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.
1:00 – Sonoma, CA – public hearing tonight (Monday, 5-18-15) on an ordinance introduced in March re requiring a tobacco dealer license to sell vapor products. Ordinance would only allow 15 locations in the city to obtain a license, and those locations already have shops that sell tobacco/vapor products (none of which are specialty vapor shops). Also would ban flavors other than tobacco and menthol. NorCal SFATA people are organizing a response.
5:05 – Santa Barbara County, CA – ordinance introduced to ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited. Tuesday, May 19th hearing at 9:00 a.m.
6:20 – Study circulating regarding ANDS (Alternative Nicotine Delivery Systems), which seems to us to be a better label than "ENDS" (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems). For those unfamiliar with why "ENDS" is such a derogatory and politically motivated label, please read more here.
8:00 – Denver, CO – hearing tonight (Monday, 5-18-15) 5:30 p.m. re final consideration of ban on free samples. The way the ordinances is written, it wouldn’t cover zero nicotine samples, so a workaround for zero nicotine sampling in stores, but would affect trade shows.
10:30 - Naperville, IL – ordinance re tobacco dealer license. CASAA's position is that if licensing/registering must take place, then a separate non-tobacco license/permit is the appropriate course to avoid unanticipated problems. (For example, Iowa required tobacco license/permit, which resulted in a de facto ban on online sales per Attorney General ruling.)
12:30 - Salem, OR – ordinance prohibiting vaping on city property, including outdoor areas owned by the city such as parks. Tuesday, May 26, 2015 hearing.
16:20 - Vermont – Preliminary indications are that we won! Tax language removed from SB 139, so all signs point to no vapor tax in Vermont this year.
17:25 – HR 2058 (US Congress) – FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Cole (Oklahoma). Would change grandfather date from February 15, 2007 to a date forward when the FDA deeming regulations are finalized. This would allow products currently on the market not to have to file premarket tobacco applications and would increase the pool of predicate products that manufacturers can rely on when filing for substantial equivalency. We are asking consumers to support this bill. Our ideal would be to see a different regulatory setup for vapor products, and while this bill wouldn’t solve all of our problems, it is a good step in the right direction. We’re still going to see a significant number of businesses not be able to make it through the FDA registration process, but this will allow far more to survive and for consumers to be able to continue to access a wide variety of products.
23:48 – Port St. Lucie, FL – Ordinance passed unanimously banning e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.
25:25 – New York State – NY residents should be on high alert. Possible legislation banning e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited. Moreover, many local jurisdictions seeking to pass bans. CASAA members should scan local newspapers regarding smoking bans and then follow-up because they often are seeking to include e-cigarettes in the bans (and not always obvious).
27:55 – Various legislatures coming to end of session. Hawaii passed two bills (ban on vaping where smoking prohibited and raising the age to purchase to 21). Tax legislation successfully defeated. A special thanks to Hawaii Vapers United for their hard work.
28:20 - Oregon has had a rough legislative session, and it and New York State remain on the radar.