Monday, March 31, 2014

Local Alert! Hancock County, West Virginia - E-Cigarette Usage Ban

The Hancock County Board of Health is considering a smoke-free ordinance that would treat e-cigarettes exactly the same as smoking and would ban e-cigarette use in ALL workplaces.

The matter is currently on the agenda for the Board of Health's meeting TUESDAY,  April 1st, 2014 at 12:30 PM.
  New Cumberland City Building,104 N Ct, New Cumberland, WV 26047 (We ask that as a sign of respect, you refrain from vaping during the meeting.)

Please (1) call and email  the Health Department to explain why you oppose efforts to ban SMOKELESS  e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend the meeting TUESDAY, 4-1-14, and offer testimony in opposition to this ordinance.
 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Call to Action! Louisiana E-Cigarette Usage Ban



UPDATE 3/31/14:  As of now, SB 491 is not currently on the agenda for Wednesday's meeting (4/2/14). However, it could be added before the meeting. If the bill is not on this agenda (link) by late Tuesday night (4/1/14), it is unlikely to be heard on Wednesday.





We have received word that a hearing will take place next week on Louisiana Senate Bill 491 (SB491), which is authored by Senator David Heitmeier.  We have been informed by well-placed sources that the author intends, through an amendment, to add to SB491 a ban on the use of e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited.

By all indications, SB491 will have a hearing on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 9 AM before the Senate Health & Welfare Committee. (Official confirmation should come Monday afternoon). They will take testimony and possibly vote on SB 491 in the Hainkel Committee Room in the Senate basement of the State Capitol Building at 900 N. 3rd St. in Baton Rouge.

FIRST, if possible, please plan on attending the Senate Health & Welfare Committee meeting at 8:30 A.M. on Wednesday to offer testimony.  (As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the meeting.)

SECOND, please call and email members of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee NOW to let them know why you oppose banning e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.

(Louisiana residents:  It is critically important that Louisiana vapers and their friends and family contact the Committee members by email, by phone, and (if possible) in person at the hearing.)  


Local Alert! Ocala, Florida E-Cigarette Usage Ban


The Ocala, Florida City Council is considering adopting an ordinance that would ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.  (The ordinance would also ban sales to minors and impose reasonable restrictions on product placement/access,  which CASAA supports.)
The ordinance will be introduced at the regular City Council meeting on TUESDAY, April 12014 at 4:00 P.M., Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave. Ocala, FL 34471.  Second reading (and vote) is expected at the next City Council meeting on April 15th, 2014, so it is imperative that vapers make their voices heard NOW.
Please (1) email and call the mayor, city manager,  and members of the City Council to explain why you oppose efforts to ban e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend BOTH meetings (April 1st and April 15th at 4:00 P.M.) and offer testimony in opposition to this ordinance.

(As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the City Council meeting.)


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Call to Action! Ohio's Governor Kasich is Proposing a Tax on E-Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco at an Outrageous 49% of Wholesale (CONCLUDED)



In search of revenue to fill gaps in a proposal he calls a 'tax reform' package, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) has proposed taxing electronic cigarettes (including devices) at an excessive 49% of wholesale and raising the tax on other low-risk smoke-free products.  Please take action to stop this proposal!

If enacted, Gov. Kasich's proposal would:
  • Tax electronic cigarette devices, components, and liquids at 49% of wholesale (a 750% tax increase from 5.75% sales tax now collected on sales)
  • Raise the tax on smokeless tobacco from 17% to 49% (a 188% tax increase)
  • Declare e-cigarettes to be tobacco products and subject to the same licensing restrictions
  • Raise the tax on cigarettes from $1.25 to $1.85 a pack (CASAA takes no position on cigarette taxes)
Currently, this tax proposal is found in HB 472, a massive bill hundreds of pages in length that, in the near future, will likely be split into 10-15 different bills.  We need to start fighting now and continue to even if the public is told the plan may be delayed.

Below you will find contact information for the members of the Ohio House Ways & Means Committee, which is the first committee that will hear the e-cigarette tax. 

Of course, in addition to contacting the members of the House Ways &  Means Committee, you should also make personal contact with your own State Representative and Senator (look them up at the bottom left hand corner here).  Those in Ohio can call 1-800-282-0253 to reach your House Representative's office Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Let them know that you are in their district and want them to oppose this unfair and punitive tax hike. Educate them about how e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco cigarettes are so different.

Remember, you can register to receive free CASAA e-mail alerts regarding this and other legislation in Ohio and across the United States. We will alert you when there are other opportunities to voice your concerns to the members of the Ohio State Legislature. You can also join the Ohio Vapers Advocacy League on Facebook.  See below for further information on how to take action!    

Important: 2014 is an election year, and Ohio vapers needs to respectfully make it known that they vote and that they care about this important public health issue.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Local Alert! Encinitas, CA (San Diego County) E-Cigarette Usage Ban

The Encinitas, California City Council is considering an ordinance that would ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited and also broaden the scope of the existing ordinance to include various outdoor areas.

The matter is currently on the agenda for the City Council's meeting TONIGHT, WEDNESDAY,  March 26th, 2014 at 6:00 PM, 
City Council Chambers located at the Encinitas Civic Center, 505 S. Vulcan Avenue, Encinitas, California.  (If you attend this meeting, we ask that as a sign of respect, you refrain from vaping during the meeting.)

Please (1) email and call the mayor, deputy mayor and  members of the City Council to explain why you oppose efforts to ban SMOKELESS  e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2) attend the meeting TONIGHT, 3-26-14, and offer testimony in opposition to this ordinance.
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Call to Action! Philadelphia E-Cigarette Usage Ban



UPDATE 3/25/14 4:00 PM.  Vapers will be gathering around 9:15 a.m. in the Council room area in order to try to talk with council members before the meeting.  

UPDATE 3/25/14 1:00 PM:  Bills No. 140096 and 140095 will be considered by the full City Council on THURSDAY, March 27th at 10:00 a.m.  (Link to Agenda)

Please (1) call and email the mayor and members of the City Council to express your opposition to these bills, and (2) attend the City Council meeting on THURSDAY, March 27th at 10:00 a.m. and offer testimony.  The meeting will take place at City Hall, Broad St & Market St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107.  You should ask the security guard for directions to the room where the full City Council meets.
  • Bill No. 140096 would prohibit sales of "electronic smoking devices" and "unapproved nicotine delivery products to minors."  (Please see Part I of the Call to Action for talking points and Part III of the Call to Action for contact information.)
  • Bill No. 140095 would ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited (with an exception for specialty e-cigarette establishments).  (Please see Part II of the Call to Action for talking points and Part III of the Call to Action for contact information.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Call to Action! Alaska HB 360 Would Impose a Statewide Smoking Ban and Define E-Cigarette Use as "Smoking"


CALL TO ACTION CONCLUDED FAVORABLY:  BILL REFERRED TO RULES COMMITTEE AND 2014 LEGISLATIVE SESSION NOW IN RECESS.



4/11/14:  With less than 24 hours' notice, SB209 is being heard in the Senate Finance Committee via teleconference TODAY, 4/11/14, at 9:00 A.M. local time (1:00 P.M. Eastern).  Link to list of Senate Finance Committee Members.  (Click on individual names on that list for contact information.)

4/8/14 update:  SB209 Senate Health & Social Services Committee hearing was canceled yesterday (4-7-14). The new hearing for this bill is tomorrow, WEDNESDAY, April 9th at 1:30 pm AST, 5:30pm EST.

4/5/14 update:  SB209, which would ban smoking and e-cigarette use in workplaces in Alaska, moved out of the State Affairs Committee Friday (4/4/14) and has a hearing before the Health & Social Services Committee on Monday at 1:30 PM (5:30 PM EST) on Monday via teleconference.  (Link to Agenda)  Please be sure to send an email or make phone calls to the members of the Senate Health & Social Services Committee and, if you are a resident of Alaska,  plan on testifying via teleconference.

4/2/14 update (added Senate information for SB 209):  Bills introduced in the Alaska Senate (SB 209) & Alaska House (HB 360) would both impose a statewide smoking ban AND would deceitfully define smoking to include the use of a smoke-free electronic cigarette.

SB 209 will have a hearing via teleconference before the Senate State Affairs Committee on Thursday, April 3rd at 9 AM local time in Room 205 of the Butrovich Building. SB 209 will be eligible for a vote after the hearing, but there is a good chance it will not come up for a vote (we will update this Call to Action if it moves).  Please be sure to send an email or make phone calls to the Senate members, even if you have already taken action against HB 360.

HB 360 was previously heard on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 in front of the House Health & Social Services Standing Committee.  This is a TELECONFERENCE hearing, and below are detailed instructions on how Alaska residents can participate in the teleconference.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CASAA Testimony to Philadelphia City Council Regarding Proposed Ordinance to Ban E-Cigarette Use Wherever Smoking is Prohibited



Testimony of Carl V. Phillips, PhD, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA)

to the Philadelphia City Council

regarding e-cigarettes (in opposition to Bill No. 14009500 and in opposition unless amended to Bill No. 14009600)

11 March 2014


My name is Carl V Phillips, PhD.  I currently live in xxx, New Hampshire, but have close ties to Philadelphia and until a few months ago I was a resident of the Philadelphia suburbs and was affiliated with Drexel University.  I am the Scientific Director of CASAA, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, and also work as a private consultant.  I am testifying on behalf of CASAA, which is a public health non-governmental organization (NGO) and consumer representative, not an industry group.  CASAA is the leading consumer representative of users of e-cigarettes and other low-risk alternatives to smoking.  CASAA is a nonprofit volunteer organization and I am not being compensated for providing this testimony.