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.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Local Alert! Baytown, Texas E-Cigarette Usage Ban


The Baytown, Texas City Council is considering adopting an ordinance that would ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.  (The ordinance would also ban sales to minors,  a move which CASAA supports.)

The City Council is considering four alternatives:

  1. Prohibit the sale, possession and use of e-cigarettes by minors, and/or
  2. Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in areas where conventional cigarettes are prohibited; or
  3. Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in areas where conventional cigarettes are prohibited except in "bars" (more than 51% of their revenue from alcoholic beverages); or
  4. Take no regulatory action at this time.
CASAA supports Option No. 1 (ban on sale, possession and use by minors).
The ordinance will be discussed at the regular City Council meeting on THURSDAY, April 102014 at 6:30 P.M., City Council Chambers, 2401 Market Street, Baytown, TX  77520.
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 on THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 at 6:30 P.M. and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.

(As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the City Council meeting.)

Monday, April 7, 2014

CASAA presents at FDA listening session in San Diego

San Diego -- April 5, 2014

The Office of Science in the Center for Tobacco Products held a public listening session, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), this past Saturday.  Senior staff from the Office of Science was present to hear relevant presentations from members of the public.

CASAA director Elaine Keller attended the event with a presentation written by her and CASAA's Scientific Director, Dr. Carl Phillips, PhD. Below is the transcript of the prepared presentation, with corresponding slides.



SUBMITTED AS ABSTRACT
A large portion of the science related to low-risk alternatives to smoking seems predicated on informing the regulatory question “should these products be caused to disappear, or at least be marginalized from the public view?” But since neither of these is a possibility in a free society, the research efforts designed to promote bans and the responses designed to head-off bans do nothing to improve regulations. Useful regulatory science must be premised on the reality on the ground, not the questionable and unattainable goals of a vocal minority. Such science would help determine what real-world regulation would benefit consumers with improved safety (e.g., specific features of e-cigarettes that should be sought or avoided) and improved understanding (e.g., accurate warning labels on smokeless tobacco). It would also help serve broader policy goals (e.g., moving away from the currently denigrated e-cigarette advertising to messaging that encourages harm reduction without glorifying any product).

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Passing of the Torch: A message from out-going CASAA President, Elaine Keller

It has been my extreme pleasure and privilege to serve as president of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association for the past 2-1/2 years. But the time has come for me to devote more time to family, so I must relinquish some of my CASAA responsibilities. That's the bad news.

New CASAA President Julie Woessner
The good news is that board member Julie Woessner has agreed to take over as president and was unanimously elected to that office. I gratefully pass on the torch to her. Also re-elected were Kristin Noll-Marsh as vice-president, and Karen Carey as treasurer. Karen will continue to serve as secretary pro tem until a suitable candidate is found to take on that role.

In addition I was re-elected to the board to serve another 2-year term. Ron Ward, Michael Cozzi and Carl Philips were also re-elected for a second term as board member. The remaining members have another year left on their terms.

A few words about Julie Woessner. She has been a staunch activist for tobacco harm reduction since before CASAA even existed. She applied her knowledge of the law to keep consumers informed about the progression of the court case Smoking Everywhere and Soterra, Inc. d/b/a NJOY versus the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (See http://casaa.org/FDA_vs.html). Her legal knowledge has also been invaluable for evaluating various proposed laws at the Federal, state, and local levels in terms of the potential effects on consumers if the measure were to be enacted.

Her testimony at the Illinois State Capital helped to prevent a ban on e-cigarette sales back in 2010. As a CASAA director, she has spoken to the FDA and to the Office of Management and Budget regarding the potential effects of deeming e-cigarettes to be tobacco products. In short, her writing, speaking, and organizational skills are excellent. I know she will do an excellent job of leading CASAA.

Sincerely,











Elaine Keller
President from September 2011 to April 2014

Call to Action! New York State Bill Would Ban E-Cigarette Use Wherever Smoking is Prohibited

UPDATE 4/8/2014:  AB 8178 passed the Assembly Health Committee and is now pending in the Assembly Codes Committee.  Updated contact information provided in the Call to Action.

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Please also be sure to take action against other New York bills that would ban the sale of electronic cigarette liquid and impose punitive excise taxes on e-cigarette sales:



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(last updated 4/8/2014)

If enacted, AB 8178SB 6562 would:
  • Prohibit the use of smoke-free electronic cigarettes wherever "smoking" is banned
Having failed in her quest to ban electronic cigarette sales to adults from 2010 to 2012, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal is now the chief sponsor of a bill, AB 8178, that would ban the use of vapor products (electronic cigarettes) wherever smoking is banned.  On the Senate side, an identical bill is being sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannnon, who is also leading the charge to ban e-liquid sales to adults.  AB 8178 is currently pending before the Assembly Health Committee and SB 6562 is currently pending before the Senate Health Committee.  

On Monday, April 7, 2014, at approximately 2-3 PM, the Assembly Health Committee is expected to hold a hearing on AB 8178 at the State Capitol Building in Albany.  Unfortunately, no public testimony will be allowed, but advocates from the Albany area can still attend to speak to legislators before and after the hearing about this and other issues. Please e-mail us at board@casaa.org if you might be able to attend. Attendance between 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM would be best. 

Please see below for information on how to stop these bills. 

Remember, you can register to receive free CASAA e-mail alerts  regarding this and other legislation in New York and across the United States. We will alert you when there are  opportunities to voice your concerns to the members of the New York State Legislature.