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.
CASAA Podcast Update April 6, 2015
0:30 – California: We’ve reworked the Call to Action to make it cleaner and easier to follow. There are some glitches, although not widespread. Campaign is set up so that people are emailing their senator/representative. We are unable to set up the campaign to help California people send emails to the entire committee because California’s system blocks emails from out-of-district people. However, this does not prevent people from calling members of the various committees to express opposition. (Phone numbers are included in the Call to Action.)
Three bills currently subject to the Call to Action:
AB 768, “Tobacco Free Baseball Act) which defines e-cigarettes as a “tobacco product,” is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.
SB 140 (redefines e-cigarettes as “tobacco products” and would ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited) on agenda for Wednesday, 4/8/15 at 1:30 p.m.
SB 24 (various onerous restrictions on vendors regarding licensing and “childproof” packages that would reduce consumer access) was originally scheduled for Wednesday, 4/8/15, but now has been rescheduled for 4/15/15 at 1:30 p.m.
9:40 – Texas - SB 706 (would define e-liquid as a hazardous substance and, as a consequence, impose various onerous restrictions and registrations that would drive up cost and reduce consumer access) had a hearing Monday, 4/6/15. Still in committee.
11:45 – Oregon - HB 2074 and HB 2134 (65% wholesale tax on liquid and devices) had a hearing Monday, 4/6/15.
13:35 – Washington, D.C. – considering a tax on e-cigarettes to help fill a gap in their budget. Expect to be issuing a Call to Action in the coming days.
17:00 – Washington State – SB 6096 would impose a $100 surcharge on school employees’ health plans if they, or any of their dependents, use tobacco products (including e-cigarettes). Introduced last week, and the first hearing was today, so still early in the process.
18:55 – Delaware – HB 5 (ban on e-cigarette use wherever smoking prohibited) had a hearing on April 1, 2015. Passed out of committee, with the majority of votes being “on the merits,” which means that they are simply passing it out of committee because they believe the issue should be considered by the entire House.
20:00 – Louisiana – HB 427 would raise the tax on smokeless tobacco from 20% to 40% and would impose a 5 cent per milliliter tax on e-liquid. Not yet scheduled for a hearing. HB 349 is a companion to a tax bill and alters the definition of vapor product. Expect to issue a Call to Action this week.
22:00 – Several local alerts are in the works (4 of which are in California).
22:30 – FDA Workshop Comment Call to Action - comment period has been extended and will include comments for all 3 workshops. There is a wealth of expert knowledge in the community, and FDA would benefit from hearing from us.