Friday, October 31, 2014

How CASAA Members Can Help

Members often tell us they don't have a lot of time or money, but they want to help. The main thing CASAA needs is members getting our information out to the public and recruiting new members. Below is a list of things that only cost you a little time and effort. CASAA needs members to do these things more than ever. Without your involvement, CASAA cannot succeed!


If you haven't yet, make sure you've joined CASAA by using the form at Become A Member. It's quick and it's free!

Call to Action: Philadelphia is Considering a $2.00 Tax E-Cigarettes and and $.50/ml Tax on E-Liquids

By now, every vaper in SE Pennsylvania should know about Philadelphia Councilwoman Brown’s proposal to impose a burdensome tax on vapor products. The proposal is being presented as a necessary measure to partially shore up an astonishing gap in the city’s budget for public schools. (Apparently, this is a new twist on “Think of the children.”)

Brown’s proposal, if passed, would mean a $2.00 tax on devices and $0.50/ml tax (up to $5.00) on liquids. Although some may be tempted to view this tax as a “bake sale” for public schools, at its core, the proposal is predatory and short sighted. The fact remains that Councilwoman Brown sees an opportunity to exploit an emerging market with potentially devastating consequences to consumers and businesses in Philadelphia.

Simply stated, if this proposal passes, brick and mortar shops in Philadelphia will not be able to be competitive, and Philadelphia consumers will lose a valuable resource. Local vape shops are not simply a convenience for consumers.  They provide a hub for social gatherings, expert information and help in making the transition from smoking to vaping, and a place for people to try different devices and liquids prior to purchase.

October 31, 2014:  Please note that for now, participation in this Call to Action is limited to people who have an address in Philadelphia.  We expect to expand participation to a broader geographic area next week, and will update this Call to Action when we've done so.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Make Your Voice Heard: You Vape - You Vote

You Vape - You Vote!

Election day is less than a week away, and we encourage vapers everywhere to take some time to become more informed about the candidates and their positions on issues that are important to you, including stances on e-cigarettes are other low-risk alternatives to smoking. And, most importantly, make your voice heard by exercising your right to vote.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Call to Action: New York City is Considering Banning the Sale of Flavored E-Cigarettes and E-Liquids

On October 7, 2014, Councilman Constantinides introduced an ordinance that would ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and flavored e-liquids in the five boroughs. As is often the case, flavor bans like this are poorly researched and fail to account for the fact that practically ALL e-liquid is “flavored”. Furthermore, this ordinance fails to carve out an exemption for dedicated vapor shops, allowing sales by tobacco bars only.

In short, this would mean the end of vapor sales in New York City as we know it.  The ordinance has been referred to the Committee on Health, and it is possible (if not likely) that this proposed ordinance will be heard in committee on Thursday, October 23, 2014.  Tri-State area advocates are strongly encouraged to plan to attend. (We will update this Call to Action as additional information becomes available.)

We are asking advocates in the Tri-State area to please contact NYC council members on the Health Committee and thoughtfully express your opposition to this ordinance.

NYC residents can follow the link below to find your council members and contact them directly as well:

Residents are encouraged to call and meet with their council members.  Please feel free to contact for tips and guidence with talking to lawmakers.

Please share this Call to Action with anyone you know who lives or works in New York City.  In fact, share this with anyone you know who might feel inclined to visit the city.  

Participation in this Call to Action is NOT limited to residents of New York City, but if you are not a resident, please edit the letter to share what relationship you may have with New York City (for example, you have family or friends who live there, you plan on visiting, et cetera).

Also, please note that the CQRC campaign sometimes glitches and resets, and, if so, you may lose any edits you make to your email. If you are editing the email, you should consider editing the letter in a word processing program and then copying the final product into the CQRC program.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

CASAA Welcomes Brad Rodu and Igor Burstyn to its Leadership

CASAA is delighted to announce that Professors Brad Rodu and Igor Burstyn have joined its Board of Directors. Anyone interested in CASAA will be familiar with them and their work, but by way of brief introduction:

Brad Rodu is Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction Research at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center. He has been working on tobacco harm reduction advocacy longer than anyone else, dating back to his landmark 1994 paper in Nature, and has produced an enormous corpus of research studies and other analysis on the topic. He is widely considered the father of the tobacco harm reduction movement.

Igor Burstyn is Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Drexel University School of Public Health. He is an expert in environmental health and research methodology, and has been interested in tobacco harm reduction for almost ten years. His most notable contribution in the field was his systematic review of e-cigarette chemical exposure, which was sponsored by CASAA in 2013.

We cannot imagine better additions to the CASAA leadership than Drs. Rodu and Burstyn.

As part of this reorganization, Carl V Phillips has left the Board of Directors and now serves as CASAA’s Chief Scientific Officer (a cosmetic change of titles from “Scientific Director” to avoid confusion). Don’t worry -- Dr. Phillips’s contributions to CASAA’s work will remain almost unchanged. Upon his departure from the Board, CASAA began paying Phillips a token sum as a consultant. We felt that it was inappropriate to continue to take so much of the time of a top professional in the field without some compensation. While CASAA is unable to pay him or any other member of the leadership what they really deserve for all their hard and valuable work, this is something.

We are certain that those who remember CASAA’s modest origins are excited to see how CASAA has grown, not only in terms of its leadership, but also in terms of its membership, reach, and substantive work. The addition of these two top researchers will further enhance CASAA’s ability to advocate for THR and the consumers who depend on these potentially life-saving alternatives to smoking.