Wednesday, November 4, 2015

CASAA Podcast Update October 26, 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 - Pennsylvania - An e-cigarette tax was discussed early on, and then seemed to be taken off the table. However, it appears that the tax (40% wholesale) is still being discussed by the governor and various lawmakers, so we have updated the Pennsylvania Call to Action. Even if you have participated previously, please do so again. (Note that Pennsylvania does not have a tax on smokeless tobacco (which is also a THR product), thanks in large part to the efforts of Bill Godshall of Smokefree Pennsylvania.)

7:00 - Bismarck, ND - Considering an ordinance that would require vapor shops to carry a state-issued tobacco dealer license. This type of ordinance generally can cause problems for vape shops, sometimes even in terms of getting the permit (for example, some municipalities will deny a license for online sales stating that there is no mechanism to issue a license/permit for online tobacco sales and therefore no mechanism to issue a license/permit for online vapor product sales). Also, in some states (for example, California), licensing/permitting can play into zoning laws and numbers of permits/licenses can be limited (although that does not appear to be a major concern in North Dakota).

11:25 - Ingham County, Michigan - (Includes Lansing.) Ingham County is considering an ordinance that would ban sales to minors and require that those selling vapor products obtain a tobacco license.

12:40 - Harrison, Arkansas - Ordinance that would ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited has passed its first reading.

13:20 - Mariposa County, CA - Ordinance which would, among other things, redefine “smoking” so as to include e-cigarette use. Second reading at 9:00 a.m. PDT on October 27, 2015. See Staff report starting on p. 152 of Agenda.

13:40 - Federal Trade Commission - Some senators are praising the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for plans to increase scrutiny of e-cigarette marketing practices, claiming that it the FTC Report will “shed light on how companies use advertising dollars to attract youth to nicotine.”

14:30 - General discussion about flavoring and appeal to children.

22:35 - FDA Deeming Regulations - An industry organization has released what it claims to be the table of contents of the final deeming regulations that are currently under review by OIRA. Without having seen the entire document (and not simply the table of contents), CASAA is not in a position to offer any guidance on, or analysis of, the purported document.

23:40 - There is an incredible lack of vendor awareness in various segments about the effect of FDA regulation. Consumers, if you go into a shop and there are no advocacy materials displayed, you should consider having a discussion with the shop owner about the importance of advocacy and how vital it is that they share information with customers.

24:45 - HR 2058 - Call to Action asking for support from representatives to change the grandfather date is still active. To date, approximately 17,000 people have taken action, which is not nearly enough. If you haven’t done so already, please participate.

25:45 - American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) - Is encouraging people to call the White House on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, to urge the President to “finalize regulations to give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to protect our kids.” (You can see the link to their anti-e-cigarette request for action here.) CASAA will be issuing its own Call to Action, asking people to call the White House at 202-456-1111 on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 to share their story about how e-cigarettes have changed their lives--and the lives of millions of others--for the better and to ask President Obama to show leadership in (1) supporting a change in the grandfather date, and (2) helping safeguard consumer choice and our access to these life-saving products. (Editors note: Call to Action issued October 27, 2015.)
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