Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Call to Action! Louisiana Bill to Double Smokeless Tobacco Tax -- HB 713

Louisiana: Bill Would Increase the State's Smokeless Tobacco Tax by 100% -- HB 713

[full text of HB 713] [legislative tracking]

If enacted this bill would:
- increase the tax on cigarettes from 36 cents to $1.00 a pack, but it would also increase the tax on smokeless tobacco products from 20% of the invoice price to 40% of the invoice price (a 100% increase).  

This bill would *not* directly impact e-cigarettes.  HOWEVER, CASAA's mission is to ensure that ALL low-risk, smoke-free alternatives remain available, affordable and effective. This includes low-risk, smoke-free tobacco. CASAA strongly encourages members who do not use smoke-free tobacco to support the members who do by opposing this bill; in the same way members who use smoke-free tobacco help oppose bad electronic cigarette legislation.  We are all in this together and laws passed against smoke-free tobacco could be used as justification to pass similar laws against e-cigarettes in the near future. So, while this proposed bill does not directly impact e-cigarettes, e-cigarette users should not assume the bill will not impact them in some way in the future!

HB 713 is now awaiting a hearing before the Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee. If you may be able to testify against this bill at a committee hearing in Baton Rouge, OK, please email us at

Louisiana Citizens: In addition to contacting the below legislators, it is extremely important that you also speak to your own representatives. Click here to find out who represents you in the Louisiana House.

To oppose HB 713, please call, write, or fax the members of the Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee 

1. You oppose HB 713 because they would impose an unnecessary and punitive tax increase on smokeless tobacco products.

2. Tell your story on how switching from cigarettes to a far less hazardous smoke-free tobacco product has changed your life.

3. Explain that the purpose of increasing cigarette tax rates was to reimburse state expenditures for treating the many diseases caused by cigarette smoking. Because smokeless tobacco products have been found to be around 99% less harmful than cigarettes, there is no justification for such an outrageously excessive tax, which would discourage smokers from switching to a less harmful alternative.

4. Explain that even if the cigarette tax is raised to $1 per pack, enactment of HB 713 would lead to some smokeless tobacco consumers actually paying a higher tax than cigarette users. 

5. Tell them that by switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.

6. Direct them to the website for more information.

Members of the Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee 

Comma delimited email list:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Rep. Patrick C. Williams (D) (District 4)
1500 N. Market Street, Suite A-200
Shreveport, LA 71107
Phone: (318) 676-5990
Fax: (318) 676-5992

Rep. Richard T. Burford (R) (District 7)
671 Hwy. 171, Suite E
Stonewall, LA 71078"
Phone: (318) 925-9588
Fax: (318) 925-9590

Rep. Jeff R. Thompson (R) (District 8)
1527 Doctors Drive
Bossier City, LA 71111
Phone: (318) 741-2850
Fax: (318) 741-2852

Rep. Frank A. Hoffmann (R) (District 15)
204 North 3rd Street, Suite A
West Monroe, LA 71291
Phone: (318) 362-4130
Fax: (318) 362-4131

Rep. Major Thibaut (D) (District 18)
2004 False River Drive
New Roads, LA 70760
Phone: (225) 638-3811
Fax: (225) 638-2952

Rep. Lowell C. Hazel (R) (District 27)
1013 Main Street
Pineville, LA 71360
Phone: (318) 767-6082
Fax: (318) 767-6084

Rep. Robert A. Johnson (D) (District 28)
P.O. Box 467
Marksville, LA 71351
Phone: (318) 253-8891
Fax: (318) 253-6377

Rep. Regina Ashford Barrow (D) (District 29)
4811 Harding Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70811
Phone: (225) 359-9400
Fax: (225) 359-9402

Rep. Michael E. Danahay (D) (District 33)
1625 Beglis Pkwy.
Sulphur, LA 70663
Phone: (337) 527-5581
Fax: (337) 527-5803

Rep. Charles E. "Chuck" Kleckley (R) (District 36)
130 Jamestown Road
Lake Charles, LA 70605
Phone: (337) 475-3016
Fax: (337) 475-3018

Rep. Mickey J. Guillory (D) (District 41)
P.O. Box 986
Eunice, LA 70535
Phone: (337) 457-0194
Fax: (337) 457-5649

Rep. Joel C. Robideaux (R) (District 45)
102 Woodvale Avenue, Suite B
Lafayette, LA 70503
Phone: (337) 984-1091
Fax: (337) 984-8987

Rep. Taylor F. Barras (R) (District 48)
800 S. Lewis Street
Suite 206, 2nd Floor
New Iberia, LA 70560
Phone: (337) 373-4051
Fax: (337) 373-4053

Rep. Lenar L. Whitney (R) (District 53)
8026 Main St., Suite 704
Houma, LA 70360
Phone: (985)858-2970
Fax: (985)858-2972

Rep. Eddie J. Lambert (R) (District 59)
P.O. Box 241
Gonzales, LA 70707
Phone: (225) 673-5048
Fax: (225) 673-6980

Rep. Harold L. Ritchie (D) (District 75)
302 Louisiana Ave.
Bogalusa, LA 70427
Phone: (985) 730-2147
Fax: (985) 730-2149

Rep. Julie Stokes (R) (District 79)
4425 Clearview Pkwy, Suite D
Metairie, LA 70006
Phone: (504) 456-3173

Rep. Christopher Broadwater (R) (District 86)
112 South Cypress St.
Hammond, LA 70403
Phone: (985)543-4900
Fax: (985)543-4902

Rep. Walt Leger, III (D) (District 91)
600 Carondelet Street, 9th Floor
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504)556-9970
Fax: (504)556-9972

Rep. Thomas P. Willmott (R) (District 92)
2002 20th Street, Suite 204-A
Kenner, LA 70062
Phone: (504) 465-3479
Fax: (504)465-3481

Rep. Wesley T. Bishop (D) (District 99)
7240 Crowder Blvd., Suite 402
New Orleans, LA 70127
Phone: (504) 242-4198
Fax: (504) 242-6116

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Call to Action! Rhode Island AGAIN Proposes Strangling Online Sales of E-Cigarettes -- HB 5876

Rhode Island: Another Bill to Severely Restrict Online Sales of E-Cigarettes  -- HB5876

History: Thanks in part to testimony given on April 9th, 2013 by CASAA members, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to hold SB 622 in committee. HB 5876 is an identical bill introduced to the House Committee on Finance, that will be discussed on April 23rd, 2013. 

Ban e-cigarette sales to minors, but would also greatly restrict online sales of nicotine-containing products by treating e-cigarettes the same as traditional tobacco products.  

This bill would:
Specifically, the bill would require a retailer conducting an online sale to: (1) Obtain a copy of the buyer's driver's license; (2) Obtain a statement from the buyer affirming that they are the person pictured; and (3) Send the package through a service that checks the ID of the buyer at delivery. Retailers would be required to perform this check every time a consumer places an order.

HB 5876 would also require e-cigarette retailers in Rhode Island to obtain a tobacco license and only buy their e-cigarettes from licensed wholesalers or distributors. 

HB 5876 has been scheduled for a hearing before the House Committee on Finance on Tuesday, April 23rd in Room 35 of the State House in Providence, Rhode Island at 1:00 pm.  If you are in or around Rhode Island and can attend and speak at the hearing, please e-mail us at with the subject line "Rhode Island Testimony." Please help out in any way you can.  

Please call, write or fax the members of the House Committee on Finance below

What to say:
1. You support supports prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products to minors, but do not support HB 5876 in its current form.

2.  Express your concern about Section 11-9-13.11 of the bill, which would restrict the online sales of vapor products.

3.  Explain that the restrictions would place Rhode Island e-cigarette vendors at a competitive disadvantage by:
  • Instituting a system that will impose significant costs for compliance.
  • Imposing restrictions on consumers (i.e., requiring signature confirmed delivery and age/identity proof with every subsequent sale to the same purchaser) that will cause consumers to purchase their products from out-of-state vendors.
4.  Note that the legislation would also overly burden consumers by requiring all shipments to repeat customers to be sent via a method that requires an in-person signature upon delivery.  This adds cost and is inconvenient for those who are not home to receive the delivery.

5. Tell the legislators that restrictions on online sales were instituted for two reasons: (1) Cigarette companies blatantly marketed to kids; and (2) Online sales were being used to evade taxes.  Because there is no evidence that a single child has been sold an e-cigarette online and e-cigarettes are not taxed in Rhode Island, there is no reason to implement such an onerous provision.

6. Explain that online sales bans only serve to protect the market share of cigarette companies.

House Committee on Finance -- Who to Contact

Rhode Island citizens are encouraged to contact the members of the finance Committee AND their own representative and express their opposition to the online sales restrictions.

Rep.Helio Melo, Chairperson (D)
(401) 222-2738

Rep.Raymond E. Gallison Jr. , Co Vice Chairperson (D)
(401) 253-1852

Rep.Agostinho F. Silva, Co Vice Chairperson (D)
(401) 728-5473

Rep.Eileen S. Naughton, Deputy Chairperson (D)
(401) 222-7904

Rep.William San Bento Jr., Secretary (D)
(401) 723-7210

Rep.John M. Carnevale (D)
(401) 274-1353

Rep.Frank Ferri (D)

Rep.Joy Hearn (D)
(401) 247-9867

Rep.Raymond A. Hull (D)
(401) 272-4026

Rep.Robert B. Jacquard (D)
(401) 419-9915

Rep.Jan Malik (D)
(401) 247-1733

Rep.Patricia L. Morgan (R)
(401) 222-2259

 Rep.Deborah Ruggiero (D)
(401) 423-0444

Rep.Scott Slater (D)
(401) 741-7641

Rep.Larry Valencia (D)
(401) 539-3420

Comma delimited list:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CASAA Research Projects Update

CASAA would like to update everyone on the progress of our Research Fund projects.

As those who attend our member meetings already know, our contract for the expert review of the e-cigarette chemistry studies has been finalized.  Igor Burstyn, professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at Drexel University School of Public Health, will be conducting the analysis starting in June (for more about him:  Professor Burstyn is an internationally respected member of the genuinely scientific wing of public health science, so those who might cringe at the “school of public health” title should not fear.  In the meantime, CASAA members and a graduate student are completing a compilation a basic review of the existing literature.

Our testimonials collection project is ready to deploy.  Because we did not anticipate the release of a couple of surveys this month, we are delaying the release of our collection system until the end of the month to avoid the risk of interfering with those.  Our project has a very different format and goals, so it does not really overlap much, except for asking people to give a little time.  We will be sure to emphasize why everyone should contribute their narrative stories to our collection even if they have responded to recent check-box surveys.

In addition, we have two other research projects underway that are currently supported by volunteers and other funding sources, but might generate future Research Fund projects.  A graduate student and CASAA volunteers are working on creating some clinic-style fact sheet pamphlets.  Another university-based group has started working with CASAA to assess what social and behavioral science tells us about the future of tobacco harm reduction adoption.

Dr. Carl Phillips
CASAA Science Director

Thursday, April 11, 2013

CASAA sends letter to Illinois House Consumer Protection Committee

Today, the Illinois House Committee will hear comments regarding tobacco harm reduction. (See: The American Cancer Society lies and lies and lies and…, Illinois edition)

CASAA has submitted the written testimony below to the Committee.

Testimony in Support of Tobacco Harm Reduction

Illinois tobacco users deserve truthful and accurate information about the comparative risks of tobacco products, and smokers in particular are entitled to know that there are less harmful alternatives to smoking that do not require nicotine abstinence. Accordingly, on behalf of its Illinois members, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) urges the House of Representatives' Consumer Protection Committee to recommend that the State of Illinois study tobacco harm reduction.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. ln fact, the CDC estimates that 443,000 deaths in the United States each year are attributable t0 smoking, representing l out of 5 deaths in the United States. Smoking rates declined steadily from 1965 (42.4% of adults) to 2004 (20.9 % of adults), but over the last several years, smoking rates have remained basically stagnant. The CDC estimated a smoking rate of 18.9% in 2011, representing a decline of only 2 percentage points over the entire 7-year period from 2004 to 2011.

Most notably, this stagnant period represents a time during which the tobacco control and public health communities successfully lobbied for, among other things, higher cigarette taxes and increased smoke-free legislation. Yet despite this, the smoking rate has barely budged, and millions of Americans continue to smoke.

While nicotine is arguably what keeps many smokers smoking, it is not what causes the whole host of health problems associated with smoking. What is so dangerous about smoking is not the nicotine; rather, it is the process of inhaling smoke that causes so much harm. Despite this, public health care professionals and the tobacco control community insist that in order to quit smoking, one must ultimately give up nicotine, and they are resistant to the very common-sense observation that long-term smoking abstinence can be achieved without demanding nicotine abstinence.

Given 1) the significant risk of disease and death associated with smoking, (2 the dismal long-term success rate of 7% for FDA-approved smoking cessation products (or, perhaps more appropriately, a stunning failure rate of 93%), and (3 the stagnant smoking rates, it is clear that policy makers must consider alternatives in order to reduce smoking rates. CASAA respectfully submits that tobacco harm reduction is the most promising alternative.

Tobacco harm reduction describes actions taken to lower the risks associated with using tobacco or nicotine. While cigarettes and smoke-free tobacco products are both addictive (ie, creating daily dependence), the risks associated with cigarette smoking far, far exceed those associated with smoke-free products. In fact, on a continuum of tobacco mortality risk from l to 100, where nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) products such as the patch and gum are a l and cigarettes are a 100, smoke-free tobacco products fall below a 2.

The public health and tobacco communities claim that smoke-free tobacco- and nicotine-containing  are not a "Safe" alternative to smoking, leaving the general public with the mistaken impression that these smoke-free products carry risks similar in magnitude to smoking. However, the truth is that the risk from using any of the smoke-free products available in the United States is estimated to be about l/100th of that from smoking. In real-world terms, this is quite literally the difference between life and death for someone who is unable or willing to quit smoking but who might, if given accurate information, consider switching to a low-risk, smoke-free product.

Tobacco harm reduction represents a practical approach to reducing smoking rates and the attendant smoking-related health problems. But, just as importantly, tobacco harm reduction is a compassionate strategy, offering smokers a low-risk, effective alternative to smoking rather than the “quit or die” approach that results in more than 443,000 deaths each year.

For the foregoing reasons, CASAA respectfuìly requests that this Committee recommend that the State of Illinois study tobacco harm reduction as common sense and effective tool to reduce the smoking rate.

Gregory Conley, Legíslative Dírector
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Call to Action! Oklahoma Bill to Tax E-Cigarettes and More -- SB 802 (DEFEATED)

***URGENT UPDATE (4/15/2013) -- A New Threat to Oklahoma E-Cigarette Consumers***
UPDATE (4/09/2013) CASAA would like to thank the numerous individuals who attended the rally and hearing today.  The members of the House Public Health Committee ultimately voted to kill the entire bill.   

On Saturday, the Daily Caller published a piece by Matthew Bandyk on SB 802 that quoted CASAA Legislative Director Gregory Conley and Smokefree Pennsylvania's Bill Godshall.  The Washington Examiner's Timothy Carney also wrote about the bill. 


[full text of SB 802]  
[full text of proposed committee amendment]
[legislative tracking]

If enacted, this bill would:
  • Ban e-cigarette sales to minors, but would also...
  • Tax sales of “vapor products” (e-cigarettes and cartridges) and “tobacco-derived products” (e-liquid and cartomizers containing nicotine) at 5 cents per 1.48 ml of liquid.
  • Require e-cigarette retailers to obtain a license to sell tobacco products and abide by 30+ pages of regulations governing how tobacco products are sold. 
  • Make it a criminal offense for consumers to buy e-cigarettes online


SB 802 has been scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, April 9th at 1:30 pm at the State Capitol Building in Oklahoma City (address information).  Vapers will be holding a rally outside the capital beginning at 9 am!  CASAA is requesting that all vapers attend and testify in opposition.  Please e-mail us at if you plan to attend.

RJ Reynolds lobbyists have told vapor store owners in Oklahoma that SB 802 would represent a tax cut for their business and their customers.  In short, their argument has been that by instituting a small excise tax on e-cigarette products containing nicotine, vapor product users would no longer have to pay the 4.5% sales tax that is levied on sales of all consumer goods. 

The truth is that SB 802 would be a TAX HIKE for the multitude of Oklahoma residents who use e-liquid in their products.  The members of the House Public Health Committee need to hear this.

Currently, an Oklahoma citizen who buys any product in a brick & mortar vaping store pays a 4.5% sales tax (the same tax as if you buy a stereo, DVD, or iPad).  RJR claims that if SB 802 is passed, the sales tax would be replaced with a 5 cent tax applied to every "vapor product unit." A "vapor product unit" would be defined as approximately .05 oz of 'consumable material' (the equivalent of 1.48 ml of e-liquid).

In real-world terms, this means that a 30 ml bottle of e-liquid that currently incurs a 77 cent sales tax would instead be subject to a sales tax of $1.00 - $1.05.  That's a tax increase of 30%!  

Enactment of SB 802 would only benefit RJ Reynolds and other companies that sell or plan to sell disposable e-cigarettes (none of which hold a significant amount of e-liquid).  If RJ Reynolds sold its Vuse e-cigarette in Oklahoma for $10 today, it would be subject to a sales tax of 45 cents.  Vuse almost undoubtedly holds less than 1.48 ml of consumable material, so under SB 802, customers of a RJ Reynolds product would only pay 5 cents.
Additionally, as Americans for Tax Reform noted in a letter to members of the Public Health Committee, it "remains unclear" whether SB 802 would actually remove the requirement that sales tax be paid on e-cigarette purchases.  The Oklahoma law at issue (68 O.S. 2001, §1355) does not require sales tax to be paid on "cigarettes and tobacco products."  However, SB 802 specifically notes that 'vapor products' and 'tobacco-derived products' are NOT 'tobacco products.' 

This is bad legislation, and unless substantially amended, should be rejected. 


UPDATE (4/2/2013): 

RJ Reynolds (which makes Camel cigarettes, snus, dissolvables, etc. and will soon be marketing its own e-cigarette) is continuing to push for this bill.  RJ Reynolds has even put up a website encouraging Oklahoma tobacco consumers to support SB 802.  Why is Reynolds encouraging Oklahoma legislators to make it harder for Oklahoma e-cigarette stores to buy product?  Why is Reynolds trying to ban Internet sales?  Simple -- it will benefit RJ Reynolds by making it harder for adult consumers to purchase premium e-cigarettes.   

RJ Reynolds has its lobbyists out every single day fighting for SB 802 to pass.  This is why we need a strong, continuing response from Oklahoma vapers.  Please continue to contact the members of the House Public Health Committee with a simple message -- YES on banning sales to minors, NO on creating new taxes, NO on licensing, NO on Internet sales bans, and NO on supporting this cynical ploy by RJ Reynolds to snuff out competition. 

A new strategy being employed by supporters of SB 802 is to claim that SB 802 would actually represent a tax cut for Oklahoma citizens.  This is because e-cigarette sales are currently subject to Oklahoma's state sales tax.  If SB 802 is enacted, e-cigarettes sales would no longer be subject to this tax. However, sales of e-liquid would incur a tax increase (see 4/7/2013 Update). 

Thus, CASAA continues to oppose SB 802, and we encourage all of our Oklahoma members to do the same. 


As introduced by Senator Rob Johnson, SB 802 was 4 pages long and did not mention e-cigarettes once.  Without informing e-cigarette consumers and retailers, Senator Johnson introduced a 34-page substitute bill that would apply nearly every Oklahoma law regarding the sale of cigarettes to the sale of “vapor products” and “tobacco-derived products.” Because SB 802, as introduced, would not have impacted e-cigarettes, CASAA did not become aware of SB 802 until after it had already passed the Oklahoma Senate.

Worse, Senator Johnson has been spreading lies and misinformation about e-cigarettes.  For example, Senator Johnson has claimed that the reason e-cigarettes are sold in malls is to attract children.  (In Senator Johnson's defense, he has been an avid proponent of tobacco harm reduction.)

SB 802 is now awaiting a hearing before the Oklahoma House Public Health Committee.  
If you may be able to testify against this bill at a committee hearing in Oklahoma City, OK, please email us at  

Please call or write members of the House Public Health Committee below 

1. Inform them that while you support banning e-cigarette sales to minors, SB 802 goes too far by imposing an unwarranted sin tax on e-cigarette sales, mandating retailer licensing, and prohibiting consumers from buying e-cigarettes online.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life.

3. Inform the legislators that by taxing vapor product liquid at 5 cents per 1.48 ml of liquid, you would see your taxes INCREASED if SB 802 is enacted.  In fact, a consumer buying a 30 ml bottle of e-liquid for $17 would see their tax liability raise approximately 30%!

4. Explain the vast majority of SB 802 is unnecessary and will have unintended consequences on Oklahoma-based small businesses and Oklahoma e-cigarette users.

5. Suggest that instead of taxing e-cigarettes and nicotine-containing products, the Public Health Committee instead amend Oklahoma’s tax statutes to make clear that there is to be NO tax imposed on these products.  Oklahoma vapers do not oppose continuing to pay sales taxes on e-cigarettes (as they do with thousands of consumer goods they purchase every year).

6. Note that the citizens of Oklahoma do not support new taxes and burdensome regulations. Further explain that imposing such wide-ranging laws on e-cigarette sales only serves to protect cigarette markets and will hurt small businesses in Oklahoma.

7. Explain that there is no evidence that any significant number of youth are using e-cigarettes, let alone buying them on the Internet.  A recent survey of 228 adolescents that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health did not find a single nonsmoking youth who had even tried an e-cigarette.

8. Inform them that SB 802 would not only require e-cigarette sellers to obtain a license to sell tobacco, but would also mandate that the only buy their products from an Oklahoma-based distributor or wholesaler.  This provision would impact the availability of hundreds of speciality e-cigarette products, as there are no Oklahoma businesses wholesaling these products.

8. Direct them to the website for more information.

House Committee on Public Health -- Who to Contact

Rep. David Derby (Chairman) (R)
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 408
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7377

Rep. Glen Mulready (Vice-Chairman - R)
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 338
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7340

Rep. Doug Cox (R)
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 331
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7415

Rep. Jon Echols (R)
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 316
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7354

Rep. John Enns (R) 
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 434
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7321

Rep. Randy Grau (R)
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 537A
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7360

Rep. Rebecca Hamilton (D)
 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 510
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7397


Rep. Arthur Hulbert (R)
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 321
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7310


Rep. Jeannie McDaniel (D)
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 508
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7334

Rep. Mike Ritze (R)
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 303A
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7338

Rep. Mike Shelton (D)
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 539
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7367

Comma delimited list:,,,,,,,,,,

Call to Action! Contra Costa County, California E-Cigarette Usage Ban -- Ord. 2013-10 (ENDED)


UPDATE (4/9/2013): After hearing from several e-cigarette users, the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors voted to ban vaping wherever smoking is banned by a vote of 4-1.  CASAA would like to thank its members for attending and Supervisor Mary Piepho for voting against this unnecessary ordinance.
A public hearing will be take place on Tuesday, April 9th at 9:30 a.m. at the County Administration Building, 651 Pine Street, Room 107, Martinez, California. We need vapers in and around the Contra Costa County to attend and testify. If you can attend, please e-mail us at with the subject line "Contra Costa Testimony." Please help out in any way you can.


If enacted, this bill would:
Ban the use of vapor products wherever smoking is prohibited. In addition to banning e-cigarette use in workplaces, it would also ban e-cigarette use in multi-unit housing with 2 or more units.

Over the past week, multiple news reports have claimed that Contra Costa County, California enacted a ban on e-cigarette use. These reports are false. There is still time to stop Ordinance 2013-10 from becoming law.

The first reading of this bill took place before the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on March 19, 2013. At the hearing, a local doctor made a presentation that made multiple false claims about e-cigarettes. The doctor even claimed that by marketing e-cigarette "starter kits," vendors are directly marketing to youth. Multiple parties claimed that the sight of adults using e-cigarettes will inevitably lead children to begin using e-cigarettes. The hearing can be watched here (select SD 3).

Please call, write or fax the members of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors below.

What to say:
1. You would like them to vote NO on Ordinance 2013-10.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life.

Explain how smoking bans are enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been shown to cause harm to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with e-cigarettes is comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.

The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eisse
nberg of Virginia Commonwealth,
Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand 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. 

4. Detail how 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 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 ("stealth vaping").  With so little evidence of use, enforcing indoor use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.

5. If you are a California resident and currently vape in public, talk about your experience.  Do businesses you frequent allow you to vape?  What about your office? Be sure to include your address and full name.

6. Inform them that the ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces and in multi-unit residences will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch. Surveys of thousands of users indicate that the majority of those who switch, completely replace tobacco cigarettes with the electronic cigarettes, reducing their health risks by 98-99%.

7. Tell them that by switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.

8. Direct them to the website for more information.

How to sign up to speak:
Download and print the Request To Speak Form (pdf): Click Here to Download
Fill out the form and send it as an email attachment by April 8th to:

This form may also be mailed or dropped off in person by April 8th to: 
June McHuen
Clerk of the Board
651 Pine St., 
Martinez, CA 94553

How to submit written comments by email:
Email your written comments to 
Reference in the subject line: "Ordinance NO. 2013-10"
(All supervisors will receive a copy of using this email.)

Written comments may also be mailed or dropped off in person by April 8th to: 
June McHuen
Clerk of the Board
651 Pine St., 
Martinez, CA 94553

How to contact/call the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors:

Federal D. Glover
District 5 Supervisor, Chairman
Pittsburg Office Information: 
315 East Leland Road 
Pittsburg, CA 94565 
Phone:(925) 427-8138 
Fax: (925) 427-8142

Martinez Office Information:  
651 Pine Street
Martinez, CA  94553
Phone: (925) 335-8200 
Fax: (925) 335-8208

Hercules Office Information:  
151 Linus Pauling Drive
Hercules, CA  94547
Phone: (510) 262-8800 
Fax: (510) 262-8808

John Gioia
District 1
11780 San Pablo Ave.
Suite D
El Cerrito, CA  94530
Ph: (510) 231-8686
Fx: (510) 374-3429

Candace Andersen
Supervisor, District 2
San Ramon Valley Office
309 Diablo Road
Danville, CA 94526
Ph: (925) 957-8860
Fx: (925) 820-3785

Mary Nejedly Piepho
Supervisor, District 3
Brentwood Office
3361 Walnut Boulevard, Suite 140
Brentwood, CA  94513
South County Office
4115 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Suite 100-19
Danville, CA  94506

Karen Mitchoff
Supervisor, District 4
2151 Salvio St., Suite R
Concord, CA  94520
Ph: (925) 521-7100
Fx: (925) 646-5202