Saturday, February 1, 2014

Call to Action! (UPDATED) SUPPORT Tennessee Bill that Excludes E-Cigarettes from Smoking Bans and Tobacco Taxes

UPDATE 3/15/14: SB 1698 (companion bill to HB 1461) will be heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 1:30 PM at the Tennessee Legislative Plaza at 301 6th Ave N, Nashville, TN. Please attend and speak in support of SB 1698.  

We are asking that members focus on SB 1698 at this time.

UPDATE 2/19/14: HB 1461 has been referred to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee--Health--Finance. We will update this Call to Action when we are notified of a scheduled hearing for that committee.

UPDATE 2/8/14:  The first hearing on HB 1461 has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 19th.  See below for details on how you can show your support.

UPDATE 2/4/14:  HB 1461 was schedule for a hearing on Wednesday, February 5th, but that hearing has been POSTPONED.  We will update this Call to Action when the new hearing date has been set.  This Call to Action is STILL IN EFFECT.  

[full text and tracking for SB 1698 and HB 1461]
If enacted, this bill would:

  • Clarify that the use of "vapor products" (e-cigarettes) is NOT banned under Tennessee's Clean Indoor Air Act
  • Clarify that e-cigarettes are NOT "tobacco products" under Tennessee law, nor are they to be taxed as such. 
Just to reiterate, CASAA supports SB 1698/HB 1461 and we strongly encourage vapers and harm reduction advocates to make phone calls, send emails, and testify in support of its passage.

SB 1698 is currently scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Committee  on Commerce and Labor Tuesday, March 18th at 1:30 PM at the Tennessee Legislative Plaza at 301 6th Ave N, Nashville, TN. Please attend and speak in support of SB 1698/HB 1461.  However, as a sign of respect, we ask you to please refrain from vaping in the committee room.  

Remember, you can register to receive free CASAA e-mail alerts regarding this and other legislation in Tennessee and across the United States. We will alert you when there are other opportunities to voice your concerns to the members of the Tennessee State Legislature. 


(1) Contact your State Representative and Senator to ask them to support SB 1698/HB 1461 for the reasons listed below. Phone calls and in-person meetings are strongly encouraged.

(2) Attend the hearing on Tuesday, March 18th and testify in support of SB 1698 (see above for details).

(3) E-mail the members of the Tennessee House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee and ask them to support HB 1461 
Senate Committee  on Commerce and Labor for the reasons outlined below. Phone calls and in-person meetings are strongly encouraged.

Comma delimited email,,,,,,,,

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

(4) Be sure to separately contact sponsors Rep. Charles Sargent, Rep. Steve McDaniel and Rep. Judd Matheny and thank them for introducing HB 1461 and Senator Doug Overbey for introducing SB 1698.

See below for phone numbers and additional talking points. 

Please contact the members of the Tennessee House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor and tell them:

1. You would like them to vote YES on SB 1698 because it would clarify that smoke-free electronic cigarettes are neither banned under Tennessee's Clean Indoor Air Act nor taxed like "tobacco products." 

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

3. Explain that:

    • 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.
    • 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.
4. Tell them that electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco and therefore you support the provision of SB 1648 that would clarify that e-cigarettes are NOT "tobacco products" under Tennessee law.
5. Direct them to the website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.

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

Rep. Charles Sargent (Chairman) -, 615-741-6808
Rep. David Alexander -, 615-741-8695
Rep. Joe Armstrong -, 615-741-0768
Rep. Kevin Brooks -, 615-741-1350
Rep. Kent Calfee -, 615-741-7658
Rep. Mike Carter -, 615-741-3025
Rep. Barbara Cooper -, 615-741-4295
Rep, Craig Fitzhugh -, 615-741-2134
Rep. Steve Hall -, 615-741-2287
Rep. Mike Harrison -, 615-741-7480
Rep. David Hawk -, 615-741-7482
Rep. Matthew Hill -, 615-741-2251
Rep. Curtis Johnson -, 615-741-4341
Rep. Gerald McCormick -, 615-741-2548
Rep. Steve McDaniel -, 615-741-0750
Rep. Larry Miller -, 615-741-4453
Rep. Gary Odom -, 615-741-4410
Rep. Dennis Roach -, 615-741-2534
Rep. Johnny Shaw -, 615-741-4538


Wes Keene said...

Just an FYI, is not a valid email address. I've contacted the others on the list.

Robin Hudson said...

Emailed them and spread the word!

Nick Dowdney said...

Has a decision been made on this yet?

Brian Jones said...

I'd like to know if a decision has been made also!

ppoythress said...

HB 1461 was Assigned to s/c Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee 2/19/14. Nothing since then. No Amendments have been added.

ppoythress said...

You can follow the bill's progress by going here:

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