An ordinance (Ord. No. 929-15), which would limit the sale of flavored smokeless tobacco products like snus to specialty tobacco shops, has been introduced in the city council. A public hearing will be held on
Mercedes Cotner Committee Room
601 Lakeside Ave., Room 217
What is troubling is that the committee will be discussing a measure to change the definition of “tobacco” to include e-cigarettes in the upcoming Tobacco 21 ordinance (which would raise the age to legally purchase to age 21). Although this may not immediately affect the city’s flavor regulation, should it pass, it will be a short step to include vapor products in the future.
Please take a minute now to contact members of the committee and urge them to reject these proposals. We have provided contact information and talking points below.
Please also make plans to attend this hearing. Even if you do not plan to speak, your presence is important as it shows the large number of people affected by this issue.
Cleveland, OH - City Council
Health & Human Services Committee
Phyllis E. Cleveland
Other City Council Members
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Suggested Talking Points - Flavor Regulation
1) Please briefly share your story about switching to smokeless tobacco or vapor products. Be sure to mention the role, if any, that the variety of flavored smoke-free products played in your transition. It would also be helpful to mention your first exposure to snus, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes; did you purchase a product from a convenience store or gas station or did you instinctively know to go to a specialty tobacco or vapor store?
2) 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)
3) Flavors are an important aspect of vapor products as they help former smokers disassociate nicotine consumption from inhaling smoke.
4) Prohibiting flavor options 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 products that are estimated to be 99% less hazardous than smoking.
Suggested Talking Points - Tobacco 21
1) Raising the purchase age for tobacco products to 21 is supposedly about discouraging youth initiation and protecting them from developing an addiction to nicotine that will last throughout their adult lives. However, enacting such policies without separating low-risk, smoke-free products from traditional cigarettes severely limits options for current adult smokers between the ages of 18 and 21 to find a pathway to quitting smoking.
2) Including low-risk products like e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in these types of laws sends a confusing and inaccurate message to adult smokers that smoke-free products are just as harmful as smoking.
3) If young members of the U.S. military can fight for our country, they should be permitted to purchase smoke-free nicotine products.
4) We allow 18 to 20-year-olds the option to get married, have children, buy a house, etc. What are we going to raise age limits on next?