Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Call to Action: Connecticut. Oppose HB 5286 (Confusing labeling standards that would serve to limit availability of products for adults) and SUPPORT SB 24 (Ban on sales to minors)


Two bills have been introduced in Connecticut:
  • OPPOSE HB 5286, which would impose confusing and non-industry-standard requirements regarding product labeling.  CASAA OPPOSES this legislation because rather than serving to inform consumers, HB 5286 would (1) cause confusion and (2) would effectively reduce the availability of e-cigarettes (both hardware and liquid) offered to adult consumers in the state.  HB 5286 has been referred to the Public Health Committee, and it has been set for a hearing on FRIDAY, February 28th, 2014 at 10:30 AM in Room 1D of the Legislative Office Building (LOB).
  • SUPPORT SB 24, which would ban sales to minors.  Unless this bill is amended to include additional restrictions or provisions, CASAA SUPPORTS this bill.  SB 24 has been referred to and has been set for a hearing on THURSDAY, February 27th, 2014 at 12 P.M. in Room 2B of the Legislative Office Building (LOB).
I.
To OPPOSE HB 5286: 

FIRST, attend the hearing on FRIDAY, February 28th, 2014 at 10:30 AM in LOB Room 1D, at the State Capital Building, Main St. at Central Row, Hartford, Connecticut.  (As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the Committee meeting.)  Link to Agenda for hearing on SB 5286

SECOND, call and email members of the Public Health Committee (contact information below) and let them know:

1.  Given the low risks of e-cigarette use, there is no reason for the State to do anything to make e-cigarettes less accessible, affordable, or attractive to adult consumers who are choosing to use e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking, thereby reducing their health risks by an estimated 99%.

  • The low risk 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.
  • A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health 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.

2.  The extraordinarily large font size is not typical of consumer products or, for that matter, for pharmaceutical or tobacco products.   Given the low risk associated with e-cigarette use, requiring such a large font size is simply not appropriate or desirable.

3.  The requirement that products be labeled with "nicotine yield" is confusing for consumers.  Current industry standard, widely understood and accepted by consumers, is that nicotine be expressed in terms of the nicotine contained (mg per ml or a percentage).  This requirement will confuse consumers, not inform them.

4.  Instituting a non-industry standard labeling requirement will dramatically reduce the availability of products available to Connecticut consumers, if not eliminate availability altogether.  This requirement could effectively operate as a de facto ban on e-cigarette products in the state, forcing many adult e-cigarette users to resort to a newly created black market or to return to smoking (and increase their health risks by an estimated 99%).

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

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE (H.B. 5286):

Mailing Address:
Public Health Committee
Room 3000, Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-240-0560

Fax: (860) 240-5306
                              
e-mail Public Hearing Testimony to:
PHC.Testimony@cga.ct.gov
Comma delimited email list:  gerratana@senatedems.ct.gov, Susan.Johnson@cga.ct.gov, slossberg@senatedems.ct.gov, Philip.Miller@cga.ct.gov, Jason.Welch@cga.ct.gov, Prasad.Srinivasan@housegop.ct.gov, David.Alexander@cga.ct.gov, David.Arconti@cga.ct.gov, Whit.Betts@housegop.ct.gov, Michelle.Cook@cga.ct.gov, Theresa.Conroy@cga.ct.gov, Christopher.Davis@housegop.ct.gov, Mike.Demicco@cga.ct.gov, Debralee.hovey@cga.ct.gov, Rob.Kane@cga.ct.gov, Themis.Klarides@housegop.ct.gov, James.Maroney@cga.ct.gov, Musto@senatedems.ct.gov, Jason.Perillo@housegop.ct.gov, Emmett.Riley@cga.ct.gov, Kevin.Ryan@cga.ct.gov, Peggy.Sayers@cga.ct.gov, David.Scribner@housegop.ct.gov, david.scribner@cga.ct.gov, Peter.Tercyak@cga.ct.gov, Patricia.Widlitz@cga.ct.gov, Melissa.Ziobron@housegop.ct.gov, Melissa.ziobron@cga.ct.gov, David.Zoni@cga.ct.gov
Senator Terry Gerratana, Co-Chair (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 3002
Hartford, CT 06106
Representative Susan Johnson, Co-Chair (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 3004
Hartford, CT 06106
Susan.Johnson@cga.ct.gov
Senator Gayle Slossberg, Vice-Chair (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 2001
Hartford, CT 06106
slossberg@senatedems.ct.gov
Representative Philip Miller, Vice Chair (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4011
Hartford, CT 06106
Philip.Miller@cga.ct.gov
Senator Jason Welch, Ranking Member (R)
Legislative Office Building, Room 3001
Hartford, CT 06106
Jason.Welch@cga.ct.gov

Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, Ranking Member (R)
Legislative Office Building, Room 3003
Hartford, CT 06106
Prasad.Srinivasan@housegop.ct.gov
Representative David Alexander (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 1001
Hartford, CT 06106
David.Alexander@cga.ct.gov
Representative David Arconti  (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4026
Hartford, CT 06106
David.Arconti@cga.ct.gov
Representative Whit Betts (R)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4059
Hartford, CT 06106
Whit.Betts@housegop.ct.gov
Representative Michelle Cook (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4035
Hartford, CT 06106
Michelle.Cook@cga.ct.gov

Representative Theresa Conroy (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4113
Hartford, CT 06106
Theresa.Conroy@cga.ct.gov
Representative Christopher Davis (R)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4083
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8700
Christopher.Davis@housegop.ct.gov

Representative Mike Demicco (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4014
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8585
Mike.Demicco@cga.ct.gov
Representative Debralee Hovey (R)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4068
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8700
Debralee.hovey@cga.ct.gov
Senator Robert Kane (R)
Legislative Office Building, Room 2705
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8800
Rob.Kane@cga.ct.gov
Representative Themis Klarides  (R)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4203
(860) 240-8700
Hartford, CT 06106
Themis.Klarides@housegop.ct.gov
Representative James Maroney (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 5006
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8585
James.Maroney@cga.ct.gov
Senator Anthony Musto (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 2200
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-0498
Musto@senatedems.ct.gov
Representative Jason Perillo (R)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4078
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8700
Jason.Perillo@housegop.ct.gov
Representative Emmett Riley (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4037
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8585
Emmett.Riley@cga.ct.gov
Representative Kevin Ryan (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4108
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8585
Kevin.Ryan@cga.ct.gov
Representative Peggy Sayers (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4049
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8585
Peggy.Sayers@cga.ct.gov
Representative David Scribner (R)
Legislative Office Building, 2303
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8700
David.Scribner@housegop.ct.gov
david.scribner@cga.ct.gov
Representative Peter Tercyak (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 3804
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8585
Peter.Tercyak@cga.ct.gov

Representative Patricia Widlitz (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 3704
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8585
Patricia.Widlitz@cga.ct.gov
Representative Melissa Ziobron (R)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4076
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8700
Melissa.Ziobron@housegop.ct.gov
Melissa.ziobron@cga.ct.gov
Representative David Zoni (D)
Legislative Office Building, Room 4005
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 240-8585
David.Zoni@cga.ct.gov


II. 
To SUPPORT  SB 24:

FIRST, please attend the hearing on THURSDAY, February 27th, 2014 at 10:30 AM in LOB Room 1B, at the State Capital Building, Main St. at Central Row, Hartford, Connecticut. (As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the Committee meeting.)   Link to Agenda for hearing on SB 24  

SECOND, call and email the Committee on Children and let them know:

1.  Inform them you SUPPORT SB 24 because it would wisely ban sales of "electronic nicotine delivery systems" (e-cigarettes and e-liquid) without making the product less accessible or affordable to adult consumers.

2.  Urge them to SUPPORT SB 24 as currently drafted and to reject any amendments that might be offered that would tax e-cigarettes, define them as a "tobacco product," ban their use, or otherwise make these life-saving products less accessible or affordable to adult consumers.


3.  Explain that:

  • Given the low risks of e-cigarette use, there is no reason for the State to do anything to make e-cigarettes less accessible, affordable, or attractive to adult consumers who are choosing to use e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking, thereby reducing their health risks by an estimated 99%.
  • The low risk 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.
  • A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health 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.
  • By switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.
4.  Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN (S.B. 24):  We are recommending that vapers simply send one email to the entire Committee at kid.testimony@cga.ct.gov rather than individually call and email each Committee member.

Mailing Address:
      Committee on Children
      Room 011, Capitol Building
      Hartford, CT 06106
      Phone: 860-240-0370
     
      Email Public Hearing Testimony to:  kid.testimony@cga.ct.gov

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