Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Call to Action! New Jersey's Governor Christie is Proposing a Tax on E-Cigarettes at the Same Rate as Combustible Cigarettes (Significantly UPDATED 6-19-14)

(last updated 6/25/2014)

UPDATE 6/25/14: Assembly Bill 1080 (A1080) would fine vapers $250 to $1000 for using their e-cigarette anywhere on a beach or public park. This bill has passed the Assembly and must now move through the Senate. It is has passed the NJ General Assembly and is now in the Senate. Link to bill information.  

CASAA has implemented a new CQ Roll Call campaign for New Jersey to help you express opposition to A1080:  SEND AN EMAIL RE A1080


The email is completely editable by you, and we encourage you to make changes to the email to reflect your views and to share your story.  If you plan to substantially edit the email, you may wish to copy the text into a word processing program and make the edits there, then copy and paste back into the CQ Roll Call email.  We have had two reports over the last several months that CQ Roll Call might "reset" when you keep the window open for a long time or when you open a separate browser window, causing you to lose any unique text you've added (and reverting back to the original).   

URGENT UPDATE 6/19/14:  A sin tax on e-cigarettes in New Jersey remains a serious threat.  CASAA has issued two new CQ Roll Call Campaigns for New Jersey to express consumer opposition to a sin tax on e-cigarettes contained in Governor Christie's proposed budget:

SEND AN EMAIL


MAKE A CALL 

If you have a New Jersey address, please take five minutes of your time to participate and share your views with your elected officials.


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UPDATE 5/16/14:  The Senate Committee on Health has scheduled a hearing for this coming MONDAY, May 19th at 1:00 PM for SB 1867 (outrageous 75% wholesale tax on all e-cigarette liquids, devices, components, etc.) and AB 1080 (banning e-cigarette use on parks and beaches).  The hearing will take place in Committee Room 1 on the 1st Floor of the State House Annex (125 W. State St in Trenton, NJ 08608).  There is free parking behind the State House. It is CRITICAL that advocates attend this hearing and speak out against the negative effects of a tax of this sort as well as express opposition to banning smoke-free e-cigarette use in parks and beaches.

Members of the Senate Committee on Health are denoted with an asterisk in the list below.  Please call and email members of the Committee to express your opposition to these bills.

UPDATE 5/10/14:  This Call to Action is still active . . . please continue to contact Senate and Assembly members to express your opposition to these bills.

New Jersey vapers are now facing four significant threats, including two major tax bills, an outdoor usage ban, and a bizarre proposal to tax e-cigarette advertising:

(1) Governor Christie has proposed taxing e-cigarettes at the same rate as combustible cigarettes.  While details have not yet been released, reports are that this tax could easily double the cost of purchasing e-cigarette liquid, cartridges, and devices in the state.  According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, some legislators, like Assemblyman Dan Benson, worry that taxing e-cigarettes less than traditional cigarettes would be “sending a message out there that they’re somehow safer.” Link to full article. There have been 5 hearings on the matter in Trenton.  At every hearing e-cigarette users, vendors, and/or harm reduction advocates spoke out against the tax. We need to continue working to stop Gov. Christie's tax hike from becoming law.

(2) Senate Bill 1867 (SB1867) has been introduced by Senators Joseph F. Vitale (D) and Richard J. Codey (D). This bill would tax all components of an electronic cigarette, including devices, at 75% of wholesale price. SB1867 would also require e-cigarette retailers to obtain a tobacco license, and it would also greatly increase the cost of acquiring such a license. This bill is currently pending before the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. Link to bill information.

(3) Assembly Bill 1080 (A1080) would fine vapers $250 to $1000 for using their e-cigarette anywhere on a beach or public park. This bill has passed the Assembly and must now move through the Senate. It is currently pending before the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. Link to bill information.  

(4) Assembly Bill 2980 (A2980) & Senate Bill 1818 (SB1818) would tax e-cigarette and smokeless tobacco *advertising* at 25% of the amount companies spend on promoting their products in New Jersey. This is an unprecedented measure that is almost guaranteed to be found to violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. These bills are currently pending before the Assembly and Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committees.  Link to bill information.

Due to the number of bills pending, CASAA has produced a full list of Assembly and Senate members below so you can express your opposition to all the pending bills. We strongly encourage New Jersey vapers to make phone calls to Assembly and Senate members opposing these bills. 

The most important step you can take is to make personal contact, including phone calls and in-person meetings, with your New Jersey Senator and General Assembly representatives (a total of three contacts). Find out who they are using your city here.  Let them know that you are in their district and want them to oppose taxes on electronic cigarettes and outdoor usage bans. Educate them about how e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products are so different. 

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

Please take action against the above bills. See the New Jersey Vapers Advocacy Network page for more details on stopping these bills. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!




CALL and EMAIL members of the NJ Senate and Assembly to provide accurate information about e-cigarettes and ask that they reject efforts to impose a "Sin Tax" or further usage bans on e-cigarettes

1. Explain that you are a you are a New Jersey resident, and you would like them to OPPOSE any efforts to impose any type of tax on e-cigarettes other than the general sales tax currently in place.  (If you are responding to this Call to Action and are not a state resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel to New Jersey on vacation or have friends/family in the area.) 

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or another smoke-free product has changed your life.

3.  Explain that:
  • While high cigarette taxes are justified by many as necessary to cover governmental healthcare expenditures caused by smoking and encourage smokers to quit smoking, trying to impose similar levels of tax on reduced risk products like e-cigarettes is unwarranted and would actually work against public health.
    • E-cigarettes are estimated to pose approximately 1% of the risk of that from smoking.  Given the low risks of e-cigarettes, imposing ANY additional tax on e-cigarettes is completely unjustified and abusive.
    • The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Murray Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the 2009 FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in e-cigarette vapor.
  • Supporters of this legislation claim that punitive taxes should be imposed on all tobacco products for public health reasons.  However, the truth is that there is absolutely no public health benefit to excessively taxing products that pose an estimated 1% of the risk of that of smoking.  In fact, imposing high taxes on low-risk products will work against the interests of public health by discouraging smokers from using a far, far safer alternative to smoking.
  • Imposing such taxes on e-cigarettes could have devastating effects on New Jersey small businesses. Moreover, many New Jersey consumers will avoid the tax by buying online, and the costs to the New Jersey government to collect taxes from these citizens could outweigh the revenue the tax will bring the State.
  • New Jersey small businesses, burdened with excessive taxes, will be unable to compete with out-of-state companies, reducing the number of brick and mortar shops available for New Jersey consumers.  E-cigarette shops are more than simply stores. They provide an important resource for smokers looking to dramatically reduce their health risks by switching to e-cigarettes, a product that poses an estimated 99% less risk than smoking.   These stores offer knowledgeable employees and diverse products to allow adult smokers to make a successful transition from smoking to e-cigarette use.  Any state action that has the result of reducing the number of brick and mortar specialty e-cigarette shops would have devastating results for adult consumers.
  • Please reject A2980 because taxing electronic cigarette companies on the amount of advertising they conduct is not only ridiculous, but a blatant violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 
  • Please reject A1080 because banning the use of a smoke-free product in outdoor areas is an extreme example of government overreach.
  • Many smokers who switch to less hazardous e-cigarettes instead of continuing to smoke do so because e-cigarettes are less expensive than cigarettes.  Increasing the cost of e-cigarettes with punitive taxes would discourage many smokers from switching to e-cigarettes.  It could also encourage some e-cigarette consumers to go back to cigarette smoking.

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

Contact information for Senate (names include hyperlinks to online email forms): 
Comma delimited email list for Senate:  senaddiego@njleg.org, senallen@njleg.org, senbarnes@njleg.org, senbateman@njleg.org, senbeach@njleg.org, senbeck@njleg.org, senbucco@njleg.org, sencardinale@njleg.org, sencodey@njleg.org, senconnors@njleg.org, sencunningham@njleg.org, sendoherty@njleg.org, sengill@njleg.org, sengordon@njleg.org, sengreenstein@njleg.org, senholzapfel@njleg.org, senkean@njleg.org, senkyrillos@njleg.org, senlesniak@njleg.org, senmadden@njleg.org, sennorcross@njleg.org, senotoole@njleg.org, senoroho@njleg.org, senpennacchio@njleg.org, senpou@njleg.org, senrice@njleg.org, senruiz@njleg.org, sensacco@njleg.org, sensario@njleg.org, senscutari@njleg.org, sensinger@njleg.org, sensmith@njleg.org, senstack@njleg.org, sensweeney@njleg.org, senthompson@njleg.org, senturner@njleg.org, senvandrew@njleg.org, senvitale@njleg.org, senweinberg@njleg.org, senwhelan@njleg.org


Diane B. Allen (R) (856) 314-8835 SenAllen@njleg.org

James  Beach (D) (856) 429-1572 SenBeach@njleg.org

Jennifer  Beck (R) (732) 933-1591 SenBeck@njleg.org

Gerald  Cardinale (R) (201) 567-2324; (862) 248-0491 SenCardinale@njleg.org

Richard J. Codey (D) (973) 535-5017 SenCodey@njleg.org

Michael J. Doherty (R) (908) 835-0552; (908) 722-2427 SenDoherty@njleg.org

Robert M. Gordon (D) (201) 703-9779; (201) 374-2205 SenGordon@njleg.org

Thomas H. Kean, Jr. (R) (908) 232-3673; (908) 918-0414; (908) 232-2073 SenKean@njleg.org

Raymond J. Lesniak (D) (908) 624-0880; (908) 327-9119 SenLesniak@njleg.org

Fred H. Madden, Jr. (D) (856) 232-6700; (856) 401-3073 SenMadden@njleg.org

Donald  Norcross (D) (856) 547-4800; (856) 541-1251; (856) 853-2960 SenNorcross@njleg.org

Steven V. Oroho (R) (973) 300-0200; (973) 584-4670 SenOroho@njleg.org

Nellie  Pou (D) (973) 247-1555 SenPou@njleg.org

Ronald L. Rice (D) (973) 371-5665 SenRice@njleg.org

M. Teresa Ruiz (D) (973) 484-1000 SenRuiz@njleg.org

Paul A. Sarlo (D) (201) 804-8118 SenSario@njleg.org

Robert W. Singer (R) (732) 987-5669 SenSinger@njleg.org

Bob  Smith (D) (732) 752-0770 SenSmith@njleg.org

Brian P. Stack (D) (201) 721-5263 SenStack@njleg.org

Stephen M. Sweeney (D) (856) 251-9801; (856) 339-0808 SenSweeney@njleg.org

Jeff  Van Drew (D) (609) 465-0700; (856) 765-0891 SenVanDrew@njleg.org

Joseph F. Vitale (D) (732) 855-7441 SenVitale@njleg.org

Jim  Whelan (D) (609) 383-1388 SenWhelan@njleg.org

Contact information for Assembly (names include hyperlinks to online email forms):

Comma delimited email list for Assembly:  asmandrzejczak@njleg.org, aswangelini@njleg.org, asmauth@njleg.org, asmbenson@njleg.org, asmbramnick@njleg.org, asmchrisabrown@njleg.org, asmchristopherjbrown@njleg.org, asmbuco@njleg.org, asmburzichelli@njleg.org, asmcaputo@njleg.org, aswcaride@njleg.org, asmcarroll@njleg.org, aswcasagrande@njleg.org, asmchivukula@njleg.org, asmciattarelli@njleg.org, asmclifton@njleg.org, asmconaway@njleg.org, asmcoughlin@njleg.org, asmcryan@njleg.org, asmdancer@njleg.org, asmdeangelo@njleg.org, aswdecroce@njleg.org, asmdimaio@njleg.org, asmdiegnan@njleg.org, asmegan@njleg.org, asmeustace@njleg.org, asmfiocchi@njleg.org, asmfuentes@njleg.org, asmgarcia@njleg.org, asmgiblin@njleg.org, aswgove@njleg.org, asmgreen@njleg.org, asmgreenwald@njleg.org, asmgusciora@njleg.org, aswhandlin@njleg.org, aswjasey@njleg.org, aswjimenez@njleg.org, asmjohnson@njleg.org, asmkean@njleg.org, asmlagana@njleg.org, aswlampitt@njleg.org, asmmainor@njleg.org, asmmazzeo@njleg.org, asmmcguckin@njleg.org, aswmchose@njleg.org, asmmckeon@njleg.org, asmmoriarty@njleg.org, aswmosquera@njleg.org, asmmukherji@njleg.org, aswmunoz@njleg.org, asmodonnell@njleg.org, asmoscanlon@njleg.org, aswoliver@njleg.org, asmpeterson@njleg.org, aswpinkin@njleg.org, aswpintormarin@njleg.org, asmprieto@njleg.org, aswquijano@njleg.org, aswriley@njleg.org, aswrodriguez-gregg@njleg.org, asmrumana@njleg.org, asmrumpf@njleg.org, asmrusso@njleg.org, asmschaer@njleg.org, aswschepisi@njleg.org, aswsimon@njleg.org, asmsingleton@njleg.org, asmspace@njleg.org, aswspencer@njleg.org, aswstender@njleg.org, aswsumter@njleg.org, aswtucker@njleg.org, aswvainierihuttle@njleg.org, aswwatsoncoleman@njleg.org, asmwebber@njleg.org, asmwilson@njleg.org, asmwimberly@njleg.org, asmwisniewski@njleg.org, asmwolfe@njleg.org

Bob  Andrzejczak (D) (609) 465-0700; (856) 765-0891 AsmAndrzejczak@njleg.org

Robert  Auth (R) (862) 248-0491; (201) 567-2324 AsmAuth@njleg.org

John J. Burzichelli (D) (856) 251-9801; (856) 339-0808 AsmBurzichelli@njleg.org

Joseph  Cryan (D) (908) 624-0880; (908) 327-9119 AsmCryan@njleg.org

Ronald S. Dancer (R) (609) 758-0205; (609) 758-0205 AsmDancer@njleg.org

John  DiMaio (R) (908) 722-1365; (908) 684-9550 AsmDiMaio@njleg.org

Joseph V. Egan (D) (732) 249-4550 AsmEgan@njleg.org

Timothy J. Eustace (D) (201) 576-9199; (201) 374-2205 AsmEustace@njleg.org

Angel  Fuentes (D) (856) 547-4800; (856) 541-1251; (856) 853-2960 AsmFuentes@njleg.org

DiAnne C. Gove (R) (609) 693-6700 AswGove@njleg.org

Jerry  Green (D) (908) 561-5757 AsmGreen@njleg.org

Mila M. Jasey (D) (973) 762-1886 AswJasey@njleg.org

Sean T. Kean (R) (732) 974-0400 AsmKean@njleg.org

Joseph A. Lagana (D) (201) 576-9199; (201) 374-2205 AsmLagana@njleg.org

Alison Littell McHose (R) (973) 300-0200; (973) 584-4670 AswMcHose@njleg.org

Paul D. Moriarty (D) (856) 232-6700; (856) 401-3073 AsmMoriarty@njleg.org

Gabriela M. Mosquera (D) (856) 232-6700; (856) 401-3073 AswMosquera@njleg.org

Annette  Quijano (D) (908) 327-9119; (908) 624-0880 AswQuijano@njleg.org

David P. Rible (R) (732) 974-0400 AsmRible.njleg.org

Celeste M. Riley (D) (856) 339-0808; (856) 251-9801 AswRiley@njleg.org

Brian E. Rumpf (R) (609) 693-6700 AsmRumpf@njleg.org

David C. Russo (R) (201) 444-9719 AsmRusso@njleg.org

Donna M. Simon (R) (908) 968-3304 AswSimon@njleg.org

Parker  Space (R) (973) 300-0200; (973) 584-4670 AsmSpace@njleg.org

Valerie  Vainieri Huttle (D) (201) 541-1118; (201) 928-0100 AswVainieriHuttle@njleg.org

Jay  Webber (R) (973) 265-0057 AsmWebber@njleg.org

Gilbert L. Wilson (D) (856) 547-4800; (856) 541-1251; (856) 853-2960 AsmWilson@njleg.org







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  2. This is just another example of regulations being put in place; with regards to vaping; out of fear and lack of solid evidence that vaping is harmful to those who vape as well as the people around us who don't. If that is the logic for banning vaping in public parks and beaches (as well as other outdoor areas) when will they ban internal combustion engines/vehicles from being used in outdoor public areas. They give off far more hazardous emissions than traditional smoking. It has been proven that vaping products do NOT give off anywhere near the same amount of hazardous pollutants as traditional tobacco smoking. The only reason they (our government and non-smokers) want to lay this 75% tax on all vaping products is because we are hurting the big tobacco companies by taking away their targeted consumers. We have something; unofficially; that helps smokers kick the habit. I will attest to that as the truth for myself. To all individuals in our government that are involved in this unfair, unwarranted, and unsubstantiated attack on the vaping community; I ask that you please do more research and be more objective before you take any action against us. If it wasn't for vaping, I would still be on a 2 pack a day habbit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I sent this today:

    Dear Senators and Assemblymen,

    I urge you to say nay on SB 1867 and AB 1080

    While high cigarette taxes are justified by many as necessary to cover governmental healthcare expenditures caused by smoking and encourage smokers to quit smoking, trying to impose similar levels of tax on reduced risk products like e-cigarettes is unwarranted and would actually work against public health.

    E-cigarettes are estimated to pose approximately 1% of the risk of that from smoking. Given the low risks of e-cigarettes, imposing ANY additional tax on e-cigarettes is completely unjustified and abusive.

    Sen Greenstein you will be very interested to view this lecture:

    Here is a link to a very illuminating report on this subject from Dr. Lynne Dawkins, Experimental Psychologist and Director of the Drugs and Addictive Behaviors Research Group at the University of East London, UK.
    A public lecture on e-cigarettes was delivered by Dr. Dawkins. This lecture gives an introduction to e-cigarettes, what they are and how they work. It then brings the audience up to date with the current research: who uses them, how and why, nicotine content and delivery, safety issues, harm reduction and regulation.

    http://www.uel.ac.uk/ecigarettelecture
    Electronic cigarettes: What we know so far
    University of East London University of East London
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6KBGH2F63A&sns=em
    Published on Jul 24, 2013

    The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by peer reviewed research done by Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Murray Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the 2009 FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in e-cigarette vapor.

    Please do not let politics masquerade as science.


    Thank You

    Howard Sloane- Princeton, NJ

    ReplyDelete
  4. Please note that NJ is a Big Pharma state.

    Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick,NJ) who owns McNeil which produces nicorette and licenses it to GlaxoSmithline (Philadelphia, PA) had $70B in sales last year. Does anyone seriously think that there are no lobby interests behind this legislation?

    The ability to sell an FDA approved product that has around a 90% failure rate is worth an inestimable amount.

    ReplyDelete