Thursday, April 21, 2011

CASAA Testimony for Smokeless Alternatives in Oregon

Oregon HB 3588, which would have banned the sale of “Candy Nicotine Products," came before committee hearing on Wednesday, April 20.


CASAA Director Thad Marney attended the hearing and spoke eloquently on behalf of CASAA members.
Of his experience, Mr. Marney said, "Although nerves nearly got the best of me, yesterday went much better and easier than King County. I was there early which gave me an excellent opportunity to speak to the committee assistant Matt Davis who told me that House was about to begin working on bills from the Senate (and vice versa) and so HB 3588 would not be voted on in this session, but they wanted to “begin the discussion”. Matt was a bit taken aback when I told him that we opposed the bill but he said that he was against it personally and admitted to occasionally using an e-cigarette himself!"

"Other than a representative from Big Tobacco and 7-11, who chimed in about how this ban would negatively impact local store owners, I was the only testimony in opposition to the bill, but I got a lot of positive feedback from the Committee. I’m not sure that Co-Chair Tomei was really convinced that harm reduction potential of these products was enough to change her preconceived notions about “candy”, but the entire Committee seemed impressed by my testimony—even the Tobacco Rep said that he learned a few things! I don’t know if I changed any minds, but I do know that I gave them a lot to think about as they did ask several questions, and I wished that I’d had more scientific data with me regarding smokeless and dissolvables because the proponents were tossing out data and assumptions about “gateway effects” that are unfounded but mostly went unchallenged."

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