Tuesday, May 12, 2015

CASAA Podcast Update May 11, 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. 

0:30 -  Mitch Zeller spoke at the SFATA conference, but he offered no new information.

3:00 – Minnesota - HF 848 (tax) is now in conference committee (members of both House and Senate), and if you live in Minnesota, it’s important that you respond to the Call to Action.  MNVA also has a Call to Action.

4:00 – Delaware - HB 5 (ban on e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited) is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.  The Call to Action has been updated to focus on the Senate Health and Social Services Committee, so even if you responded to the original Call to Action, please do so again and encourage your friends to send an email as well. We have very few Delaware members, so participation is critical.

5:30 – Maine – There was supposed to be a hearing for HP 670 (tax) today (Monday, May 11, 2015), but it was pulled from the agenda. We were informed by a member that it wouldn’t be heard until next year, but we have no confirmation on that. Regardless, members should continue to respond to the Call to Action to let lawmakers know that you oppose additional special taxes on e-cigarettes.

7:40 – Vermont – CASAA currently has an active Call to Action for SB 139, which would tax e-cigarettes at 46% and ban e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited.  We have received word that HB 489 will likely be a vehicle for a vapor tax. Awaiting more information and will be issuing a Call to Action if a vapor tax is included.

8:50 – Port St. Lucie, FL – Local Alert was updated to note that there is a second reading of the ordinance today (Monday, May 11, 2015), and CASAA members are strongly encouraged to attend.

10:30 – Several Local Alerts issued/updated over the last week: Westchester County, NY; Maplewood, MN; St. Louis County, MN; Fairfax, CA; Monterey Park, CA; Chico, CA.

13:40 – SFATA Conference. Julie Woessner  (CASAA Executive Director) was on a panel discussing state advocacy. Several good presentations on issues of interest to industry.

18:40 –Broward County, FL (hearing Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. on indoor use ban); Steele County, MN (hearing Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. re banning e-cigarette use on county fairgrounds and in county parks--click on link and then click on the graphic of a book to go to agenda, discussion starts at p. 106); Mequon, WI (hearing Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. re zoning issues involving e-cigarettes); St. Louis County, MN (third public hearing 9:30 a.m. re indoor use ban); Medford, MA (Tuesday, May 12, 2015, Board of Public Health considering banning sale of e-cigarettes in Medford); Berkeley, CA (adopt first reading Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., considering lifting moratorium on new shops, requiring a tobacco license, and zoning issues).

21:45 –Sonoma, CA is considering banning the sale of e-cigarettes in the city. Hearing scheduled for Monday, May 18, 2015. Expect to issue a Local Alert this week.

22:45 – HB2058 has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This would move the grandfather date for new tobacco products from February 15, 2007 to the date on which the FDA’s final regulations become effective. CASAA will be issuing a Call to Action this week for HR2058, which we strongly support as a good short-term solution and a step in the right direction.

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