restrictions on e-cigarettes within the city, including (1) banning flavors, (2) prohibiting e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited, (3) prohibiting sales of e-cigarettes wherever tobacco products can't be sold, and (4) raising the minimum purchase age to 21.  (CASAA currently does not take a position on this last issue, but members are free to express their views.)

Unlike most anti-e-cigarette ordinances in Massachusetts, this one is NOT being considered by the local Board of Health (who are appointed, not elected).  Rather, this is being considered by the Board of Aldermen, elected officials who should be accountable to their constituents.