CASAA Podcast Update March 9, 2015:
CASAA's Jan Johnson and Alex Clark discuss legislative- and advocacy-related matters of current interest to CASAA members and THR (tobacco harm reduction) advocates.
0:25 – Local Alerts. CASAA is starting to issue local alerts again. Local alerts are typically blogged and then emailed to our members in and around the affected area.
2:00 – Texas: Issued a Call to Action for HB 170 Texas (similar to SB 97). Has some strange provisions, including fire safety, and imposes onerous restrictions on online sales that would potentially cut off access to products by many people in Texas. Asking legislators to amend that portion of the bill to make it a simple ban on sales to minors. Hearing March 10, 2015, although a vote unlikely at that time.
3:05 – Connecticut: updated to note HB 5449, HB 6283, and HB 6290 are scheduled for a hearing March 11, 2015.
3:20 – Winchester, MA Local Alert: Hearing March 9, 2015 re ban on flavors and inclusion in smoking ban. Local Alert was emailed to our members in and around the affected area.
4:50 – Wisconsin: rebroadcast of Wisconsin Smoke-Free Alternatives Coalition's Call to Action: Wisconsin Dells (Columbia, Sauk, Adams & Juneau Counties), March 9, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.
5:40 – Asheville, NC Local Alert: Hearing March 10, 2015 inclusion of e-cigarettes in smoking laws. Unlike the bans we usually see, Asheville’s ordinance is set up to support businesses that don’t want to permit smoking by allowing the to put up a no smoking sign, and penalties are imposed if people then smoke. To maintain the spirit of the law, we suggest the ordinance be written in a manner which would allow businesses to prohibit smoking without being forced to also prohibit vaping.
7:50 – List of hearings today and tomorrow:
- Dixon, CA Local Alert (10:00 a.m.) re ban on e-cigarette use wherever smoking prohibited;
- Solvang, CA (March 9, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., ban on e-cigarette use where smoking prohibited - contact information: http://www.cityofsolvang.com/index.php/city-council/council-members);
- Winchester, MA Local Alert (see above at 3:20);
- Muskogee, OK Local Alert, March 9th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. ordinance to ban e-cigarette use where smoking prohibited;
- Leesburg, FL Local Alert, March 9, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. resolution urging local retailers to not sell flavored tobacco products (language broad enough to possibly include e-cigarettes, but in any event is a shot across the bow);
- Hemet, CA Local Alert, March 10, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. (ordinance to treat e-cigarette use like smoking);
- Sonoma, CA Local Alert, March 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (potential flavor ban, raise age to purchase up to age 21, an advertising restrictions);
- Big Spring, TX Local Alert, March 10, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. (first reading re regulate sale and use of e-cigarettes in the same manner as tobacco products);
- St. Charles, MO Local Alert, March 17, 2015 second reading on ordinance that would require “smoking permitted” signage in establishments that permit vaping (Follow BRAVE at http://mybraveaction.org/);
- New Haven, CT, March 16, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., ordinance to ban use of all forms of tobacco in city parks, schools, and any city-owned property (contact information: http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/Aldermen/)
19:00 – If you live in the following areas, you should pay attention to what your local government is doing because legislation is being (or has been) introduced:
- Montgomery, AL, public hearing (3/17/15 - contact information: http://www.montgomeryal.gov/city-government/mayor-and-city-council);
- San Luis Obispo, CA, final reading and adoption (3/17/15 - contact information: http://www.slocity.org/government/mayor-and-city-council);
- Denton, TX, public hearing (3/17/15 - contact information: http://www.cityofdenton.com/government/city-council);
- Naperville, IL Local Alert, second reading (3/17/15) (http://blog.casaa.org/2015/03/local-alert-naperville-il-proposed-bill.html);
- Washtenaw, MI, public hearing (3/18/15 -contact information: http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/boc);
- Saratoga, Santa Clara, CA, Final reading (3/18/15 - contact information: http://www.saratoga.ca.us/council/);
- Ulster, NY, public hearing (3/19/15 - contact information: http://ulstercountyny.gov/executive/office-ulster-county-executive);
- Westchester, NY, public hearing (4/13/15 - contact information: http://www.westchesterlegislators.com/);
- El Cerrito, CA, ordinance to be considered in planning committee (3/18/15) and anticipate ordinance introduced to City Council in April.
24:30 – Alaska SB 1 being heard in committee on March 11, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. and HB 40 being heard March 10, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. Not allowing testimony from what we can see, but writing letters is always important. Alaska has public opinion message system, which allows you to send messages of 50 words or less. Also, can participate in hearings via teleconference system
25:30 – E-cigarette opponents like the ALA have people write letters to the editor. If you comb through the news, you’ll see the same letter being sent by different people to different local papers, so it’s clearly a coordinated effort. Suggest you take the email that you send to your legislators, change the language a bit, and submit to your local paper as a letter to the editor.
28:20 – Pennsylvania: Governor’s budget released last week includes a 40% wholesale tax on e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. Anticipate Call to Action will be issued this week. (Pennsylvania has never taxed smokeless tobacco thanks to Bill Godshall and Smokefree Pennsylvania.)
30:20 – Illinois HB 3362 (flavor ban) has been tabled by the sponsor and so appears it’s no longer an issue for Illinois this legislative session.