UPDATE 6-20-14: New York State vapers and harm reduction advocates can breath a brief, yet deserved, sigh of relief. The 2014 legislative session has concluded for the year and no anti-vaping legislation has passed.
Although this concludes the NY State Calls to Action (favorably), advocates should remain vigilant in the "off season". Please continue to make connections with lawmakers (state & local) and help educate them as to the benefits of smoke free products like e-cigarettes.
UPDATE 5-3-14: SB 6939 , along with three other bills, is currently on the agenda for the Senate Health Committee's meeting on TUESDAY, May 6, 2014. At this time, no opportunity for public comment is provided for at the meeting. SB 6939 is now part of a CONSOLIDATED Call to Action for all four bills that are scheduled for the Health Committee's May 6, 2014 meeting. Please see the CONSOLIDATED Call to Action for details on how you can help.
Please also be sure to take action against other New York bills that would impose punitive excise taxes on e-cigarette sales and ban e-cigarette usage where smoking is banned:
(last updated 4/5/2014)
If enacted, SB 6939 would:
- Ban the sale of electronic cigarette liquids (e-liquids) to adults
Please help save e-cigarettes in your state by taking against on this Call to Action.
Remember, you can register to receive free CASAA e-mail alerts regarding this and other legislation in New York and across the United States. We will alert you when there are opportunities to voice your concerns to the members of the New York State Legislature.
Please contact the members of the New York Senate Health Committee and other elected officials and let them know:
1. You are a New York resident and would like them to OPPOSE SB 6939 because it would senselessly ban the sale of electronic cigarette liquids. You would also like them to oppose any bills that would enact punitive taxes on e-cigarettes or treat e-cigarettes like combustible cigarettes. (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 York 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. (You can stop here -- short and respectful letters are helpful, but if you wish to write more, see below for possible points to discuss)
3. Explain that:
- Prohibiting the sale of e-cigarette liquids would harm public health by making it more difficult for New York smokers to acquire far less hazardous alternatives to smoking.
- This ban would also cost the State of New York millions of dollars in lost sales taxes, income taxes, and other sources of tax revenue, as it would: (a) shut down small and medium sized business across New York; (b) put more people on unemployment; and (c) lead existing and future e-cigarette users to simply purchase products over the Internet from out-of-state companies.
- The threat of e-cigarette liquid has been greatly exaggerated for political purposes. While it is true that plenty of consumer products pose risks to children -- including medications, household products, cosmetics, e-cigarette liquids, tobacco products -- prohibition is not the answer. The Legislature should look to education, parental responsibility, and childproof caps and warning labels (already used on the majority of e-liquids and something that should be a uniform standard across the nation) rather than prohibition.
Control Center data released by the CDC showed that from September 2010
to February 2014, there were nearly 700% more calls relating to
traditional tobacco products versus any kind of e-cigarette product (2,405 for e-cigarettes
vs. 16,248 for tobacco products). Hospitalizations were rare and the only death reported from an
e-cigarette poisoning was from an adult who committed suicide by intentionally injecting e-cigarette liquid into his body.
- In 2012 alone, 193,443 calls to Poison Control Centers involved household cleaning agents, 54,445 involved alcoholic beverages, 11,848 were caused by ink, and 20,306 were caused by toothpaste. Where are the bills to ban these products?
- The sponsor of SB 6939, Sen. Kemp Hannon, proposed a bill to ban sales of all electronic cigarette products to adults in 2012. SB 6939 is not about protecting children; it's about prohibition. New York State law already rightfully bans the sale of e-cigarettes to children.
- Passage of SB 6939 would benefit the large tobacco companies (Altria, RJ Reynolds & Lorillard) by protecting them from competition! While these companies do sell electronic cigarette products, NONE sell e-cigarette liquid. SB 6939 would shut down the segment of the e-cigarette industry most responsible for the major declines in cigarette sales we have seen over the past 3 years.
- A recent report by Wells Fargo Securities' Bonnie Herzog stated that 'tank system' e-cigarettes (products that are filled with liquid before usage) are the fastest growing product category in the e-cigarette industry. This is not a niche market. Indeed, the majority of companies in the e-cigarette industry exclusively sell e-cigarette liquid and 'tank system' products.
- One of the reasons why e-cigarettes are such a successful alternative to smoking is that the diversity in the marketplace allows consumers to find the device and e-cigarette liquid that work best for them. Eliminating e-cigarette liquid would destroy the diversity in the marketplace, and consumers would suffer.
- Electronic cigarettes are widely available on the the Internet from retailers in nearly all 50 states and around the world. While New York may be able to succeed in shutting down small businesses that sell e-cigarette liquid within its borders, it has next to no hope of interrupting interstate commerce.
- The FDA is likely to announce their proposed regulations for e-cigarettes in the next six months. These regulations will, at bare minimum, almost certainly set out packaging requirements. It would be ridiculous for the New York Legislature to ban their sale to adults when federal regulations are on their way.
4. Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.
5. Be sure to sign your letter with your full name and address (or at least city name).
5. Be sure to sign your letter with your full name and address (or at least city name).
HOW TO TAKE ACTION TO STOP SB 6369We have provided three Advocacy Options. You are encouraged to do as many as you are able.
Advocacy Option 1:
MOST IMPORTANTLY, PLEASE CALL:
Senate Co-President Dean Skelos (R) - (518) 455-3171
Senate Co-President Jeffrey Klein (IDC) - (518) 455-3595
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) - (518) 455-3791
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D) - (518) 455-5373
CASAA is asking our members in New York to please reach out to these critically important elected officials in the New York State Senate and Assembly. Ask the operator to pass along a message to the elected officials: you are a New York citizen and you would like them to OPPOSE any bills that would ban sales of electronic cigarette liquid to adults, enact punitive sin taxes on e-cigarette products, or ban usage where smoking is banned. In a couple sentences, tell the operator how e-cigarettes have changed your life, that this issue matters to you as a voter, and thank them for passing along your thoughts
Advocacy Option 2:
Advocacy Option 2:
Please be sure to also contact your New York State Senator ('Find My Senator') and New York State Assembly representatives. Ask them to OPPOSE any bills that would ban sales of electronic cigarette liquid to adults, enact punitive sin taxes on e-cigarette products, or ban usage where smoking is banned
Advocacy Option 3:
CONTACTING THE MEMBERS OF THE NY SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE
We have separated out the members of the New York Senate Health Committee into two lists: legislators from the NYC / Long Island area and legislators from other areas of New York. As you can see, each individual member has a District Number (see here for a Senate district map) and a general area that they represent.
In addition to sending e-mails, we strongly encourage our members in New York to make phone calls to the offices of the members in or around the country in which you live. Legislators need to know that people who live in or around their district are passionate about this issue. E-mails alone will not accomplish that. If you have a favorite vape shop in New York, please ask them to also drive phone calls to the offices of specific members.
Sen. Kemp Hannon (R - Dist. 06; Nassau County) SPONSOR
Sen. Simcha Felder (D / R - Dist. 17; Kings / Brooklyn)
Phone: (518) 455-2754
Fax: (518) 426-6931
Sen. Martin J. Golden (R - Dist. 22; Kings)
Phone: (518) 455-2730
Fax: (718) 238-6170
Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D - Dist. 36; Bronx, Westchester)
Phone: (518) 455-2061
Fax: (518) 426-6998
Sen. Brad Hoylman (D - Dist. 27; NYC)
Phone: (212) 633-8052
Fax: (212) 633-8096
Sen. Jack M. Martins (R - Dist. 7; Nassau)
Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D - Dist. 25; Kings)
Phone: (518) 455-3451
Fax: (518) 426-6854
Sen. José Peralta (D - Dist. 13; Queens)
Phone: (718) 205-3881
Fax: (718) 205-4145
Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D - Dist. 33; Bronx)
Sen. Diane J. Savino (D - Dist. 23; Kings, Richmond / Staten Island)
Phone: (518) 455-2437
Fax: (518) 426-6943
Sen. José M. Serrano (D - Dist. 29; NYC, Bronx)
Phone: (518) 455-2795
Fax: (518) 426-6886
Sen. Tony Avella (D - Dist. 11; Queens) Co-Sponsor, Not a Committee Member
OTHER AREAS OF NEW YORK STATE:
Sen. Greg Ball (R - Dist. 40; Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester)
Phone: (518) 455-3111
Fax: (518) 426-6977
Sen. Hugh T. Farley (R - Dist. 49; Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Saratoga, Schenectady)
Phone: (518) 455-2181
Fax: (518) 455-2271
Sen. William J. Larkin Jr. (R - Dist. 39; Orange, Rockland, Ulster)
Phone: (518) 455-2770
Sen. Ted O'Brien (D - Dist. 55; Monroe, Ontario)
Phone: (518) 455-2162
Fax: (518) 426-6925
Sen. James L. Seward (R - Dist. 51; Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Otsego, Schoharie, Tompkins, Ulster)
Phone: (518) 455-3131
Sen. Catharine Young (R - Dist. 57; Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Livingston)
Phone: (518) 455-3563
Fax: (518) 426-6905
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