Tuesday, June 9, 2015

CASAA Podcast Update June 8, 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. 


1:42 - New York – CASAA released a Call to Action for New York back in January encompassing half a dozen bills. A new bill not covered by that Call to Action is now moving, and we will be issuing a Call to Action shortly.

4:00 - New Jersey – Recently introduced legislation to ban smoking and vaping in cars with children under age 16. Note that because of New Jersey’s clean indoor air act, pretty much any time you see a restriction on smoking, you can assume it will apply to vaping as well.  There is another bill currently in the assembly that would carve out a vaping exemption for vape shops.

5:30 – Kansas – Potentially disastrous tax (20 cent per milliliter) being considered as part of the budget. This is an approach being spearheaded by RJ Reynolds. The tiered-distribution regulatory framework has been removed, but the tax remains. Kansas is suffering from a fairly substantial budget deficit, and they’re looking around for money. This is critical and can be voted on at any moment. Kansas legislators are now in special session, and staffers have gone home. This means that phones are not being well monitored, and the same is likely true for emails. 

9:00 – Louisiana – SB 119 (likely being pushed by Reynolds) would impose a tax on e-cigarettes. This is still very much in play, and vapers in Louisiana need to make their views known.

11:00 - Tax discussion - While it is tempting to view a 5 cent per milliliter tax as not a big threat, it is important to remember that once the tax language is on the books, it’s easy to bump up the rate.  For example, last year, North Carolina instituted a 5 cent per milliliter tax, and before it had even gone into effect, there were efforts underway to raise the tax. Minnesota saw another attempt to raise their tax as well.

12:30 – Utah – June 17, 2015 the Utah Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee will be meeting, and Item 3 on the agenda is taxation of e-cigarettes. This is an opportunity for stakeholders to get engaged. Utah Vapers will be issuing a Call to Action, as will CASAA.

13:50 – Local Alerts – We typically get very little notice (often less than 24 hours).
  • Coconino County, AZ – Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 1:15 p.m., Board of Supervisors and Health District Board of Directors – Special Work Session: Presentation and discussion regarding Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, proposed changes to Coconino County Ordinances 2011-04 and 2000-08, and discussion of retail tobacco licensing. Agenda and Report(Note that these links may not work in Chrome browser)
  • ParamusBorough, NJ – Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. public hearing re ordinance prohibiting sale of e-cigarettes to persons under the age of 21. 
  • SagadahocCounty, ME – Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 3:00 p.m., hearing re ban on use of all tobacco products and e-cigarettes in and on all county-owned vehicles and property.
  • Upper Arlington, OH – Monday, June 8, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., public hearing re raising the age of sale to age 21.
  • SantaClara County, CA – Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. – Introduction of ordinance raising the legal age to buy tobacco/e-cigarettes from 18 to 21. Final adoption expected June 23, 2015. (staff report p. 284)

18:20 – Ohio – Encouraging language coming from Senate president acknowledging the harm reduction potential of e-cigarettes, but Ohio vapers need to keep contacting their lawmakers to ensure that an e-cigarette tax remains out of the budget.

20:00 – Please respond to the Call to Action for HR 2058, which would change the grandfather date for vapor products. This change would allow for all vapor products currently on the market to remain on the market without being subject to the burdensome (read: prohibitive) pre-market FDA approval application process.

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