Thursday, April 28, 2016

IN-09 - Congressional Voter Guide and Candidate Questionnaire

Indiana US Congressional District 9 (since 2013)


The race for Indiana’s 9th U.S. congressional district should be an interesting one for vapers this year. Among the field of candidates are at least two who have expressed support for taxes or unnecessary regulations on vapor products. Before you and your family vote in this coming Tuesday’s Congressional primary (May 3rd), we wanted to let our members know whatever little information we are able to supply about the candidates.


We have taken this opportunity to list the candidates below followed by a brief -- in most cases too brief -- write-up of their publicly searchable position on vapor products. Given that we are all curious where candidates stand on this issue, we have provided an opportunity at the bottom for you to send them a brief questionnaire.


Indiana’s 9th Congressional District Candidates


Greg Zoeller (R):
Attorney General Zoeller has been openly hostile towards vapor products and other alternative nicotine products. Zoeller has called on the FDA to ban flavors and raise taxes on vapor products. “We know the dangers of nicotine,” said Zoeller in an interview with WISH TV-8, last summer. “We don’t know any value to these products, and why the FDA has failed to regulate to date is unknown.”


Erin Houchin (R):
Unlike AG Zoeller, public statements from Candidate Houchin regarding vapor products are not available. However, as a state Senator from Indiana’s 47th District, she did vote in favor of HB 1432 -- the bill that is currently wreaking havoc on the Indiana vapor industry and that will dramatically limit consumer access to a wide variety of e-liquids. Although a yea or nay vote on any particular bill may give a glimpse into a candidate’s position on an issue, it is not by any means the whole story.


Brent Waltz (R):
Like Senator Houchin, Candidate Waltz has not made any public statements regarding a position one way or the other on vapor products. However, as Senator from Indiana’s 33rd district, he did vote against HB 1432. Again, this is not necessarily an indication of a firm position regarding vapor products, but we were pleased to see Senator Waltz make a smart vote on that destructive bill.


Trey Hollingsworth III (R):
Candidate Hollingsworth has not made any public statements regarding a position on vapor products.


Robert Hall (R):
Candidate Hall has not made any public statements regarding a position on vapor products.


Shelli Yoder (D):
Candidate Yoder has not made any public statements regarding a position on vapor products.


James McClure Jr. (D):
Candidate McClure has not made any public statements regarding a position on vapor products.
(Candidate McClure does not have a publicly searchable email contact for his campaign)


Bill Thomas (D):
Candidate Thomas has not made any public statements regarding a position on vapor products.


Bob Kern (D):
Candidate Kern has not made any public statements regarding a position on vapor products.






Please note: The information provided here is for voter education purposes only. CASAA does not support or oppose any candidate or political party.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Albany Co., NY - Local Alert! Take action to oppose Tobacco 21 law!



Albany County, NY


Update - 04.26.16

Local Law “C” for 2016, which would prohibit the sale of all tobacco products and vapor products to anyone under the age of 21, is scheduled for a public hearing on:

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
5:00 PM
Health Committee
Harold L. Joyce Office Building
112 State Street, Rm 170
Albany, NY 12207

Please make plans to attend this hearing.
Please also see details below for contacting your county legislators as well as guidance for attending and speaking at the hearing.


Original Post - 02.08.16


[Update - Correction to specifics of Tuesday’s hearing]


Local Law “C” for 2016, which would prohibit the sale of all tobacco products and vapor products to anyone under the age of 21, is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 (item 73 on the agenda). This hearing is simply to set a date and provide notice to the public that the hearing for public comment will be on:


(Page 88 in the agenda)
7:15 PM
Albany County Courthouse
16 Eagle St
Albany, NY 12207

Please make plans to attend this hearing.


If you would like to speak, please locate the sign a sheet at the public hearing. You will be asked to list your name, address, and phone number.
  • Speakers are called in the order their names appear on the sign-up sheets.
  • Speakers are permitted five minutes to express their views.
  • Speakers may not ask questions of legislators, and legislators may not ask questions of speakers, except for clarification.


Even if you do not plan to speak, your attendance is vital as it demonstrates the large numbers of people affected by this issue.


CASAA takes no position with regards to laws and regulations affecting traditional cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products. However, we believe that including low-risk alternatives like vapor products and smokeless tobacco in laws that raise the minimum purchase age is inappropriate. CASAA believes that access to reduced harm products is vital to reducing the harm caused by smoking.


Proposals like Tobacco 21, which treat smoke-free products just like smoking, send a confusing and inaccurate message to consumers that vaping and smokeless tobacco use are just as harmful as smoking. We believe that the potential harm of this law outweighs the marginal public health gain its supporters hope to achieve.


Please take a moment now to send an email and make phone calls to Albany County Legislators urging them to oppose Local Law “C” for 2016.


We have provided contact information and talking points below. To find your district representative, please check the list provided by the county here.


Albany Co., NY - County Legislators
Dist.
Member
Email
Phone
1
Lucille M. McKnight
lmcknight@nycap.rr.com
(518) 463-9883
2
Merton D. Simpson
merton.simspon@albanycounty.com
(518) 447-7117
3
Wanda F. Willingham
wanda.willingham@albanycounty.com
(518) 221-9785
4
Norma J. Chapman
normachapman64@yahoo.com
hm. (518) 434-6549
5
Christopher T. Higgins
cthiggins@gmail.com
(518) 635-3109
6
Samuel I. Fein
sam.fein@albanycounty.com
(518) 362-8380
7
Douglas A. Bullock
dbull4@verizon.net
(518) 426-0883
8
Lynne Lekakis
lynnelekakis@gmail.com
(518) 427-7386
9
Andrew Joyce
andrewcjoyce@gmail.com
(518) 447-7117
10
Gary W. Domalewicz
gdomalewicz@nycap.rr.com
(518) 466-7952
11
Frank J. Commisso
--
(518) 447-7117
12
William M. Clay
--
hm. (518) 456-6538
13
Raymond F. Joyce
raymond.joyce@albanycounty.com
hm. (518) 435-9161
14
Alison McLean Lane
alisonmcleanlane@gmail.com
(518) 935-3198
15
Robert J. Beston
--
hm. (518) 272-1038
16
Sean E. Ward
sean.ward@albanycounty.com
(518) 447-7117
17
Ralph V. Signoracci
ralph.signoracci@albanycounty.com
(518) 470-2905
18
Gilbert F. Ethier
--
hm. (518) 237-9530
19
Todd A. Drake
Todd.Drake@albanycounty.com
(518) 857-9755
20
David B. Mayo
dmayo58@hotmail.com
hm. (518) 783-7388
21
Brian Hogan
brianhogan215@aol.com
(518) 785-6843
22
Peter B. Tunny
ptunny198@gmail.com
(518) 869-7404
23
Paul J. Burgdorf
pburgdorf@aol.com
(518) 669-1234
24
Peter Crouse
peter.crouse@albanycounty.com
--
25
Joseph E. O'Brien
joe.obrien25@gmail.com
(518) 447-7117
26
Patrice Lockart
plockart@nycap.rr.com
(518) 456-3866
27
Frank A. Mauriello
Frank.Mauriello@albanycounty.com
(518) 461-0188
28
Dennis A. Feeney
dennis.feeney@albanycounty.com
(518) 447-7117
29
Mark E. Grimm
mark@markgrimm.com
(518) 650-5096
30
Bryan M. Clenahan
bryan.clenahan@albanycounty.com
(518) 464-7601
31
Travis Stevens
travis@travisstevens.com
(518) 447-7164
32
Paul Miller
paul12203@nycap.rr.com
c. (518) 320-4213
33
William Reinhardt
--
c. (518) 369-8573
34
Joanne Cunningham
joannecunningham4@gmail.com
(518) 447-7117
35
Charles S. Dawson, Jr.
cdawson@albanycounty.com
(518) 447-7117
36
Richard W. Mendick
rmendick@aol.com
(518) 767-0511
37
Richard N. Touchette
rick.touchette@gmail.com
(518) 858-6388
38
Michael Mackey
michael.mackey@albanycounty.com
(518) 447-7117
39
Christopher H. Smith
mapleinn@yahoo.com
(518) 447-7117


Comma delimited email list:
lmcknight@nycap.rr.com, merton.simspon@albanycounty.com, wanda.willingham@albanycounty.com, normachapman64@yahoo.com, cthiggins@gmail.com, sam.fein@albanycounty.com, dbull4@verizon.net, lynnelekakis@gmail.com, andrewcjoyce@gmail.com, gdomalewicz@nycap.rr.com, raymond.joyce@albanycounty.com, alisonmcleanlane@gmail.com, sean.ward@albanycounty.com, ralph.signoracci@albanycounty.com, Todd.Drake@albanycounty.com, dmayo58@hotmail.com, brianhogan215@aol.com, ptunny198@gmail.com, pburgdorf@aol.com, peter.crouse@albanycounty.com, joe.obrien25@gmail.com, plockart@nycap.rr.com, Frank.Mauriello@albanycounty.com, dennis.feeney@albanycounty.com, mark@markgrimm.com, bryan.clenahan@albanycounty.com, travis@travisstevens.com, paul12203@nycap.rr.com, joannecunningham4@gmail.com, cdawson@albanycounty.com, rmendick@aol.com, rick.touchette@gmail.com, michael.mackey@albanycounty.com, mapleinn@yahoo.com


Suggested Talking Points - Tobacco 21


  1. Raising the purchase age for tobacco products to 21 is supposedly about discouraging youth initiation and protecting them from developing a dependence on smoking that might last throughout their adult lives. However, enacting such policies without separating low-risk, smoke-free products from traditional cigarettes severely limits options for current adult smokers between the ages of 18 and 21 to find a pathway to quitting smoking.


  1. In a few sentences, tell your story about how low-risk, smoke-free vapor products or tobacco products have helped you.


  1. Including low-risk products like e-cigarettes in these types of laws sends a confusing and inaccurate message to adult smokers that smoke-free products are just as harmful as smoking.


  1. Tobacco 21 treats adults, who are capable enough to serve in the military, sign contracts, and elect decision-makers to public office, as incapable of making the distinction between risky and less risky behavior.


  1. While smoked tobacco products are alleged to be highly addictive, the opposite appears to be true for products like the nicotine gum, nicotine patch, and other smoke-free products like vapor products.