Thursday, June 18, 2015

Minneapolis, MN - Oppose limited access to flavored vapor products

Minneapolis, MN

Elected officials in Minneapolis want to make cigarettes (including menthols) more freely available than flavored e-liquids and vapor products. Help us stop this!

Minneapolis is currently considering an amendment to its Tobacco Dealers Ordinance that would BAN the sale of flavored “tobacco” products (including e-cigarettes) in places like convenience stores, pharmacies, gas stations, dollar stores, etc. Only vape shops and specialty tobacco retailers will be permitted to sell flavored vapor and smokeless tobacco products, and those that do will be required to obtain tobacco licenses.

This ordinance is scheduled in The Minneapolis Health, Environment, & Community Engagement Committee for further discussion on:
City Hall, Rm 317

Although public comment for this ordinance is currently listed as “closed,” attending the meeting is still valuable as it demonstrates the large number of people engaged in and affected by this issue.

We believe that it is perverse and wrong to allow convenience stores to sell deadly combustible cigarettes while, at the same time, prohibiting them from selling flavored e-liquids and other smoke-free products. Even if you only purchase your vapor products from vape shops or the internet, it is extremely important that elected officials in Minneapolis hear from you.

First, take action NOW by sending a fully editable, pre-written email we have provided. Remember to add your personal story (see “writing tips” below).


Second, take time now, before the committee meeting, to communicate with your district representative on the city council. We have provided their contact information and talking points below.

Third, please make plans to attend the committee hearing.

Minneapolis - City Council
District Info
Council Member
Email
Phone
Kevin Reich
kevin.reich@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2201
Cam Gordon
cam.gordon@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2202
Jacob Frey
jacob.frey@minneapolismn.gov
n/a
(612) 673-2203
Barbara Johnson
barbara.johnson@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2204
Blong Yang
blong.yang@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2205
Abdi Warsame
abdi.warsame@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2206
Lisa Goodman
lisa.goodman@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2207
Elizabeth Glidden
elizabeth.glidden@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2208
Alondra Cano
alondra.cano@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2209
Lisa Bender
lisa.bender@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2210
John Quincy
John.Quincy@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2211
Andrew Johnson
andrew.johnson@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2212
Linea Palmisano
linea.palmisano@minneapolismn.gov
(612) 673-2213

Sugested Talking Points

1). We know from recent surveys that adults prefer flavors other than traditional tobacco and menthol (http://vaping.com/data/big-survey-2014-initial-findings-eliquid), (http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/10/12/7272)

2). Flavors are an important aspect of vapor products as they help former smokers disassociate nicotine consumption from inhaling smoke.

3).  Prohibiting the sale of flavored smoke-free products alongside traditional combustible products keeps adult smokers unaware of low-risk alternatives and creates a barrier to becoming smoke free and, as a result many, adult residents will actually be encouraged to continue smoking instead of making the switch to a product that is estimated to be 99% less hazardous than smoking.



(Writing Tip #1) If you have a lot to say, please craft your email in a separate word doc and then copy/paste it into the field provided.  If you take too long, they system will time out and you will lose your work.
(Writing Tip #2) Although we've provided a prewritten email with compelling talking points, we would strongly encourage you to edit the email because personalized communications to legislators are far more persuasive than form letters.  At a minimum, PLEASE INSERT YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.

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