Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Call to Action: Washington D.C. City Council E-Cigarette Usage Ban Proposal -- Bill 20-233 (Hearing November 21st!)


Washington D.C. City Council members are trying to equate vaping with "smoking" and we need your help to stop it.

Bill 20-233, which the authors have preposterously named the "Electronic Cigarette Parity Amendment Act of 2013," would ban e-cigarette use everywhere smoking is banned, including in outdoor areas.  A hearing will be held on Bill 20-233 before the Committee on Health at 11 AM on Thursday, November 21, 2013 in Room 412 of the D.C. Council building (1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.).



Those who wish to testify should contact Rayna Smith, Committee Director, at (202) 741-2111 or via e-mail at rsmith@dccouncil.us and provide their name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business on Tuesday, November 19, 2013. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. If submitted by the close of business on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the testimony will be distributed to Councilmembers before the hearing. Witnesses should limit their testimony to four minutes; less time will be allowed if there are a large number of witnesses.


If you may be able to attend this important hearing, please respond to this e-mail. 

Regardless of whether you can attend, please reach out to the Council members and encourage them to vote NO on Bill 20-233. Please see below for details.
You can read the proposed bill here.  If the bill is passed by the Health Committee, it will not become law, but instead continue through the legislative process.  Most likely it would go before the full D.C. City Council.

Urge Opposition to the Washington D.C. E-Cigarette Usage Ban

Comma delimited e-mail list:
yalexander@dccouncil.us, abonds@dccouncil.us, vorange@dccouncil.us, dgrosso@dccouncil.us, dcatania@dccouncil.us, rsmith@dccouncil.us, rsmith@dccouncil.us

Members of the Committee on Health  

Councilmember Yvette Alexander (Ward 7):
(202) 724-8068 (phone) / (202) 741-0911 (fax) 
yalexander@dccouncil.us / @CMYMA (Twitter) 
  
Councilmember Anita Bonds (At-Large):
(202) 724-8064 (phone),(202) 724-8099 (fax)
abonds@dccouncil.us / @AnitaBondsDC (Twitter) 

Councilmember Vincent Orange (At-Large):
(202) 724-8174 (phone), (202) 727-8210 (fax) 
vorange@dccouncil.us / @VincentOrangeDC (Twitter) 

Councilmember David Grosso (At-Large):
(202) 724-8105 (phone), (202) 724-8071 (fax) 
dgrosso@dccouncil.us / @cmdgrosso (Twitter) 

Councilmember David Catania (At-Large):
(202) 724-7772 (phone), (202) 724-8087 (fax)   
dcatania@dccouncil.us

Rayna Smith (Committee Director):  
(202) 741-2111 / rsmith@dccouncil.us  


What to say to the members of the D.C. City Council:

1. You are a D.C. or nearby citizen and would like them to vote NO on Bill 20-233, which would ban e-cigarette use in everywhere smoking is banned in Washington D.C.. (Remember to be respectful) 
  
2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life.

3. 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. 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.
  
For example, a study by the Roswell Park Center that was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the levels of chemicals and toxicants in the vapor produced by 12 different e-cigarettes 9-450x less than in cigarette smoke.  The authors noted that the trace levels of chemicals present were comparable to what is found in a FDA-approved nicotine inhaler.    
  
Additionally, a comprehensive review by a Drexel University professor 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.    

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 ("discrete vaping").  With so little evidence of use, enforcing indoor use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.
  
5. Inform them that the ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces 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%. 

6. Tell them that by switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.
  
7. Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Analyst projection: E-cigs will overtake traditional tobacco revenue at Reynolds in 2021

Winston-Salem Journal
Richard Carver

Reynolds American Inc. may have just eight more years as a predominant traditional cigarette manufacturer if a leading tobacco analyst’s revenue projections about electronic cigarettes prove accurate.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge and create a vapor that is inhaled.

Bonnie Herzog, with Wells Fargo Securities, has estimated Reynolds will have $4 billion in revenue from e-cigs in 2021 compared with $3.9 billion from conventional cigarettes.

That’s compared with barely any e-cig revenue and $6.4 billion in conventional cigarette revenue for 2013. R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. is conducting a statewide test market in Colorado for its Vuse digital vapor product.

By 2023, Herzog projects Reynolds having $5.2 billion in electronic-cigarette revenue and $3.1 billion in traditional cigarette revenue. The expectation among analysts and some industry officials is that conventional adult smokers will switch solely to e-cigs or choose both and smokeless tobacco products as tobacco options.

Herzog forecasts similar trends for Altria and Lorillard, with all three manufacturers having about a 50 percent decrease in conventional cigarette revenue by 2023.

"We expect the Big 3 to ultimately have a meaningful presence and likely accelerate growth of the category,” Herzog said.

Herzog has estimated $2 billion in overall e-cig revenue this year and up to $10 million by 2017.

Lorillard Inc. currently owns the top e-cig market share of 37.2 percent with its blu eCigs brand that it bought for $135 million in April 2012, while NJoy was at 32 percent. Altria Group Inc. launched its MarkTen brand in Indiana during in August.

Herzog projects Altria, Lorillard and Reynolds will each have about 25 percent e-cig market share in 2013.

That’s a significantly more competitive marketplace than currently exists with conventional cigarettes, where Altria holds a 47.3 percent market share, while Reynolds has 23.5 percent and Lorillard 14.5 percent.

Herzog based her projections on three key factors:
The manufacturers’ “war chests” of cash to invest;

Their existing supply chain relationships with

retailers and distributors; and

Their expertise at building successful brands and their vast marketing databases of adult tobacco consumers.

Dr. Carl Phillips
CASAA Scientific Director

"Undoubtedly, technology is a crucial part of driving e-cig consumption,” Herzog said. “But building compelling brands is equally, if not more important, in our view.”

Carl Phillips, scientific director for Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, said that while he is confident there will be “impressive growth” for e-cigs, he said it is too soon to say how much.

"There will probably be a year or two of explosive growth, but that might start next year, the year after, or five years from now,” Phillips said. “After that explosion, the total number of smokers who switch might be 80 percent but it might only be 40 percent.”

Read full article >

U.S. Government Officials Create False Crisis, Mislead Public About E-Cigarettes

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. faces several unresolved public policy crises including a federal government shutdown, and yet officials are trying to create a problem where none exists. Some U.S. Senators and state attorneys general, as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have launched a bad-faith campaign against electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), the low-risk alternative to smoking. E-cigarettes are being used almost exclusively by adult smokers and former smokers in order to quit or reduce their smoking habit. Nevertheless, these officials are irresponsibly misleading the public into believing that e-cigarettes pose an extraordinary danger to youth when there is absolutely no evidence to support that claim.

In spite of the hype, a recent survey failed
to show a puff from an e-cigarette caused 
teens to start smoking real cigarettes.
The government attacks began with the CDC releasing statistics that showed that a relatively small number of students had tried e-cigarettes, most of whom were already smokers. The CDC's reporting of these results was described as "misleading, to put it charitably" by Carl V. Phillips, PhD, Scientific Director of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), an all-volunteer consumer group dedicated to protecting access to low-risk alternatives to smoking. "Obviously kids experiment with forbidden and often hazardous behaviors, from dangerous driving to illicit drugs. Of all the experimenting they do, these low-risk products are hardly the one to worry about. The results showed only that a few kids had tried one puff from an e-cigarette, not that any had become habitual users, let alone that it was causing any of them to engage in the actual risky behavior, smoking."

Yet this is exactly what CDC implied. With no evidence to support the claim in the data and no reason to believe it was true, CDC touted its results as implying that the availability of e-cigarettes to adult smokers was somehow causing young people to smoke. This launched a flurry of misleading claims and demands for banning this public health miracle. This includes senators demanding e-cigarette manufacturers respond to questions in what long-time anti-smoking campaigner, Bill Godshall, Executive Director of Smokefree Pennsylvania, observed were "typical 'gotcha' questions, designed so that any answer can be used in anti-e-cigarette propaganda." Phillips further commented that the questions were "disturbingly reminiscent of the Senate's McCarthy-era witch-hunts."

CASAA Vice President Kristin Noll-Marsh notes, "Consumers and industry are in complete agreement in supporting bans on sales to minors. Unfortunately, some anti-tobacco organizations have endeavored to block such bans and then use the absence of restrictions on sales to youth as an excuse to ban sales to adults. They do this even though cigarettes are legal and widely available. The sad truth is that children who want to smoke have no trouble acquiring cigarettes."

E-cigarettes are estimated to be about 99% less harmful than smoking. This has led to speculation about why officials are intent on eliminating them. The federal and state governments derive a large amount of revenue from cigarettes, profiting far more than the tobacco companies do from each pack sold. Attacking e-cigarettes could serve as a public relations ploy in an era where the government is increasingly considered unable to solve important problems. Deceptively casting e-cigarettes in the same light as smoking may represent a preliminary effort to support high taxes on this low-risk alternative as a revenue-generating measure as opposed to serving any real public interest.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has indicated that it will soon start regulating e-cigarettes, a move that could be beneficial to consumers by improving the quality of the products. But if FDA yields to the demands of officials who are more interested in politics than science, it could spell the end of the most important public health innovation in a generation. CASAA's President, Elaine Keller, observes, "Ironically, the cigarette companies would benefit most from restrictive regulation. It would be a travesty if our government were to choose to protect cigarettes from this low-risk competitor. Restrictive regulations would also favor the low-end e-cigarettes that tobacco companies have recently introduced over those offered by the smaller competitors. This would have a devastating impact on consumers since the smaller competitors offer the kind of higher-quality products that are responsible for millions of smokers switching over the last several years."

Press release direct link: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/casaa-us-government-officials-create-false-crisis-mislead-public-about-e-cigarettes-225842201.html

Chapel Hill to get two of FDA's new tobacco regulatory centers

Winston-Salem Journal
by Richard Craver

The Food and Drug Administration plans to spend up to $273 million over five years to operate 14 tobacco centers of regulatory science, two of which will be based at UNC Chapel Hill.

The agencies called the initiative a “first-of-its-kind” program. The centers will have scientists with expertise in epidemiology, behavior, biology, medicine, economics, chemistry, toxicology, addictions, public health, communications and marketing.

The goal is conducting research on seven main topics: diversity of current and new tobacco products, such as smokeless and electronic cigarettes; reducing addiction; reducing toxicity and carcinogenicity; adverse health consequences; communication; marketing of tobacco products; and economics and policies.
The FDA began regulating tobacco products and marketing in June 2009, but it cannot ban nicotine or tobacco. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the FDA could unveil its electronic-cigarette recommendations in October.

The tobacco industry, advocacy groups and consumers have been waiting several years for the FDA to decide how it will regulate e-cigs for product safety, minimum legal age for use, flavors, marketing and retail availability.

Determining regulations for e-cigs has been a priority of Mitch Zeller, who became director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products in March.

Elaine Keller
President of CASAA
The centers will “bring science-based regulation to the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products,” Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the FDA’s commissioner, said in a statement.

Elaine Keller, president of Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, said she is concerned that the FDA "may have built-in recommendations in place, and the awarding of research grants is just one more ploy to make the regulatory process look legitimate."

For example, Keller said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "is already feeding false information into the propaganda machine" when its director, Tom Frieden, recently said that "many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventionanl cigarettes.

Read full story >

E-cigarette makers lobbying hard to shape rules for fast-growing industry

Washington Post
By Holly Yeager and Brady Dennis

The giants of the tobacco industry know what it’s like to face heavy government regulation. So as the makers of Marlboro, Newport and Camel enter the booming market for electronic cigarettes, they are pressing to keep their new products free of such strict oversight.

With the consumption of e-cigarettes projected by some analysts to surpass that of traditional cigarettes within the next decade, exactly how e-cigarettes are defined — and what kinds of regulations and taxes they will face — are critical to the industry’s future.

At the moment, that future looks very bright, with sales roughly doubling every year and projected to approach $2 billion this year.

The Food and Drug Administration has said it intends to start regulating the sprawling e-cigarette industry for the first time this month, under the 2009 tobacco-control law.
...

Legislative Director, Gregory Conley
testifying for CASAA members 
Greg Conley, legislative director for the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, a nonprofit group, has spent much of the past couple of years crisscrossing the country, from Maryland to Connecticut to California, fighting local usage bans on e-cigarettes, pushing state legislators to impose far lower taxes than on normal cigarettes and trying to sway federal regulators.

“It’s an incredibly important time, because so much could go either way,” he said.

Conley’s group makes weekly “calls to action” to its thousands of members. A potential e-cigarette usage ban in Duluth, Minn., the possibility of a prohibition on e-cigarette stores in Seal Beach, Calif., an ordinance in New York that could outlaw flavored e-cigarettes — each has been met with an e-mail blast asking members to contact local officials or show up en masse at public meetings.
...

Read full story >

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Manatee schools taking steps to guard against smokeless, nicotine devices

Bradenton Herald
By Carl Mario Nudi and Erica Earl

Manatee, FL -- With the popularity of electronic cigarettes increasing since their introduction in 2003, many teenagers have experimented with them.

The use of the smokeless nicotine delivery devices among Florida teenagers has more than doubled in just two years, even though state statues forbid selling e-cigarettes to anyone under 18.

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, 12.1 percent of high school students in Florida have tried e-cigarettes in 2013, up from 6 percent in 2011.

Skip Wilhoit, coordinator of safe schools for the Manatee County School District, said there has been about

a 50 percent drop in teen use in tobacco use since around 2000.

According to the 2010 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey study by the Florida Department of Children and Families, 33 percent of Manatee County middle school students and 60.3 percent of the high schoolers surveyed said they tried cigarettes, compared to 16.8 and 34.1 respectively in 2010.

"E-cigarettes have been brought to our attention, and our policies cover all new products," Wilhoit said.

...

Bradenton Deputy Chief of Police Warren Merriman said that while he has not encountered teenagers using the e-cigarettes, the devices can be easily obtained by youth the same way as tobacco products -- from friends or parents.

"We haven't really had a problem with that," Merriman said.

Merriman said there are ways that schools can be more aware of middle and high school students bringing e-cigarettes on campus.

"School resource officers do a very good job on enforcing no tobacco products on school grounds," Merriman said. "We ask if a teacher or parent sees a student with a tobacco product or an e-cigarette that they contact the SROs or a school administrator."

Merriman said he could not verify if the e-cigarettes do appeal to teenagers.

...

Elaine Keller, president and one of the founders of Consumer Advocates for Smokefree Alternatives Association, said her group was against teenagers purchasing and using e-cigarettes.

But Keller said CASAA was opposed to any attempt to ban or restrict sales to adults.

"We encourage legislation to restrict the sale to anyone under the legal age to purchase cigarettes," she said.

CASAA, now with more than 6,000 members, was formed in 2009 by members of an online forum as an advocacy group to raise awareness and protect access to smoking alternatives.

"The FDA was seizing e-cigarette shipments, and we started to become concerned about losing the thing that was helping us quit smoking," she said. "There is still an ongoing campaign to get rid of e-cigarettes or make them less accessible."

Read full story >

Call to Action! SUPPORT Nebraska Study on Banning E-Cigarette Sales to Minors (UPDATED)

Nebraska: SUPPORT Banning E-Cigarette Sales to Minors & Tell Your E-Cigarette Success Story


According to a recent report in the Lincoln Journal Star, lawmakers on the Nebraska Legislature's interim General Affairs Committee will be meeting on October 4, 2013 to discuss whether Nebraska should ban e-cigarette sales to minors, and if so, how the Legislature may wish to accomplish this goal.  CASAA is requesting its members in Nebraska attend and speak at this meeting. This is a great opportunity to educate lawmakers, encourage rational policy that benefits public health, and possibly achieve local media attention that will bring attention to the benefits of vaping. 

The October 4th meeting of the General Affairs Committee will begin at 1:30 pm in Room 1510 of the State Capital Building (1445 K St.) in Lincoln. Public comment of approximately 5 minutes will be permitted, but those wishing to speak for even 30 seconds are encouraged to attend. While the hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 pm, it might take between 1 and 2 hours for the e-cigarette issue to be discussed. Please keep this in mind and be patient. Upon arrival, be sure to ask for a speaker card (you can sign up to speak after 1:30 pm, but try to be on time). 

CASAA strongly supports banning e-cigarette sales to minors.  Unfortunately, groups like the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids have began coming out in opposition to bills that do not treat e-cigarettes like "tobacco products."  In other words, these groups want to tax e-cigarettes and ban their use where smoking is banned, both of which would make these life saving products less attractive to adult smokers.

UPDATE (10/05/2013): CASAA is happy to report that several e-cigarette users and local store owners testified before the General Affairs Committee yesterday.  News stories about the hearing can be found here and here.  Nebraska citizens are encouraged to continue to send e-mails to the committee members until the committee releases a report on its recommendations (updates will be found here).

Please call or write the members of the Nebraska General Affairs Committee below:

1. Inform them you SUPPORT banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.  While e-cigarettes are a far less hazardous alternative to cigarettes, it makes sense to ban the sale of products containing nicotine to those under 18.  This is currently the law in 25 states.

2. However, explain that you would not support a bill that would classify e-cigarettes as "tobacco products," tax them as such, or ban their use where smoking is banned.  Wyoming, Kansas, and Colorado all ban sales to minors but do not impose other burdensome regulations.

3. Tell your story about how e-cigarettes have changed your life.  Did using an e-cigarette help you quit smoking? If so, what was it about the e-cigarette that helped you quit? If you use a flavor other than tobacco or menthol, tell them about why such flavors are important to smokers looking to get away from the taste of cigarette smoke.

4. Explain how 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.

5. Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as CASAA's Research Library, for more information. 

How to Contact the Members of the General Affairs Committee

Comma delimited email list: ccase@leg.ne.gov, rkarpisek@leg.ne.gov, bkrist@leg.ne.gov, slautenbaugh@leg.ne.gov, ccoash@leg.ne.gov, dbloomfield@leg.ne.gov, jjohnson@leg.ne.gov, jmurante@leg.ne.gov, kschilz@leg.ne.gov

When writing legislators, be sure to include your city so the legislators know they are being contacted by Nebraska citizens.

Sen. Russ Karpisek (Chairperson) (District 32 -- Wilbur)
Phone: (402) 471-2711
Email: rkarpisek@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Bob Krist (District 10 -- Omaha)
Phone: (402) 471-2718
Email: bkrist@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh (District 18 -- Omaha)
Phone: (402) 471-2618
Email: slautenbaugh@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Colby Coash (District 27 -- Lincoln)
Phone: (402) 471-2632
Email: ccoash@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Dave Bloomfield (District 17 -- Hoskins)
Phone: (402) 471-2716
Email: dbloomfield@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Jerry Johnson (District 23 -- Wahoo)
Phone: (402) 471-2719
Email: jjohnson@leg.ne.gov

Sen. John Murante (District 49 -- Gretna)
Phone: (402) 471-2725
Email: jmurante@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Ken Schilz (District 47 -- Ogallala)
Phone: (402) 471-2616
Email: kschilz@leg.ne.gov


Please cc Christina Case at ccase@leg.ne.gov on all e-mails sent on this issue so that your testimony will be put on record.