Tuesday, March 31, 2015

CASAA Podcast Update March 30, 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.



CASAA Podcast Update March 30, 2015

0:55 – Arkansas – Things moving quickly with  SB 978, which is very problematic even with amendments being considered.  We will update when more information is known, but it is not clear there will be additional opportunities to effectively engage.

2:40 – Texas – Multiple bills, a handful of which addressed prohibiting sales to minors. Our efforts have been focused on making sure that sales get banned to minors but not in a manner that would have a substantial impact on adult access. New Call to Action issued 3-30-15 to allow consumers to contact their legislators to share general concerns about this issue.

4:15 – Nevada – Call to Action to be issued for indoor use ban SB 201 that will be heard in Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, April 1st.  (Editor’s note: Call to Action issued after this show aired.) Also a clean bill to ban sales to minors is being considered, which may or may not require a Call to Action.

5:50 – Connecticut – Consumer calls and emails have had an impact. HB 6283 has been dialed back to an indoor use ban. (HB 6283 originally defined e-cigarettes as tobacco, banned flavors, and imposed manufacturing/labeling/advertising restrictions, as well as imposing an indoor use ban.) We still oppose this legislation, and Connecticut residents should continue to make their voice heard.

7:35 – Delaware – HB 5 (indoor use ban, including vapor shops) is set for a hearing on Wednesday, April 1st at 3:30 p.m.

9:50 - Massachusetts – Anticipate Call to Action soon.

11:40 – The importance of local legislation and the logistical problems associated with tracking and issuing local alerts. It is important for people to monitor their city council. Just last week, six towns in MA gave full control to their local boards of health to regulate smoking/vaping. When you see an article locally about smoking, please don’t assume it doesn’t apply to you because more often than not it will also include vaping.

16:20 – Oregon – SB 415 and 416 were the subject of work sessions 3-30-15. (https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Committees/SHC/2015-03-30-15-00/Agenda, and recording log will eventually be available at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Committees/SHC/2015-03-30-15-00/RecordingLog) Oregon Call to Action updated 3/28/15 to note an amendment to SB 415 has been offered that would remove vapor products from the flavor ban. CASAA continues to oppose SB 415, though, as it would ban other flavored low-risk alternatives to smoking such as smokeless tobacco.

17:20 – California – SB 140 (indoor use ban) and SB 24 (licensing/packaging) will be heard April 8, 2015, and we expect to be issuing a Call to Action this week. Shout out to NorCal SFATA for its hard work. (NorCal SFATA’s Call to Action for industry stakeholders)

18:15 – More local alerts will be issued next week.


As always:

Submit your testimonial for the CASAA Testimonials Project and Join CASAA so that you receive the most up-to-date information on issues affecting you.

Join the conversation:










Monday, March 30, 2015

Nevada Call to Action: Oppose SB 201 which would prohibit vaping where smoking is currently banned

(04.01.15) You can also fill out an online opinion poll provided by the Nevada legislature to let them know that you oppose SB 201. (Please do this in addition to sending an email and attending the hearing.)

(03.30.15)


Nevada Senate Bill 201 would deceptively redefine “smoking” to include the use of “electronic smoking devices” for the purpose of including vaping in the state’s indoor clean air act.  


Please take action now by sending a message to your state senator and members of the committee.


SB 201 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, April 1st at 1:00 PM.
Room 2134 of the Legislative Building
401 S. Carson St.
Carson City, NV


Videoconferenced to:
Room 4412E Grant Sawyer State Office Building
555 E. Washington Ave.
Las Vegas, NV.


Please make plans to attend this hearing.  For talking points to use in developing your comments to the committee, please see here.  Even if you are not planning to testify, your attendance is important as it demonstrates the many people affected by and engaged in this issue. (As a sign of respect, we ask that you refrain from vaping in the building.)




(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.

Texas Call to Action: Take Action to oppose FOUR bills that would limit adult access to vapor products

(Update - 03/30/2015)


The discussion about prohibiting sales of vapor products to minors in Texas will continue on Monday, March 30th in the House Public Health Committee.  Over the past week, a substantial amount of work has been done to bring a bill to the table that would ban sales to minors without imposing unnecessary barriers to adult access.


At this time, there is no one bill in particular we are recommending for our members to support, although we understand there are several amendments being considered that would address at least some of the concerns that we have.  


We are asking that you contact your legislators to let them know of your concerns so that the issues that are important to us as consumers are taken into account as amendments are being offered.




(Original Post - 03/20/15)

Several bills that would impede consumer access to vapor products are scheduled for a public hearing in the House Public Health Committee on Tuesday, March 24th at 8:00 AM in the Capitol Extension, 2nd floor, room E.012 (Central Gallery - click here for a map).  We have Identified HB 170, HB 81, HB 970, and HB 2321 as all containing language that would impact consumer access, choice, and awareness of vapor products. While we oppose those bills, we urge support of HB 647, a common sense bill that only seeks to prohibit sales to minors.


Please take action now by sending a message and making a call to your representatives urging them to oppose these bills and adopt an appropriate rule prohibiting sales to minors.




For those wishing to testify or otherwise attend the hearing, an organizational meeting will be held on Monday, March 23rd at 7:00PM at:


Driskill Hotel
(Upstairs lounge area)
604 Brazos St
Austin, TX 78701


This meeting is for anyone interested in testifying or attending the hearing.  Remember, even if you are not planning to testify, your attendance is valuable as it demonstrates the large number of people affected by and engaged in this issue.




(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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Philadelphia, PA - Local Alert: A bill threatens exemptions to the smoking / vaping ban



Philadelphia, PA

A bill (Bill no. 150090) will be up for a public hearing before the Philly City Council at 10:00 AM tomorrow (Thursday, March 26th).  Please make plans to attend this hearing.

This bill would remove the ability of certain bars and private clubs to get exemptions from the smoking ban. However, it would also prohibit any private club or bar that currently has an exemption from the smoking ban to get a permit that allows vaping inside.

In other words -- If a bar in Philly allows smoking and they have not yet received a permit to allow e-cigarette use, the owner of a SMOKE-FILLED BAR will be forced to tell vapers to go outside.

Philadelphia City Council members use a web-forms for contacting via email.  Instead, please take a moment to call them.


Philadelphia City Council
Dist
Council member
Phone
Email
1
Mark Squilla
(215)686-3458, (215)686-3459
mark.squilla@phila.gov
2
Kenyatta Johnson
(215)686-3412, (215)686-3413
kenyatta.johnson@phila.gov
3
Jannie Blackwell
(215) 686-3418, (215) 686-3419
jannie.l.blackwell@phila.gov
4
Curtis Jones, Jr.
(215) 686-3416, (215) 686-3417
curtis.jones@phila.gov
5
Darrell L. Clarke
(215) 686-3442, (215) 686-3443
darrell.clarke@phila.gov
6
Bobby Henon
(215) 686-3444, (215) 686-3445
bobby.henon@phila.gov
7
Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez
(215) 686-3448, (215) 686-3449
maria.q.sanchez@phila.gov
8
Cindy Bass
(215) 686-3424, (215) 686-3425
cindy.bass@phila.gov
9
Marian B. Tasco
(215) 686-3454, (215) 686-3455
marian.tasco@phila.gov
10
Brian J. O’Neill
(215) 686-3422, (215) 686-3423
brian.o'neill@phila.gov
Council Members At Large

Blondell Reynolds Brown
(215) 686-3438, (215) 686-3439
blondell.reynolds.brown@phila.gov

David Oh
(215) 686-3452 (215) 686-3453
david.oh@phila.gov

Dennis O’Brien
(215) 686-3440, (215) 686-3441
dennis.obrien@phila.gov

Ed Neilson
(215) 686-3420, (215) 686-3421


W. Wilson Goode, Jr.
(215) 686-3414, (215) 686-3415
wilson.goode@phila.gov

William K. Greenlee
(215) 686-3446, (215) 686-3447
william.greenlee@phila.gov

Comma delimited email list:
mark.squilla@phila.gov, kenyatta.johnson@phila.gov, jannie.l.blackwell@phila.gov, curtis.jones@phila.gov, darrell.clarke@phila.gov, bobby.henon@phila.gov, maria.q.sanchez@phila.gov, cindy.bass@phila.gov, marian.tasco@phila.gov, neill@phila.gov, blondell.reynolds.brown@phila.gov, david.oh@phila.gov, dennis.obrien@phila.gov, wilson.goode@phila.gov, william.greenlee@phila.gov



Thank You,
CASAA Legislative Team

Arkansas Call to Action: URGENT! Oppose SB 978 which is being rushed through the legislature and could impose damaging regulations on the AR Vapor Industry.

(Update - 03.27.15)

Yesterday, SB 978 was “pulled back” in order to consider changes that would address comments offered at today’s hearing.  A special thanks is in order for all those that managed to attend and testify on such short notice.  However, we still have no assurances that this bill will be amended favorably.  Specifically, we are concerned that the requirement for retailers to procure their e-liquid only from licensed Arkansas wholesalers will remain.  This is a clear indication that the legislature intends to impose a tax on vapor products in the future.  We have updated our campaign to address this and other points.

Thank you for taking action yesterday, we need your help at least this one more time.  Please take action now to oppose SB 978.

Oppose SB 978 - Send an Email


--

(URGENT Update - 03.25.15, 11:00 PM)


Earlier today we contacted you about a serious threat to your right to access vapor products in Arkansas. Since then, the bill has progressed, we’ve received new information, and we’ve updated the Call to Action.


For those of you that have already participated, please click here to send another email to the Speaker of the House.  Please also see contact information below and follow up with a phone call.


For the rest, please take action below.


Up until Tuesday of this week (3/24), SB 978 was a “shell bill” with no substantive provisions.  This all changed when 31 pages of regulations were substituted and rushed through the legislative process.  Currently the bill is scheduled  to be heard in the House Rules Committee Thursday, March 26th at 12:00 PM approximately 1:00 p.m. at the State Capitol Building (500 Woodlane Street) in Little Rock.


  • Please fill out the form below and send an email to the speaker, your district representative and members of the committee
  • Call the Speaker of the House, Rep. Jeremy Gillam, at 501-729-0042, and let him know that you strongly oppose SB 978 and want an opportunity for the small- and medium-sized businesses--and the consumers they serve--to have an opportunity to participate in the process and share concerns.




  • Attend the hearing if at all possible and let the Rules Committee know you strongly oppose SB 978.


It is our understanding that representatives of the Arkansas vapor industry were misled into believing that SB 978 would not place unnecessary restrictions on retailers or manufacturers.  Unfortunately, this bill has moved out of their control and presents several challenges that must be fixed.


If passed, SB 978 would, among other things:
  • Lay the groundwork for future taxation of vapor products
  • Impose onerous paperwork requirements on industry
  • Require vapor retailers to only purchase their products only through wholesalers licensed by the State of Arkansas
  • Impose specific child-resistant packaging requirements that are not in line with existing federal regulation.
  • Become effective May 1st, meaning that many retailers will be forced to operate illegally if state bureaucrats are unable to dispense licenses in time.


Please take action NOW to oppose this bill!


Please also take a moment to call members of the House Rules Committee and tell them that you oppose this bill:

AR House Rules Cmte
John T. Vines501-624-1252
Andy Davis501-837-5109
David L. Branscum870-448-2408
Mary Broadaway870-236-9800
Les Eaves501-827-1344
Jon S. Eubanks479-438-0533
Deborah Ferguson870-735-7098
Bill Gossage479-667-2122
Monte Hodges870-281-6878
Kelley Linck870-404-2741
Mark Lowery501-837-5221
James Ratliff501-454-5200
Laurie Rushing501-545-6066
James Sturch870-612-7589
DeAnn Vaught870-832-2638


(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.