Tuesday, June 16, 2015

CASAA Podcast Update June 15, 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 – Washington, D.C. – Vote scheduled for June 16, 2015 for final consideration of D.C. budget, including the 70% tax on e-cigarettes. This tax is tied to the cigarette tax, with no distinction being made between cigarettes and vapor products. Increases in the cigarette tax will automatically include vapor products. (Editor’s note: We received word that the vote has been postponed to June 30, 2015, and we will issue updates as they become available.)

Local Alerts:

3:30 - Iowa City, IA – Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., indoor (and some outdoor) vaping ban, using Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act as the reference and redefining smoking to include e-cigarette use. No specific exemption provided for vapor shops. (The state law provides an exemption for tobacco retailers, which are specifically defined and would not include vapor shops.) This is similar to the situation in New Jersey where there was an exemption for cigar lounges, but no exemption for vapor shops.

5:00 – Waco, TX – Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (first reading), city-wide indoor vaping ban.

6:00 – California –

            Taft, CA – Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (public hearing), conditional use permits for vapor lounges. Report at p. 9. 

            Avalon, CA – Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (public hearing) – amending law to ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited. Report at p. 41. 

            Woodland, CA (Yolo County) – Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (public hearing and adoption), tobacco retail licensing issues. AgendaLanguage and Staff Report.

7:45 - Cherokee County, GA – Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (public hearing), re including e-cigarette use as part of the county’s no smoking and tobacco-free policy in connection with county facilities. Agenda and Staff report

8:15 – Delaware – Senate voted to pass HB 5 (including e-cigarettes in smoke-free air act), and it now goes to governor’s desk. Exemption provided for vapor retailers.  

11:15 – Kansas – passed budget bill that had a tax on e-cigarettes (20 cents per ml of consumable liquid) slipped in at the last minute. Tax is effective July 1, 2016, a full legislative session away, so Kansas vapers have an opportunity to continue to reach out to legislators asking that this tax be eliminated. Kansas Vapers Association provided excellent, up-to-date information and news on the vapor tax.

13:50 – Louisiana – HB 119 passed (tax of 5 cent per milliliter) and is now on governor’s desk. Veto is extremely unlikely.

16:30 – Utah – Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee meets on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. to discuss taxing vapor products. Utah Smoke-Free Association has also issued a Call to Action.

17:50 - Important point to remember is that lawmakers are interested in people’s personal success stories and how these proposed laws affect them. PLEASE personalize your emails being sent through our system to include YOUR STORY. A personalized email is far more effective than a form email.

19:00 – Discussion of why states are pursuing these strategies.

23:00 – Pennsylvania – Hearing on HB 682 (add e-cigarette use to state’s indoor smoking law) held Monday, June 15, 2015. Bill Godshall (Smokefree PA), Greg Conley (AVA) and Chris Hughes (SFATA – PA) all attended. This bill is not likely to proceed.

25:20 – HR 2058 Call to Action still active. If you haven’t already done so, please participate in this important initiative and encourage your federal lawmakers to cosponsor.

26:00 - As we see state legislative sessions winding down, podcasts will start to focus a bit less on the legislative side and more about issues of broader interest to vapers and THR advocates.

27:00 – Ohio – reports are that vapor tax have been removed from budget (HB 64). Tax was removed while in House, and there were some concerns that it would be put back in when in the Senate.

As always:
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