- Take Action -- Send an Email
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Alaska Call to Action: Two bills have been introduced that threaten to ban vaping wherever smoking is banned!
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
As part of CASAA's continuing commitment to share information with the community, we are producing weekly podcasts, typically 5-15 minutes in length. Hosted by CASAA's Jan Johnson, these podcasts will focus on current issues of interest to THR advocates and vapers, including legislative issues, current Calls to Action, and more. You can expect CASAA's Legislative Director, Alex Clark, to be a frequent guest.
Podcasts will be recorded each Monday evening, and we will make every effort to have podcasts posted the next morning. CASAA podcasts are free to use and share.
The first CASAA Podcast Update January 19, 2015:
Montgomery County, MD: (Discussion begins at 0:24) Indoor use ban, child-resistant packaging, and ban on sales to minors. Hearing scheduled for Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 7:30 PM (must sign up to speak by 10:00 a.m. on the 22nd).
Montana: (Discussion begins at 1:19) Hearing on SB 66 (ban on sales to minors with language defining e-cigarettes as tobacco products) occurred January 19, 2015. Bill still in committee, and Call to Action will be updated as more information becomes available.
Indiana: (Discussion begins at 3:12) Call to Action updated to include indoor use ban.
Oregon: (Discussion begins at 4:00) Call to Action to be issued soon.
New Orleans, LA: (Discussion begins at 5:45) Includes a discussion about how everything being done to smokers is now being done to vapers and why it doesn't make sense to throw smokers under the bus.
Monday, January 19, 2015
Local Call to Action: Two Florida Cities, Delray Beach and Vero Beach, are moving to prohibit indoor use of e-cigarettes.
Link to agenda: https://verobeachfl.govoffice2.com/vertical/Sites/%7B898790A2-F88A-48AE-A9B3-666AAE67AD40%7D/uploads/1_20_2015_Agenda.pdf
- 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.)
- Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life. (Avoid using slang terms such as "juice.")
- Clarify that:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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%.
- Losing the ability to test e-liquids before purchasing will have a significant and negative impact on your ability to purchase/sell e-liquids.
- 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!
- 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 in the city, 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 cigarttes continues to decline to record low levels.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
On November 25th, 2014, Montgomery County Council Vice President Leventhal and Council members Floreen, Branson, and Navarro introduced Bill 56-14.
- Prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes in most public places (vape shops are exempted)
- In general, and given the lack of evidence that would suggest e-cigarette use may be harmful to bystanders, CASAA feels that business owners should have the right to set their own “vaping policy.” **Please see the talking points below.
- Require child-resistant packaging of liquid nicotine containers
- Although CASAA is generally supportive of child-resistant packaging, this issue would be more appropriate for federal lawmakers. Enacting packaging laws at the county level, let alone at the state level, presents a potential hurdle for interstate commerce and may impact consumer choice. If Montgomery Co. Council must pursue this measure, it should clearly be in line with federal standards.
- Prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes by minors
- It should be noted that legislation (SB 7) has been introduced at the state level to ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors. CASAA supports prohibiting sales to minors.
- Please take action NOW by sending an email to the full Montgomery County Council at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please call and leave voicemails for Councilmembers (phone directory).
4. Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
- Take Action - Send an Email
(Update 1/21/15) We are also aware of HB 1235, which is another attempt to prohibit indoor use, impose punitive taxes, and limit consumer access by not allowing businesses to sell tobacco (including e-cigarettes) if there is a pharmacy on the premises. Our assessment is that the scope of this bill is so unreasonable (some provisions include allowing employers to discriminate against nicotine users) that it will not pose a credible threat. However, we will continue to monitor HB 1235 and update this Call to Action should the need arise.
Monday, January 12, 2015
New York Call To Action: NY State Bills threaten consumer choice and subject e-cigarettes to tobacco taxes
- AB 296: Referred to Assembly Ways and Means
- SB 722: Referred to Senate Investigations and Government Operations
- AB 1496: Referred to Assembly Health
- AB 635: Referred to Assembly Health
There is currently a fourth bill (AB 852) which is identical to SB 7139 from the 2014 session. The purpose of this bill is to require vapor retailers to register with the Department of Health, thereby making them subject to compliance checks to insure retailers are adhering to the state law prohibiting sales to minors. As this bill does not amend any definitions or propose new rules that might subject vapor products and retailers to damaging tobacco regulations, CASAA is currently taking a neutral position. However, we will continue to monitor AB 853 as it moves through the legislative process and update this call to action if things change.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
(Updated - 01.15.2015)
Montana SB 66 seeks to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Although CASAA is generally supportive of legislation that restricts access to these products by minors, the wording of the current bill carelessly and inappropriately confuses low-risk smoke-free e-cigarettes with combustible tobacco cigarettes by referring to these products as “electronic smoking devices” and including them in the state’s definition of “tobacco products.” We believe this could have far-reaching negative consequences and would set a terrible precedent for future legislation.
A hearing on SB 66 will be held before the Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs Committee on Monday, January 19th at 8:00 AM in Room 422 of the Capitol Building at 1301 East 6th Avenue in Helena, MT 59601.
We have refreshed our campaign for this issue so that all Montana residents can send a message to committee members.
- To take action now, please click here.
- For full committee contact info (phone numbers and email) please see here.
Saturday, January 3, 2015
- Child Resistant Packaging
- Labeling Requirements
- Restrictions on Sales to Minors
- Online Sales Restrictions/Bans
- Place Bans
- FDA Deeming Regulation
- Child Resistant Packaging
- New Mexico: SB 65
- Utah: Governor’s Budget Proposal
- Nevada: SB 79, Draft Bill 307
- Oregon: Draft Bill 1037, Draft Bill 2268
- Washington: Governor’s Budget Proposal & Draft Bill
- Indiana: Draft Bill (Rep. Ron Bacon)
- New York: AB 296 (same language as last year’s AB 8594)
- Virginia: HB 1310
- Washington: Draft Bill
- California: SB 24
- Missouri: HB 147
- Washington: Draft Bill
- California: SB 24
- Indiana: Draft Bill (Rep. Ron Bacon)
- Montana: Draft Bill 66, Draft Bill 245
- North Dakota: HB 1078
- New Mexico: SB 42
- Texas: HB 81, HB 170, & SB 97
- Kentucky: Board Resolution 127
- Indiana: Draft Bill (Reps Ed Clere, Charlie Brown)
As the 2015 legislative sessions move forward, we will work diligently to update our membership as to the introduction and progress of legislation that might threaten our access to, and enjoyment of, low-risk alternatives to smoking.