Sunday, April 6, 2014

Call to Action! New York State Bill Would Ban E-Cigarette Use Wherever Smoking is Prohibited

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.

Thank You!





UPDATE 5/3/14:  SB 6562, 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 6562 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.

In addition, SB 6562 is scheduled for a public hearing on MONDAY, May 12, 2014, SB 6562 is scheduled for a public hearing, oral testimony by invitation only.  10:00 a.m. Van Buren Hearing Room A, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York.

UPDATE 4/8/2014:  AB 8178 passed the Assembly Health Committee and is now pending in the Assembly Codes Committee.  Updated contact information provided in the Call to Action.

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Please also be sure to take action against other New York bills that would ban the sale of electronic cigarette liquid and impose punitive excise taxes on e-cigarette sales:



*****


(last updated 4/8/2014)

If enacted, AB 8178SB 6562 would:
  • Prohibit the use of smoke-free electronic cigarettes wherever "smoking" is banned
Having failed in her quest to ban electronic cigarette sales to adults from 2010 to 2012, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal is now the chief sponsor of a bill, AB 8178, that would ban the use of vapor products (electronic cigarettes) wherever smoking is banned.  On the Senate side, an identical bill is being sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannnon, who is also leading the charge to ban e-liquid sales to adults.  AB 8178 is currently pending before the Assembly Health Committee and SB 6562 is currently pending before the Senate Health Committee.  

On Monday, April 7, 2014, at approximately 2-3 PM, the Assembly Health Committee is expected to hold a hearing on AB 8178 at the State Capitol Building in Albany.  Unfortunately, no public testimony will be allowed, but advocates from the Albany area can still attend to speak to legislators before and after the hearing about this and other issues. Please e-mail us at board@casaa.org if you might be able to attend. Attendance between 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM would be best. 

Please see below for information on how to stop these bills. 

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 Assembly Health Codes Committee, Senate Health Committee, and other elected officials and let them know:

1. You are a resident of New York, and while you support banning sales of e-cigarettes to minors, you OPPOSE including smoke-free e-cigarette use within the definition of "smoking."  (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 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:
  • Smoking bans are supposedly 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. Direct them to the CASAA.org website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information. 

5. Include your name and address at the end of your letter. 



HOW TO TAKE ACTION TO STOP 
AB 8178 & SB 6562

We 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 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:

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

Please call or e-mail the members of the Assembly Health Codes Committee and Senate Health Committee to oppose these and other anti e-cigarette bills.  If making phone calls (which will have a larger impact than e-mails), be sure to pay special attention to what cities / counties the representatives represent. If you have a favorite vape shop in New York, please ask them to also drive phone calls to the offices of specific members.

Comma delimited email list for the Assembly Codes Committee (oppose AB 8178):  lentolj@assembly.state.ny.us, abinantit@assembly.state.ny.us, brennanj@assembly.state.ny.us, cookv@assembly.state.ny.us, cymbros@assembly.state.ny.us, giglioj@assembly.state.ny.us, grafa@assembly.state.ny.us, lavinec@assembly.state.ny.us, mckevit@assembly.state.ny.us, montesanom@assembly.state.ny.us, mosleyw@assembly.state.ny.us, odonnelld@assembly.state.ny.us, perryn@assembly.state.ny.us, pretloj@assembly.state.ny.us, rae@assembly.state.ny.us, schimmr@assembly.state.ny.us, tenneyc@assembly.state.ny.us, titusm@assembly.state.ny.us, weinsth@assembly.state.ny.us, weprind@assembly.state.ny.us, wrightk@assembly.state.ny.us, zebrowskik@assembly.state.ny.us

 Comma delimited email list for the Senate Health Committee (oppose SB 6562): hannon@nysenate.gov, felder@nysenate.gov, golden@nysenate.gov, hassellt@senate.state.ny.us, hoylman@nysenate.gov, martins@nysenate.gov, montgome@nysenate.gov, jperalta@nysenate.gov, grivera@nysenate.gov, savino@senate.state.ny.us, serrano@senate.state.ny.us, gball@nysenate.gov, farley@nysenate.gov, larkin@senate.state.ny.us, obrien@nysenate.gov, seward@nysenate.gov, cyoung@senate.state.ny.us


NY State Assembly Codes Committee (oppose AB 08178):

Assm. Joseph R. Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) Chairman
718-383-7474 / 518-455-4477
LentolJ@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh/Mt. Pleasant)
914-631-1605 / 518-455-5753
abinantit@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. James F. Brennan (D - 44th Brooklyn)
718-788-7221 / 718-940-0641 / 518-455-5377
BrennanJ@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Vivian E. Cook (D - 32nd Queens)
718-322-3975 / 518-455-4203
CookV@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Steven Cymbrowitz (D - 45th Brooklyn)
718-743-4078 / 518-455-5214
CymbroS@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Joseph M. Giglio (R - Cattaraugus, Allegany, Chautauqua)
716-373-7103 / 518-455-5241
GiglioJ@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Al Graf (R - 5th Sufolk)
631-585-0230 / 518-455-5937
grafa@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Charles D. Lavine (D - 13th Nassau)
516-676-0050 / 518-455-5456
LavineC@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Tom McKevitt (R,C,I - East Meadow)
516-228-4960 / 518-455-5341
MckeviT@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Michael Montesano (R - 15th Nassau)
516-937-3571 / 518-455-4684
MontesanoM@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Walter T. Mosley (D - 57th Brooklyn)
718-596-0100 / 518-455-5325
MosleyW@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Daniel J. O'Donnell (D - 69th Manhattan)
212-866-3970 / 518-455-5603
OdonnellD@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. N. Nick Perry (D - 58th Brooklyn)
718-385-3336 / 518-455-4166
PerryN@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. J. Gary Pretlow (D - Mount Vernon)
914-667-0127 / 518-455-5291
PretloJ@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Edward P. Ra (R - Franklin Square)
516-535-4095 / 518-455-4627
rae@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Robin Schimminger (D - Kenmore)
716-873-2540 / 518-455-4767
SchimmR@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Claudia Tenney (R - New Hartford)
315-736-3879 / 518-455-5334
tenneyc@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Michele R. Titus (D - 31st Queens)
718-327-1845 / 718-322-4958 / 518-455-5668
TitusM@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Helene E. Weinstein (D - 41st Brooklyn)
718-648-4700 / 518-455-5462
WeinstH@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. David I. Weprin (D - 24th Queens)
718-454-3027 / 518-455-5806
weprind@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Keith L.T. Wright (D - 70th Manhattan)
212-866-5809 / 518-455-4793
WrightK@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Kenneth Zebrowski (D - New City)
845-634-9791 / 518-455-5735
ZebrowskiK@assembly.state.ny.us


SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH (oppose SB 6562)

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.

NYC / LONG ISLAND AREA LEGISLATORS 

Sen. Kemp Hannon (R - Dist. 06; Nassau County) SPONSOR
Phone: 518-455-2200
Email: hannon@nysenate.gov

Sen. Simcha Felder (D / R - Dist. 17; Kings / Brooklyn)
Phone: (518) 455-2754
Fax: (518) 426-6931
Email: felder@nysenate.gov

Sen. Martin J. Golden (R - Dist. 22; Kings)
Phone: (518) 455-2730
Fax: (718) 238-6170
Email: golden@nysenate.gov

Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D - Dist. 36; Bronx, Westchester)
Phone: (518) 455-2061
Fax: (518) 426-6998
Email: hassellt@senate.state.ny.us

Sen. Brad Hoylman (D - Dist. 27; NYC)
Phone: (212) 633-8052
Fax: (212) 633-8096
Email: hoylman@nysenate.gov

Sen. Jack M. Martins (R - Dist. 7; Nassau)
Phone: 518-455-3265
Fax: 518-426-6739
Email: martins@nysenate.gov

Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D - Dist. 25; Kings)
Phone: (518) 455-3451
Fax: (518) 426-6854
Email: montgome@nysenate.gov

Sen. José Peralta (D - Dist. 13; Queens)
Phone: (718) 205-3881
Fax: (718) 205-4145
Email: jperalta@nysenate.gov

Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D - Dist. 33; Bronx)
Phone: 518-455-3395
Fax: 518-426-6858
Fax: 718-933-2825
Email: grivera@nysenate.gov

Sen. Diane J. Savino (D - Dist. 23; Kings, Richmond / Staten Island)
Phone: (518) 455-2437
Fax: (518) 426-6943
Email: savino@senate.state.ny.us

Sen. José M. Serrano (D - Dist. 29; NYC, Bronx)
Phone: (518) 455-2795
Fax: (518) 426-6886
Email: serrano@senate.state.ny.us 

Sen. Tony Avella (D - Dist. 11; Queens) Co-Sponsor, Not a Committee Member 
Phone: 518-455-2210
Fax: 518-426-6736 


Email: avella@nysenate.gov

OTHER AREAS OF NEW YORK STATE:

Sen. Greg Ball (R - Dist. 40; Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester)
Phone: (518) 455-3111
Fax: (518) 426-6977
Email: gball@nysenate.gov

Sen. Hugh T. Farley (R - Dist. 49; Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Saratoga, Schenectady)
Phone: (518) 455-2181
Fax: (518) 455-2271
Email: Farley@nysenate.gov

Sen. William J. Larkin Jr. (R - Dist. 39; Orange, Rockland, Ulster)
Phone: (518) 455-2770
Email: larkin@senate.state.ny.us

Sen. Ted O'Brien (D - Dist. 55; Monroe, Ontario)
Phone: (518) 455-2162
Fax: (518) 426-6925
Email: obrien@nysenate.gov

Sen. James L. Seward (R - Dist. 51; Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Otsego, Schoharie, Tompkins, Ulster)
Phone: (518) 455-3131
Email: seward@nysenate.gov

Sen. Catharine Young (R - Dist. 57; Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Livingston)
Phone: (518) 455-3563
Fax: (518) 426-6905
Email: cyoung@senate.state.ny.us


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The following information has been superseded by 4-8-14 update:


Comma delimited email list for the Assembly Health Committee (oppose AB 8178): gottfriedr@assembly.state.ny.us, borellij@assembly.state.ny.us, cahillk@assembly.state.ny.us, clarkb@assembly.state.ny.us, cymbros@assembly.state.ny.us, dinowij@assembly.state.ny.us, dipietrod@assembly.state.ny.us, galefs@assembly.state.ny.us, goodella@assembly.state.ny.us, gunthea@assembly.state.ny.us, hevesia@assembly.state.ny.us, jacobsr@assembly.state.ny.us, lavinec@assembly.state.ny.us, mcdonod@assembly.state.ny.us, paulina@assembly.state.ny.us, peoplec@assembly.state.ny.us, rae@assembly.state.ny.us, raiaa@assembly.state.ny.us, rodriguezrj@assembly.state.ny.us, rosentl@assembly.state.ny.us, schimmr@assembly.state.ny.us, ortizf@assembly.state.ny.us, titonem@assembly.state.ny.us, walterr@assembly.state.ny.us



NY Assembly Committee on Health (oppose AB 08178) 

Assm. Richard N. Gottfried (D - Manhattan) Chairman
518-455-5939 / 212-807-7900

Assm. Joseph Borelli (R - Staten Island)
518-455-4495 / 718-967-5194

Assm. Kevin A. Cahill (D- Kingston)
518-455-4436 / 845-338-9610

Assm. Barbara M. Clark (D – Ithaca) Co-Sponsor
518-455-4711 / 718-479-2333

Assm. Steven Cymbrowitz (D - Brooklyn)
518-455-5214 / 716-743-4078

Assm. Jeffrey Dinowitz (D - Bronx) Co-Sponsor
518-455-5965 / 718-796-5345

Assm. David DiPietro (R – East Aurora)
518-455-5314 / 585-786-0180

Assm. Sandy Galef (D – Ossining)
518-455-5348 / 914-941-1111
GalefS@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Andy Goodell (R – Jamestown)
518-455-4511 / 716-664-7773

Assm. Aileen Gunther (D – Aileen)
518-455-5355 / 845-342-9304

Assm. Andrew Hevesi (D - Forest Hills)
518-455-4926 / 718-263-5595

Assm. Rhoda Jacobs (D – Brooklyn) Co-Sponsor
518-455-5385 / 718-434-0446

Assm. Charles Lavine (D - Glen Cove)
518-455-5467 / 516-676-0071

Assm. David McDonough (R – Merrick)
518-455-4633 / 516-409-2070

Assm. Amy Paulin (D – Scarsdale)
518-455-5585 / 914-723-1115

Assm. Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D - Buffalo)
518-455-5005 / 716-897-9714

Assm. Edward Ra (R - Franklin Square)
518-455-4627 / 516-437-5577
rae@assembly.state.ny.us

Assm. Andrew Raia (R - East Northport)
518-455-5952 / 631-261-4151

Assm. Robert Rodriguez (D - Manhattan)
518-455-4781 / 212-828-3953

Assm. Linda Rosenthal (D - Manhattan) Sponsor
518-455-5802 / 212-873-6368

Assm. Robin Schimminger (D - Kenmore)
518-455-4767 / 716-873-2540

Assm. Eric Stevenson (D - The Bronx)
518-455-3821 / 718-492-6334

Assm. Matthew Titone (D - Staten Island)
518-455-4677 / 718-442-9932

Assm. Raymond Walter (R - East Amherst)
518-455-4618 / 716-634-1895


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