CASAA directors were busy this past week or so testifying at two different venues.
On January 19th, CASAA President Elaine Keller, CASAA Director Gregory Conley and CASAA advisors Bill Godshall and Dr. Carl Philips spoke before the FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, advocating once again for tobacco harm reduction policies.
|Photo Credit: Dr. Carl Philips|
CASAA advisor Dr. Carl Philips
speaks at TPSAC
The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) is intended to advise the Commissioner or designee in discharging responsibilities as they relate to the regulation of tobacco products. As part of the TPSAC’s required report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the committee heard public comments on issues related to "the nature and impact of the use of dissolvable tobacco products on the public health, including such use among children." It is CASAA's opinion that the committee is largely one-sided, as many committee members are known anti-tobacco and anti-nicotine prohibitionists and against tobacco harm reduction.
Listen to their speeches here: Video link to 1/19 TPSAC. Testimony from CASAA/harm reduction advocates starts about 5hr 22min mark.
View Elaine's presentation slides here: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/TobaccoProductsScientificAdvisoryCommittee/UCM288460.pdf
In other news, on January 25th, the Utah House Government Operations Committee listened to public comments regarding "HB0245 Amendment to Definition of Smoking in Utah Indoor Clean Air Act," which was an attempt to include hookah and electronic cigarette use in the state's definition of "smoking." CASAA Director Jacinda Ross, who has successfully testified in Utah previously, was there to advocate for electronic cigarette users.
To quote the Desert News article about the issue:
"Too many questions and concerns over a bill that would ban the smoking of e-cigarettes and hookah pipes in public places prompted a panel of lawmakers Monday to put the legislation on hold....
...some lawmakers said they had reservations about a bill that would effectively put hookah bars out of business when the data over health risks is unclear. Representatives of the Huka Bar and Grill in Murray said the bill would put 90 people out of work.
Other lawmakers said they needed more time to study the proposal.
Some opponents took issue with the bill treating e-cigarettes the same as hookah pipes.
[Jacinda] Ross, of West Jordan, said she was a cigarette smoker for many years but has quit thanks to e-cigarettes. "I've been smoke free since August 2010. I have no desire to smoke any more," Ross said."Listen to testimony here: CASAA director Jacinda Ross speaks at Utah House Government Operations Committee. Click link #2 (Jacinda speaks at about 1:55:43.)