UPDATE 3/11/14: Call to Action Ended. Legislative session over and legislation did not pass.
Hearings Work session for HB 4115 is set for MONDAY, February 10, 2014 at 3:00 PM at the Oregon State Capital (900 Court Street NE, Salem, OR) in Room 347 (HR D). See agenda here. Vapers and harm reduction advocates are strongly encouraged to attend and ask to testify (but please, be respectful when speaking and, at the request of the committee chair, please do not vape in the committee room). The committee will also hear testimony on HB 4073, a common sense bill to ban e-cigarette sales to minors that CASAA supports in its present form. (Updated at 11:00 a.m. central time-- Testimony is generally not allowed during work sessions but remains at the discretion of the committee chair. Bills can be amended and reported during work sessions.)
UPDATE 2/6/2014: Yesterday, the House Human Services Committee held a hearing on HB 4115 that was well attended by vapers. As a result of the pushback to the vape shop provision of his bill, sponsor Rep. Phil Barnhart has indicated his willingness to exempt e-cigarette stores. This is a minor compromise and should not stop opposition to this bill! Rep. Barnhart's bill would still impact vaping directly by prohibiting consumer meet-ups and e-cigarette conventions, and it would still ban private businesses like bars and offices from setting their own policies on e-cigarette use. Please continue to take action as the bill is likely to come up for a vote in committee this Friday!
If passed, HB 4115 would:
- Ban e-cigarette use everywhere in Oregon smoking is banned
- Ban e-cigarette lounges throughout Oregon (only tightly restricted 'sampling' will be permitted in e-cigarette stores)
- Ban e-cigarette use in a motor vehicle if there is a person under the age of 18 present
Please respond to the Call to Action below.
A BRIEF GUIDE TO STOPPING HB 4115
(1) Attend the hearing on Wednesday, February 5th (see above for details). If you are reading this after the hearing, please continue to send e-mails, as the vote is unlikely to take place on this day. This Call to Action will be updated throughout the process. Remember, you can register to receive free CASAA e-mail alerts regarding this and other legislation in Kentucky and across the United States. We will alert you when there are other opportunities to voice your concerns to the members of the Oregon State Legislature.
(2) Contact your State Representative and Senator to ask them to oppose HB 4115. See below for suggestions on what to say. Phone calls and in-person meetings are strongly encouraged. Please also contact State Representatives and Senators from areas surrounding you and encourage others to do so.
(3) E-mail the members of the Oregon House Human Services & Housing Committee and ask them to oppose HB 4115 (banning e-cigarette use everywhere smoking is banned). Phone calls and in-person meetings are strongly encouraged (see below for phone numbers and extended talking points).
Comma delimited e-mail list: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
(4) Call House Speaker Rep. Tina Kotek at (503) 986-1200 and Senate President Peter Courtney at (503) 986-1600 and ask them to please oppose HB 4115.
Please call or write the members of the Oregon House Human Services & Housing Committee and tell them:
- You would like them to vote NO on HB 4115 because it would ban smoke-free e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.
- Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life.
- 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 are comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.
- A published comprehensive review 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.
- 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 ("discreet vaping"). With so little evidence of use, enforcing indoor use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.
- 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 and estimated 99%.
- By switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.
Comma delimited email list: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Carolyn Tomei (D - District 41 - Milwaukie) Chair
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1441
District Phone: 503-653-5180
Rep. David Gomberg (D - District 10 - Central Coast) Vice-Chair
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1410
Rep. Andy Olson (R - District 15 - Albany) Vice-Chair
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1415
District Phone: 541-967-6576
Rep. Joe Gallegos (D - District 30 - Hillsboro)
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1430
Rep. Sara Gelser (D - District 16 - Corvallis)
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1416
Rep. Vic Gilliam (R - District 18 - Silverton)
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1418
Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D - District 46 - Portland)
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1446
Rep. Gene Whisnant (R - District 53 - Sunriver)
Capitol Phone: 503-986- 1453
Rep. Gail Whitsett (R - District 56 - Klamath Falls)
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1456
Rep. Ann Lininger (D - District 38 - Lake Oswego)
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1438
Rep. Phil Barnhart (D - District 11) **Sponsor** (not a committee member)
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1411
Jenny Donovan (Committee Assistant)
Capitol Phone: (503) 986 - 1742
**Note: CASAA is aware of a third bill, HB 4129, that would tax e-cigarettes at 81.25% of wholesale (and raise Oregon's smokeless tax). Whereas HB 4073 has 35+ sponsors and HB 4115 has 15+ sponsors, HB 4129 only has three sponsors. At the moment, we not believe it is serious enough of a threat to warrant a Call to Action. If you are so inclined, you can contact the members of the House Committee on Revenue and ask them to oppose HB 4129.