Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Call to Action! Pico Rivera, CA May BAN E-Cigarette Sales (UPDATED)

UPDATE (6/25/2013): Tonight, the Pico Rivera City Council voted to extend their current ban on the issuance of zoning permits to establishments wishing to sell electronic cigarettes, but only for 45 more days (the City Council originally considered 10 months).  According to one person who attended, it was indicated that the Council was likely to remove e-cigarettes from the ban at some point in the next month-and-a-half, but this has not been confirmed.

CASAA will continue to follow this issue. Until the plan is finalized, we ask our members to continue to contact the City Council members and oppose the e-cigarette sales ban. 

The below Call to Action is out of date, but still accurately reflects the background behind this ban attempt and the need to contact the members of the City Council. 

Pico Rivera, California: City May Treat E-Cigarettes like Drug Paraphernalia, Ban All Sales Within the City

On May 28, 2013, the Pico Rivera City Council adopted an ordinance that placed a 45-day moratorium temporarily prohibiting the issuance of zoning permits to "electronic cigarette retailers, drug paraphernalia retailers and headshops within the city limits." The ordinance itself claims that this action is needed because illegal drugs can be used in some vapor products.

CASAA has learned that the Pico Rivera City Council's staff is planning to request an additional ten month moratorium on the issuance of such permits, with the ultimate goal being to BAN the sales of smoke-free electronic cigarettes within the city of Pico Rivera.  This request will be made at their June 25, 2013 hearing (details below).

At the moment, no new Pico Rivera retailer can sell electronic cigarettes.  Nonetheless, these same retailers are free to apply for a license to sell cigarettes.  Policies like these are contrary to public health, and the Pico Rivera City Council needs to hear from YOU to know that there are people out there who have benefited in tremendous ways from the availability of electronic cigarettes. 

The Pico Rivera City Council will holds its next meeting on Tuesday June 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM at the Council Chambers, which is located at 6615 Passons Boulevard in Pico Rivera, CA 90660. There will be an opportunity to make a public comment at the meeting.  CASAA is requesting that all of its members in the Pico Rivera, CA area attend and speak in opposition to cigarettes being made more freely available than e-cigarettes.  If you can attend, please e-mail us at board@casaa.org with the subject line "Pico Rivera."

Please contact the Pico Rivera City Council, as well as Pico Rivera Community & Economic Development Director Julia Gonzalez, at the below e-mail addresses / phone numbers. Tell them your story about how electronic cigarettes helped you quit, send them some snippets from CASAA's vast library of scientific literature on e-cigaretes, and urge them to reject any ordinance that would impact the availability of e-cigarettes in Pico Rivera. 

Emails can also be sent to the Mayor & Council at: spena@pico-rivera.org
Mayor Gustavo Camacho 
Mayor Pro Tem Brent Tercero
Councilmember Gregory Salcido
Councilmember David W. Armenta
Councilmember Bob Archuleta

Please cc Julia Gonzalez on your e-mails: juliagonzalez@pico-rivera.org


Aaron Frazier said...

According to their website, you may also call (562) 801-4371 to speak to a member of the council. I encourage everyone to call, call, call...

Anthony Tanchak said...

This is just another example of government (every level) trying to control every aspect of a person's life... what are they afraid of? In the least, its just another example of states and local governments fearing E-Cigs because they know that the more people who use them, the less that will be purchasing a traditional cigarette,thus the less money the state and local municipalities get from the taxes they implement on cigarettes. They say they want smokers to quit, but only in a way that still makes them money and they are familiar with, cause god-forbid, they actually change with the times and actually do research on their own and form there own opinion instead of relying of the FDA as the end all be all consensus.

1967lefty said...

They can not classify it as a drug or drug delivery device here in the U.S. Federal actions trump State actions. Ray Story took the FDA to court in 2008 because they wanted to classify liquid nicotine as a drug and e cigs as Paraphernalia. Ray Story won that case and because of that neither Federal or State can do that. You can find the information about this case on both CASAA's website and on TVECA's website.

Kristin Noll-Marsh said...

I'm afraid that ruling doesn't apply here. The Sottera vs. FDA ruling was an injunction, stopping the FDA from seizing e-cigarette shipments as "unapproved drugs," as in: pharmaceutical drugs used for smoking cessation.

Pico Rivera is not declaring e-cigarettes to be "unapproved drugs." It is trying to ban headshops and stores that sell paraphernalia for illegal drugs and including e-cigarette stores in the ordinance as places possibly selling "devices being used to smoke marijuana and other illegal drugs."

1967lefty said...

Here is a quote from Mr. Story.
" Send them this and ask them for their position and, why they think this is an illegal product.
What are their grounds for this temporary order??
We are an alternative to conventional cigarettes and banning our product or making it impossible for us to obtain a business license or rent a retail space is not legal and will make them liable. " Here is a link that he sent me also. I hope that this will help.


1967lefty said...

By the way Kristin I owe you an apology from the last time we crossed paths, I am sorry.

The Sals said...

So will they also be banning rolling papers? I can put tobacco or marijuana in those. Or cheap cigars? those get used for drug use too. What about lightbulbs? meth addicts LOVE light bulbs!!! lets ban those too.

Kristin Noll-Marsh said...

I don't recall the circumstances that would need an apology, but I very much appreciate your kind gesture. :)

Kristin Noll-Marsh said...

Don't get me wrong, CASAA is definitely fighting this. It's just that the Sottera vs. FDA ruling has no bearing on what is happening in Pico Rivera. I don't think Mr. Story understands exactly what Pico Rivera is attempting.

The grounds for the temporary order is that the "state Health and Safety Code prohibits drug paraphernalia to be sold in California." The ordinance states its intent is to "reinforce state law." This temporary order prohibiting new licenses includes electronic cigarette stores pending "completion of a study and/or the adoptions of new zoning regulations" on the basis that the staff is "researching the possibility of these devices being used to smoke marijuana and other illegal drugs."

Basically, because California bans the sale of illegal drug paraphernalia and there are apparently reports or rumors that e-cigarettes are possibly being used AS illegal drug paraphernalia, they are able to include e-cigarettes (purported to be used for illegal drugs) in the temporary order, as prohibited by state law. The city is not claiming that e-cigarettes or e-liquid are illegal, nor is it claiming that e-cigarettes are a smoking cessation drug that is unapproved by the FDA.

I'm not saying they are correct or if they can even do it. They may have to reverse the decision once their "research" is completed. I'm just saying that what they are doing is completely unrelated to Sottera vs. FDA, as that was a ruling that only applied the two companies in the lawsuit and was about the FDA confiscating e-cigarettes as "unapproved legal drugs," not "prohibited illegal drug paraphernalia" already banned by the state.

They aren't stating that non-FDA approved nicotine is prohibited - which is what Mr. Story's case was about. They are stating that devices that could be used for illegal drugs are prohibited by state law; and that they suspect e-cigarettes are being used for illegal drugs, so that would make them illegal drug paraphernalia, too. They are treating the STORES the same as "head shops," not banning the devices or liquids themselves. But they are only stopping NEW stores from opening temporarily, while they "research" that suspicion.

Obviously, we will have to set them straight, as the Call to Action states. Their goal is to ban them altogether, so we aren't fooled by their claim they want to "research" this. But if we cite Sottera vs. FDA in our arguments against this, they will just say "That doesn't apply to this ordinance" and they'd be correct. So, we need to fight them in other ways - like demanding proof that the use of e-cigarettes for illegal drugs is so rampant they can justify killing people, by banning e-cigarettes used primarily as intended - as a smoke-free alternative to smoking.

Sorry - this ended up long and rambling! I hope it makes sense. :)

1967lefty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kdubbie said...

The amount of things I have seen being used for smoking marijuana, they would have to ban, tinfoil, bic pens (also works for snorting cocaine), all plastics bottles, rolling papers ... I can keep going

Kristin Noll-Marsh said...

Very good point! I've even heard of cigarettes being empty of tobacco and refilled with something else, but they aren't banning tobacco stores and cigarettes are hazardous when used as intended - unlike e-cigarettes, which are not hazardous when used as intended. People who go to testify could bring up these points!

Punkonjunk said...

There is paraphernalia floating around that uses ecig batteries.


Is an example, but googling "ego herb vaporizer" or pen style herb vaporizer, or whatever will getcha tons of results.

Still doesn't justify it, though; you can stroll into any 7/11 or kwiktrip or citgo in the country and buy "blunt wraps" for "cigars" and no one has stopped that.

You find me one single fucking person on the entire goddamn planet who is using those for tobacco seriously and enjoys them as tobacciana and I'll cut off one of my fingers.

This kind of crap is just that, crap. This hits a pretty niche market when again, there are a million implements for addicts to latch onto. My worry is that it could set a precedent.

Fr. Jack Kearney said...

Thanks to the good vapers that showed up at the meeting last nite; because of them we can be cautiously optimistic that the council will do the right thing.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Drug users and abusers will find anyway to use their drugs. Stop preventing law biding citizens that are trying to actually improve from continuing doing that. Its not up to these people to ban it on a hunch because it could being used for something other than what as intended. These are sold as ecigs for the intended use of e-liquid. Even if someone sells an herb vaporizer, it still can be used for tobacco, or many other herbs that are not illegal. If you are going to ban e-cigs for this purpose. Please ban tobacco products, light bulbs, tin foil, spoons, pens, bottles, and the list goes on and on. Dont include ecigs into this mess. We need to make it clear and China needs to make it clear theres a huge difference between liquid devices vs dry herb devices. Its not helping our cause any.

Joseph DePhillipo said...

I supposed they should ban apples, light bulbs and tin foil too?

FrankieJo Ellis said...

"... possibly be used as drug paraphernalia". Wow, what can one day? All I can think of is all the completely innocent, household objects, my friends and I tried to smoke marijuana out of, in high school. Apples, toilet paper rolls, aluminum foil, nuts and bolts, pages from books... As I've seen, time after time, If there's a will, there's a way. Of course some individuals will try to use e-cigs as paraphernalia, but as I stated before, those same individuals will try to make an apple into paraphernalia.

Orange County Vapor said...

dont forget 12oz coke cans.. those can also be used to make a pipe to smoke anything out of so lets ban all aluminum cans.. aluminum foil can also be used to create a make shift pipe.. let's make sure to get all aluminum wrap like reynolds wrap off the shelves everywhere.

Orange County Vapor said...

I did some time in jail as a teen due to some bad choices in my young and ignorant phase of my life and in that time i learned literally anything can be turned into a thing to smoke any kind of drug out of..

biggest one i always saw used while locked up was the bible.. I honestly cannot tell you how many joints i saw rolled up in bible paper. going off the basis of this I guess the bible should be band as well.

J.Coleman Richmond, VA said...

This whole banning plan smells of a deal with tobacco companies to protect traditional tobacco cigarettes. Tobacco lobbies do after all control a lot of politicians with their donations. So if all else fails, an investigations should be called for to find out just how much is donated to these people. How much they receive from big tobacco companies and just what ties these council people have to those companies. After all even Phillip Morris is coming out with an ecig. To me,as I said before, this whole thing smells like a deal. payoo A It stinks Thats all

Kristin Noll-Marsh said...

A couple tobacco companies have been attempting to get regulations in place that favor their style of e-cigarette and business model. Those regulations have included bans on sales to minors (not adults), tobacco-style taxation, retail licensing requirements and severe restrictions of online sales.

The outright ban attempts (to adults) and banning public use have been written by anti-tobacco groups, such as the American Cancer Society and American Lung Association, which are backed by money from Big Pharma. Big Pharma will be most impacted by e-cigarettes remaining legal, affordable and effective. If e-cigarettes take off, tobacco companies will still sell them along with other products and continue to make money, but pharmaceutical companies will lose not only the sales of their gums, patches, Chantix, etc., but also the extremely profitable treatments for the diseases smokers suffer, such as cancer and heart disease.

So, while the tobacco industry would like to corner the e-cigarette market, the pharmaceutical and health advocate industries want to see e-cigarettes banned altogether.

Suzane Mart said...

Since smokers are cast into the cold streets and are not allowed to smoke anywhere, I can see the e cig taking the world by storm. With no odor and no smoke, tobacco users can "smoke" these just about anywhere without the repercussions. To me this spells big money as a tobacco alternative.

Cheap Electric Cigarette