Friday, May 22, 2015

Texas Call to Action: SB 97 should be amended to remove unnecessary hurdles to adult access to vapor products online

(Update - 05.22.15)

SB 97 has been sent to Governor Abbott and is currently awaiting his signature. As stated in our previous update, if signed into law, SB 97 will create barriers to access for adult consumers and implement troubling personal data collection requirements. Moreover, there are sections of this bill that support the notion that, in general, the use of vapor products should be discouraged.

Please take action now by sending a message to Governor Abbott urging him to veto this bill and pressure the legislature to pass a clean bill prohibiting sales to minors.



(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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ohio Call to Action: Oppose ANY tax on vapor products

It is likely that tax language regarding electronic cigarettes will be added to a revenue or tobacco tax bill in Ohio. As soon as more details emerge, we will update this alert. In the meantime, we are asking Ohio advocates to take action by sending a message to lawmakers urging them to oppose ANY taxes on vapor products.

Please take action NOW and send a message to Ohio lawmakers urging them to oppose ANY taxes on vapor products.





(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.

Kansas Call to Action: Oppose ANY new tax on vapor products!

It is likely that tax language regarding electronic cigarettes will be added to a tobacco tax bill in Kansas. As soon as more details emerge, we will update this alert. In the meantime, we are asking Kansas advocates to take action by sending a message to lawmakers urging them to oppose ANY taxes on vapor products.

Please take action NOW and send a message to Kansas lawmakers urging them to oppose ANY taxes on vapor products.




(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.

Mercer Co., WV - Local Alert: BOH seeks input on indoor vaping ban

Mercer Co., WV

(Update - 05.20.15)

Today is the final day for comment on the Mercer Co. Board of Health’s proposal to include vaping in the county’s Indoor Clean Air Law. According to an article published yesterday, only four people have taken advantage of commenting on the proposed regulation.

Please take action NOW to comment. Please take a moment to submit comments regarding this proposal to


“Public comment: Last chance for input on e-cigs” - May 18th, 2015

(Original Post - 05.12.15)

The Mercer County Board of Health is seeking comment on a proposal to include vaping in the county’s Indoor Clean Air Law.  Although it has been suggested that this proposal would provide an exemption for vapor retail shops, including vaping in the indoor clean air law would prohibit the use of vapor products in thousands of workplaces and public spaces.

Please take a moment to submit comments regarding this proposal to

We have provided talking points below.

Please share this link on social media:



“Board of Health set to consider regulations on e-cigarettes, vaping” - May 10th, 2015

“Changes Involving E-Cigarettes Considered in the County Clean Indoor Air Regulation in Mercer County” - April 9th, 2015


Suggested Talking Points - Indoor Use
  • (Please choose a few of the points below -- topics you are most comfortable discussing.)

  1. You are a resident and you oppose banning e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited. (If you are responding to a Call to Action or Local Alert for a city or state in which you are not a resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel there on vacation or have friends/family in the area.)

  1. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life. (Avoid using slang terms such as "juice.")

  1. Clarify that:
    1. Smoking bans are ostensibly enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been found to pose a risk to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with e-cigarettes are comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.
    2. The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.
    3. A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found "no apparent concern" for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under "worst case" assumptions about exposure.
    4. Electronic cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. It is easy to tell when someone lights a cigarette from the smell of smoke. E-cigarette vapor is often practically odorless, and generally any detectable odor is not unpleasant and smells nothing like smoke. Additionally, e-cigarette users can decide whether to release any vapor ("discreet vaping").  With so little evidence of use, enforcing use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.
    5. The ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch and reduce their health risks by an estimated 99%.
    6. Losing the ability to test e-liquids before purchasing will have a significant and negative impact on your ability to purchase/sell e-liquids.
    7. Many smokers first try e-cigarettes because they can use them where they cannot smoke, however, they often become "accidental quitters." This is a documented phenomenon unique to e-cigarettes. It may take a few months or only a few days, but they inevitably stop smoking conventional cigarettes. This is why including e-cigarettes in smoking bans could have serious unintended consequences!
    8. By making e-cigarette users go outdoors, the City will also be sending a strong message to traditional smokers that e-cigarettes are no safer than smoking. This will actually maintain the number of smokers, rather than help reduce smoking. This is a far more realistic risk to public health than any unfounded concerns about possible youth or non-smoker use uptake. In fact, the most recent report by the CDC showed that the dramatic increase in e-cigarette use over that past 3 years has not led to an increase in youth smoking. Youth smoking of traditional cigarettes continues to decline to record low levels.
    9. The children of smoking parents are far more likely to become smokers than the children of non-smoking parents who see smoking behaviors in public. The children of smoking parents who quit aren't any more likely to smoke than those of non-smoking parents. Prohibiting vapor products in public does little to protect the children of non-smoking parents from becoming smokers, but significantly increases the likelihood that many smoking parents won't switch to e-cigarettes. This only serves to keep the highest-risk children at risk.
    10. E-cigarette use does not promote the smoking of traditional cigarettes, nor does it threaten the gains of tobacco control over the past few decades. In fact, by normalizing e-cigarette use over traditional smoking, the efforts of tobacco control are being supported. If anything, e-cigarette use denormalizes conventional smoking by setting the example of smokers choosing a far less harmful alternative to traditional smoking. The CDC surveys clearly show that there has been no "gateway effect" causing non-smokers to start smoking. As e-cigarettes have become more popular, all available evidence is showing that more and more smokers are quitting traditional cigarettes, including youth smokers.
    11. Important Note: A typical and frequent lawmaker response to e-cigarette users who object to public use bans is "We aren't banning all use or sales, just use where smoking is also prohibited." Don't give them the opportunity to counter you in that way! Make it very clear that you understand that this is not a ban of e-cigarette sales or a ban of e-cigarette use where smoking is allowed, but that what IS proposed is still a step backward in public health, not a step forward.

4) Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CASAA Podcast Update May 18, 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. 






1:00 – Sonoma, CA – public hearing tonight (Monday, 5-18-15) on an ordinance introduced in March re requiring a tobacco dealer license to sell vapor products. Ordinance would only allow 15 locations in the city to obtain a license, and those locations already have shops that sell tobacco/vapor products (none of which are specialty vapor shops). Also would ban flavors other than tobacco and menthol.  NorCal SFATA people are organizing a response.

5:05 – Santa Barbara County, CA – ordinance introduced to ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited. Tuesday, May 19th hearing at 9:00 a.m.

6:20 – Study circulating regarding ANDS (Alternative Nicotine Delivery Systems), which seems to us to be a better label than "ENDS" (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems). For those unfamiliar with why "ENDS" is such a derogatory and politically motivated label, please read more here

8:00 – Denver, CO – hearing tonight (Monday, 5-18-15) 5:30 p.m. re final consideration of ban on free samples. The way the ordinances is written, it wouldn’t cover zero nicotine samples, so a workaround for zero nicotine sampling in stores, but would affect trade shows.

10:30 - Naperville, IL – ordinance re tobacco dealer license. CASAA's position is that if licensing/registering must take place, then a separate non-tobacco license/permit is the appropriate course to avoid unanticipated problems. (For example, Iowa required tobacco license/permit, which resulted in a de facto ban on online sales per Attorney General ruling.)

12:30 - Salem, OR – ordinance prohibiting vaping on city property, including outdoor areas owned by the city such as parks. Tuesday, May 26, 2015 hearing.

16:20 - Vermont – Preliminary indications are that we won! Tax language removed from SB 139, so all signs point to no vapor tax in Vermont this year.

17:25 – HR 2058 (US Congress) – FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Cole (Oklahoma). Would change grandfather date from February 15, 2007 to a date forward when the FDA deeming regulations are finalized. This would allow products currently on the market not to have to file premarket tobacco applications and would increase the pool of predicate products that manufacturers can rely on when filing for substantial equivalency. We are asking consumers to support this bill. Our ideal would be to see a different regulatory setup for vapor products, and while this bill wouldn’t solve all of our problems, it is a good step in the right direction. We’re still going to see a significant number of businesses not be able to make it through the FDA registration process, but this will allow far more to survive and for consumers to be able to continue to access a wide variety of products.

23:48 – Port St. Lucie, FL – Ordinance passed unanimously banning e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.

25:25 – New York State – NY residents should be on high alert. Possible legislation banning e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited. Moreover, many local jurisdictions seeking to pass bans. CASAA members should scan local newspapers regarding smoking bans and then follow-up because they often are seeking to include e-cigarettes in the bans (and not always obvious).

27:55 – Various legislatures coming to end of session. Hawaii passed two bills (ban on vaping where smoking prohibited and raising the age to purchase to 21). Tax legislation successfully defeated. A special thanks to Hawaii Vapers United for their hard work.


28:20 - Oregon has had a rough legislative session, and it and New York State remain on the radar.

As always:
Submit your testimonial for the CASAA Testimonials Projecand Join CASAA so that you receive the most up-to-date information on issues affecting you.

Join the conversation:

Monday, May 18, 2015

Madison, WI - Local Call to Action: Oppose an ordinance that would limit adult access to vapor products

(Update - 05.18.15)

An ordinance that would regulate vapor retail shops as tobacco shops has been scheduled for a public hearing on

210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Room 201 (City-County Building)

Although this ordinance has been amended to allow “tobacco shops” -- which would include vapor shops under the proposed ordinance -- currently located in affected areas to remain in business, this measure would still deceptively classify vapor products as tobacco products (both e-liquid and devices).

Please take a moment now to email and call Madison City Council members and urge them to pursue a regulatory scheme for vapor retailers separate from tobacco regulations. We have provided contact information and talking points below.


City of Madison - Common Council
Dist
Alder
Email
Phone
1
Barbara McKinney
district1@cityofmadison.com
608-829-0635
2
Ledell Zellers
district2@cityofmadison.com
608-417-9521
3
Amanda Hall
district3@cityofmadison.com
608-535-2584
4
Michael E. Verveer
district4@cityofmadison.com
608-255-6498
5
Shiva Bidar-Sielaff
district5@cityofmadison.com
608-220-6986
6
Marsha A. Rummel
district6@cityofmadison.com
608-772-4555
7
Steve King
district7@cityofmadison.com
608-235-9868
8
Zach Wood
district8@cityofmadison.com
608-469-5523
9
Paul E. Skidmore
district9@cityofmadison.com
608-829-3425
10
Maurice S. Cheeks
Council President Pro Tem
district10@cityofmadison.com
608-620-1994
11
Chris Schmidt
district11@cityofmadison.com
608-238-7494
12
Larry Palm
district12@cityofmadison.com
608-692-8416
13
Sara Eskrich
district13@cityofmadison.com
608-669-6979
14
Sheri Carter
district14@cityofmadison.com
608-698-6027
15
David Ahrens
district15@cityofmadison.com
608-334-1156
16
Denise DeMarb
Council President
district16@cityofmadison.com
608-358-3195
17
Samba Baldeh
district17@cityofmadison.com
608-501-1424
18
Rebecca Kemble
district18@cityofmadison.com
608-347-8097
19
Mark Clear
district19@cityofmadison.com
608-695-5709
20
Matthew J. Phair
district20@cityofmadison.com
608-772-1187

Comma delimited email list:
district1@cityofmadison.com, district2@cityofmadison.com, district3@cityofmadison.com, district4@cityofmadison.com, district5@cityofmadison.com, district6@cityofmadison.com, district7@cityofmadison.com, district8@cityofmadison.com, district9@cityofmadison.com, district10@cityofmadison.com, district11@cityofmadison.com, district12@cityofmadison.com, district13@cityofmadison.com, district14@cityofmadison.com, district15@cityofmadison.com, district16@cityofmadison.com, district17@cityofmadison.com, district18@cityofmadison.com, district19@cityofmadison.com, district20@cityofmadison.com


Suggested Talking Points - Tobacco Retail License

  • Including low-risk, smoke-free products like e-cigarettes in tobacco regulations sends a confusing message to existing smokers that these products are just as harmful as continuing to smoke. We know from a growing body of science that:
    • these products are 99% less risky than traditional cigarettes,
    • they are helping more than several million people worldwide to eliminate or reduce their smoking habit
    • adult awareness of these low-risk, smoke-free alternatives is declining due to confusing laws and misinformation campaigns.
  • If “licensing” or “registration” is the only way the city feels they can enforce a ban on sales to minors, vapor retailers should be regulated under a separate vapor retailer regulatory scheme. Regulations for tobacco retailers are notably more restrictive due to the risks associated with smoking.


(Original Post - 03.22.15)

An ordinance has been introduced in Madison that would amend its tobacco zoning and licensing rules to include e-cigarette retailers.  This matter is on the Plan Commission agenda (Item 15) for MONDAY, March 23rd at 5:30 PM. Please make plans to attend this hearing.

210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Room 201 (City-County Building)

If adopted, this ordinance would shut down at least 16 Madison vapor and tobacco/vapor stores, as well as impact other stores of any kind that sell tobacco, based on their proximities to parks, churches, healthcare facilities, schools, playgrounds, daycare facilities, or youth centers.  For more details, please see the WSAC Call to Action here.

  • Take Action to Oppose this ordinance - Send an Email

It is imperative that ALL Madison and Wisconsin e-cigarette shops, wholesalers and consumers oppose this ordinance, as this will set a precedent that will be used in other cities around the state!

  • Please share this post on your Facebook wall and in groups:

Note: Public Hearing items may be called at any time after the beginning of the public hearing. Those wishing to speak on an item must fill out a registration slip and give it to the Secretary. The Plan Commission uses a consent agenda, which means that the Commission can consider any item at 5:45 PM where there are no registrants wishing to speak in opposition regardless of its placement on the agenda. (Even if you do not plan on testifying, please attend this hearing.  Large numbers of people demonstrate how many are engaged in and affected by this issue.)


(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.