Monday, April 14, 2014

Local Alert! Newton, Massachusetts Ordinance E-Cigarette Use Ban, Flavor Ban, Restrict Place of Sale, Increase Age of Purchase to 21

Last updated 4-15-14

UPDATE 4-15-14 P.M.:  We have received confirmation that the flavor ban will NOT apply to retail tobacco stores or retail nicotine delivery product stores.  However, it would obviously apply to e-cigarettes that are sold in other retail establishments, and CASAA opposes laws which limit the availability of adult consumers to these legal products.  Rather then banning the sale of  e-cigarettes with characterizing flavors in convenience stores and other non-specialty retail settings, the Board of Aldermen should simply enforce bans on sales to minors.  

UPDATE 4-15-14 A.M.:  The measure passed out of committee with a favorable vote, and now will be heard by the full Board of Aldermen on TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014 at 7:45 P.M., Newton City Hall (1000 Commonwealth Ave, Newton, MA 02459).

We do not expect that testimony will be allowed at the hearing, but we are asking vapers and harm reduction advocates to (1) attend the hearing to show opposition to the ordinance, and (2) phone, email, and ask to meet in person with members of the full Board of Aldermen.  (Contact information below.)

The ordinance being considered by the Board of Aldermen on TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014 would impose devastating restrictions on e-cigarettes within the city, including (1) banning flavors, (2) prohibiting e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited, (3) prohibiting sales of e-cigarettes wherever tobacco products can't be sold, and (4) raising the minimum purchase age to 21.  (CASAA currently does not take a position on this last issue, but members are free to express their views.)

Unlike most anti-e-cigarette ordinances in Massachusetts, this one is NOT being considered by the local Board of Health (who are appointed, not elected).  Rather, this is being considered by the Board of Aldermen, elected officials who should be accountable to their constituents.  


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Link to Agenda for 3-5-14 which includes draft ordinance (Current ordinance is substantially the same)

What to say:

1. You are a Newton, Newton-area, or Massachusetts citizen and while you support banning sales of e-cigarettes to minors, you OPPOSE banning e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited, eliminating flavors, or otherwise restricting or discouraging the use of these potentially life-saving devices by adults.   (If you are responding to this Local Alert and are not a state resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel to Newton on vacation or have friends/family in the area.)
  
2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life.

3. Explain that banning e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited actually works against the interests of genuine public health:


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 an estimated 99%.
  • By switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.
4.  Explain that
  • Flavors are part of what make e-cigarettes such a compelling and effective  alternative for adults looking to distance themselves from smoking.
  • While you appreciate concerns about keeping these products out of the hands of youth, the way to reduce youth use of this low-risk product is to enforce existing laws rather than create unnecessary legislation which seeks to make a product less palatable to adults, especially those adults using e-cigarettes as a low-risk alternative to smoking.  Accordingly, the Board of Aldermen should not ban flavors and should not prohibit sales of low-risk e-cigarettes in venues simply because tobacco product sales are not permitted.  Moreover, an exemption allowing e-cigarettes with characterizing flavors to only be sold in retail tobacco stores or retail nicotine delivery product stores still imposes an unwarranted restriction on adult access to these products.
5. Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.

Contact Information for the Board of Aldermen:

Comma Delimited Email List:  acicconejr@newtonma.gov, salbright@newtonma.gov, jcote@newtonma.gov, asangiolo@newtonma.gov, dcrossley@newtonma.gov, vdanberg@newtonma.gov, mlaredo@newtonma.gov, rlipof@newtonma.gov, slennon@newtonma.gov, mjohnson@newtonma.gov, thessmahan@newtonma.gov, lgentile@newtonma.gov, byates@newtonma.gov, gschwartz@newtonma.gov, rfuller@newtonma.gov, dkalis@newtonma.gov, aleary@newtonma.gov, enorton@newtonma.gov, asalvucci@newtonma.gov, jharney@newtonma.gov, jrice@newtonma.gov, rblazar@newtonma.gov, lbaker@newtonma.gov, clappin@newtonma.gov


Allan L. Ciccone, Jr.  (Ward 1)
22 West Street
Newton  02458
Phone:  (617) 965-2690
E-mail:  acicconejr@newtonma.gov

Susan S. Albright (Ward 3)
1075 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton Centre  02459
Phone:  (617) 527-7108
E-mail:  salbright@newtonma.gov

James R. Cote (Ward 3)
934 Watertown Street
West Newton  02465
Phone:  (508) 983-4535
Email: jcote@newtonma.gov

Amy Mah Sangiolo  (Ward 4)
389 Central Street
Auburndale  02466
Phone:  (617) 969-0677
E-mail:  asangiolo@newtonma.gov

Deborah J. Crossley  (Ward 5)
26 Circuit Avenue
Newton Highlands 02461
Phone:  (617) 775-1294
E-mail:  dcrossley@newtonma.gov

Victoria L. Danberg  (Ward 6)
30 Chase Street
Newton Centre  02459
Phone:  (617) 969-1756
Email:  vdanberg@newtonma.gov

Marc C. Laredo  (Ward 7)
31 Philmore Road
Newton  02458
Phone:  (617) 527-9889 
E-mail:  mlaredo@newtonma.gov

Richard A. Lipof  (Ward 8)
105 Baldpate Hill Road
Newton  02459
Phone:  (617) 332-8909, x 24

Scott F. Lennon                  
55 Jackson Road                
Newton  02458
Phone:  (617) 584-5723

Marcia T. Johnson
39 Bemis Street                 
Newtonville  02460
Phone:  (617) 965-4920
E-mail:  mjohnson@newtonma.gov

Ted Hess-Mahan 
871 Watertown Street
West Newton  02465
Phone:  508-847-4855
E-mail:  thessmahan@newtonma.gov

Leonard J. Gentile
99 Aspen Avenue 
Auburndale  02466 
Phone:  (617) 527-5446
E-mail:  lgentile@newtonma.gov

Brian E. Yates     
1094 Chestnut Street
Newton Upper Falls  02464
Phone:  (617) 244-2601
E-mail:  byates@newtonma.gov

Gregory R. Schwartz
1000 Commonwealth Ave
Newton  02459
Phone:  (617) 396-4160
Email:  gschwartz@newtonma.gov

Ruthanne Fuller
32 Suffolk Rd.
Chestnut Hill  02467
Phone:  (617) 738-5311 
E-mail:  rfuller@newtonma.gov

David A. Kalis     
66 Andrew Street 
Newton Centre  02461
Phone:   (617) 504-3301

Alison M. Leary
192 Chapel Street
Newton  02458
Phone:  617-527-1182
E-mail:  aleary@newtonma.gov

Emily Norton
58 Prescott Street
Newtonville  02460
(617) 795-0362
E-mail:  enorton@newtonma.gov

Anthony J. Salvucci
23 Eddy Street
West Newton  02465
Phone:  (617) 244-2509
E-mail:  asalvucci@newtonma.gov

John W. Harney
42 Central Street
Auburndale  02466
Phone:  (617) 519-5133
E-mail:  jharney@newtonma.gov

John B. Rice
9 Selden Street
Newton  02468
Phone:  (617) 332-5827
E-mail:  jrice@newtonma.gov

Richard B. Blazar
196 Morton Street
Newton Centre  02459
Phone:  (617) 527-1629
E-mail:  rblazar@newtonma.gov

R. Lisle Baker
137 Suffolk Road
Chestnut Hill  02467
Phone:  (617) 566-3848
E-mail:  lbaker@newtonma.gov

Cheryl Lappin
6 Dorcar Road
Chestnut Hill  02467
Phone:  (617) 796-1723

E-mail:  clappin@newtonma.gov


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The following information has been superseded by the April 15, 2014 update

Hearing on WEDNESDAY, March 5th, 2014 at 7:45 PM 



CASAA strongly encourages vapers to call and email the members of the Program & Services Committee (in addition to attending the meeting on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 7:45 PM)

The Program & Services Committee of the Newton, Massachusetts Board of Aldermen  is considering an ordinance that would impose devastating restrictions on e-cigarettes within the city, including (1) banning flavors, (2) prohibiting e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited, (3) prohibiting sales of e-cigarettes wherever tobacco products can't be sold, and (4) raising the minimum purchase age to 21.  (CASAA currently does not take a position on this last issue, but members are free to express their views.)

Unlike most anti-e-cigarette ordinances in Massachusetts, this one is NOT being considered by the local Board of Health (who are appointed, not elected).  Rather, this is being considered by the Board of Aldermen, elected officials who should be accountable to their constituents.  Moreover, if this ordinance is considered by the full Board of Aldermen, there is absolutely no assurance that the public will be allowed to comment at that meeting.  Thus, Wednesday's meeting of the Program & Services Committee may be your only option to provide public testimony and feedback on this potentially devastating ordinance.

The matter is currently on the agenda for the Committee's meeting on WEDNESDAYMarch 5th, 2014 at 7:45 PM at Newton City Hall (1000 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton Centre, MA  02459), Room 222.



As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping in the Committee meeting.

Please take this opportunity to (1) send the members of the Program & Services Committee accurate information about e-cigarettes and your story about how the product has improved your life, and (2) plan on attending the Committee meeting on WEDNESDAY, March 5th, 2014 at 7:45 PM to offer testimony.






Contact Information for the members of the Programs & Services Committee of the Newton Board of Aldermen:


Comma delimited email list:  asangiolo@newtonma.gov, jrice@newtonma.gov, aleary@newtonma.gov, enorton@newtonma.gov, thessmahan@newtonma.gov, rblazar@newtonma.gov, lbaker@newtonma.gov, dkalis@newtonma.gov

Alderman Sangiolo
389 Central Street 
Auburndale, MA 02466 
617-969-0677 
asangiolo@newtonma.gov

Alderman Rice
9 Selden Street
Newton, MA 02468 
617-201-7088 (Primary; cell) 
617-332-5827 (home) 
jrice@newtonma.gov

Alderman Leary
192 Chapel Street
Newton, MA 02458
617-527-1182 
aleary@newtonma.gov

Alderman Norton
58 Prescott Street 
Newton, MA 
617-795-0362
enorton@newtonma.gov

Alderman Hess-Mahan
871 Watertown St. 
West Newton 02465 
508-847-4855 
thessmahan@newtonma.gov

Alderman Blazar
196 Morton Street 
Newton Centre, MA 02459 
617-527-1629
rblazar@newtonma.gov

Alderman Baker
137 Suffolk Road 
Newton, MA 02467 
617-566-3848  
lbaker@newtonma.gov

Alderman Kalis
66 Andrew Street 
Newton, MA 02461  
617-504-3301
dkalis@newtonma.gov




2 comments:

Chris Jones said...

"As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping in the Committee meeting."

This is extremely ironic considering that most of your "Calls to Action" deal with " (2) prohibiting e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited,"

REALLY??? #2 seems to be the biggest priority on the CASAA agenda. What's the big deal here? So you can't vape where you can't smoke. Don't use the argument either about vape being "virtually odorless" or "there's no study of harm by second hand vape". You guys really kill me by making it seem that vapers should be able to vape anywhere they want. Sorry to burst your bubble but I agree with no vaping where you can't smoke. It's just common courtesy and if you do vape where you can't smoke, it's like rubbing the noses of smokers and non smokers alike in the fact you are getting your nic fix when and where others cannot.

I do agree with most of your stances on not selling to minors and unfair taxes on electronic devices, etc, however, this stance on vaping where smoking is prohibited? I really think you guys need to lay off this point a bit. You are making vapers sound like they are a special interest group whose needs are above other nicotine users (smoking or non smoking alike).

Michael Greene said...

To whom it may concern,
Are ypu really saying that cigarettes now are safer then vaping? With your rule about making it 21+.. Wow lets punish the people who value life over death. #VapeLife I run a Vape shop and have had customers thanking me for selling this system to them. They haven't touched cigarettes from the very first day on.
If your going to ban indoor vaping, at least let people Vape in a Vape shop.If you don't want to be around it you can just avoid the store. It is our business to sell Vapor products. They should be able to use them in a shop.

Thanks for your time,
M.Greene
Massachusetts Vape Shop Owner