Sunday, May 31, 2015

Greenwood, IN - Local Alert: Indoor Use Ban

Greenwood, IN

An ordinance (No. 15-23) which would include vaping in the city’s indoor smoke-free law will be introduced and read for the first time.

Council Chambers, Greenwood City Building
300 S. Madison
Greenwood, IN

To the credit of Greenwood policy makers, this ordinance defines vapor separate from “smoke” and provides and exemption for vapor shops. However, despite the thoughtful consideration of the language, the spirit of this ordinance remains a deceptive conflation of cigarette smoking and low-risk, smoke-free vapor products.

Please take a moment to send emails and make phone calls to Greenwood city council members. We have provided contact information and talking points below.

Please also make plans to attend the city council hearing. Even if you do not plan to speak, your presence is important as it demonstrates the large number of people affected by this policy and engaged in this issue. As a sign of respect, please refrain from vaping in the council chambers and the city building.

Greenwood, IN - Common Council
Council Member
(317) 418-3031
(317) 881-4771
(317) 881-3726
(317) 889-8875
(Council President)
(317) 727-0098
(317) 509-8778
At Large
(317) 807-1718
At Large
(317) 374-4681
At Large
(317) 517-1098

Comma delimited email list:,,,,,,,,

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

CASAA Podcast Update May 25, 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. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Texas Call to Action: SB 97 should be amended to remove unnecessary hurdles to adult access to vapor products online

(Update - 05.31.15)

On Thursday, May 28th, Governor Abbott signed SB 97 into law. Although CASAA supports prohibiting sales to minors, the bill also contained onerous requirements for delivery (online) sales, particularly those involving sales from out-of-state. Under this new law, out-of-state retailers will be required to use a method of shipping that requires an adult signature upon delivery. As discussed in our previous updates, this regulation is a de facto ban on delivery of online sales of vapor products from out-of-state vendors to adult consumers between the ages of 18 - 21.

Thanks to the efforts of Texas advocates, this law is substantially less damaging than it could have been. However, due to the unnecessary burdens placed on consumers shopping with out-of-state vendors, CASAA is concluding this call to action as only somewhat favorable. The fact that this law will likely be challenged in court as a violation of the US Commerce Clause is contributing to our “glass half full” conclusion.

Thank you to all who participated in this call to action. Please check back frequently for updates on local alerts for Texas and please participate in our current Call to Support HR 2058.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ohio Call to Action: Oppose ANY tax on vapor products

It is likely that tax language regarding electronic cigarettes will be added to a revenue or tobacco tax bill in Ohio. As soon as more details emerge, we will update this alert. In the meantime, we are asking Ohio advocates to take action by sending a message to lawmakers urging them to oppose ANY taxes on vapor products.

Please take action NOW and send a message to Ohio lawmakers urging them to oppose ANY taxes on vapor products.

(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.

Mercer Co., WV - Local Alert: BOH seeks input on indoor vaping ban

Mercer Co., WV

(Update - 05.20.15)

Today is the final day for comment on the Mercer Co. Board of Health’s proposal to include vaping in the county’s Indoor Clean Air Law. According to an article published yesterday, only four people have taken advantage of commenting on the proposed regulation.

Please take action NOW to comment. Please take a moment to submit comments regarding this proposal to

“Public comment: Last chance for input on e-cigs” - May 18th, 2015

(Original Post - 05.12.15)

The Mercer County Board of Health is seeking comment on a proposal to include vaping in the county’s Indoor Clean Air Law.  Although it has been suggested that this proposal would provide an exemption for vapor retail shops, including vaping in the indoor clean air law would prohibit the use of vapor products in thousands of workplaces and public spaces.

Please take a moment to submit comments regarding this proposal to

We have provided talking points below.

Please share this link on social media:

“Board of Health set to consider regulations on e-cigarettes, vaping” - May 10th, 2015

“Changes Involving E-Cigarettes Considered in the County Clean Indoor Air Regulation in Mercer County” - April 9th, 2015

Suggested Talking Points - Indoor Use
  • (Please choose a few of the points below -- topics you are most comfortable discussing.)

  1. You are a resident and you oppose banning e-cigarette use where smoking is prohibited. (If you are responding to a Call to Action or Local Alert for a city or state in which you are not a resident, please mention any connection you have to the area, for example, you travel there on vacation or have friends/family in the area.)

  1. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette has changed your life. (Avoid using slang terms such as "juice.")

  1. Clarify that:
    1. Smoking bans are ostensibly enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been found to pose a risk to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with e-cigarettes are comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.
    2. The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.
    3. A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found "no apparent concern" for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under "worst case" assumptions about exposure.
    4. Electronic cigarette use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. It is easy to tell when someone lights a cigarette from the smell of smoke. E-cigarette vapor is often practically odorless, and generally any detectable odor is not unpleasant and smells nothing like smoke. Additionally, e-cigarette users can decide whether to release any vapor ("discreet vaping").  With so little evidence of use, enforcing use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.
    5. The ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch and reduce their health risks by an estimated 99%.
    6. Losing the ability to test e-liquids before purchasing will have a significant and negative impact on your ability to purchase/sell e-liquids.
    7. Many smokers first try e-cigarettes because they can use them where they cannot smoke, however, they often become "accidental quitters." This is a documented phenomenon unique to e-cigarettes. It may take a few months or only a few days, but they inevitably stop smoking conventional cigarettes. This is why including e-cigarettes in smoking bans could have serious unintended consequences!
    8. By making e-cigarette users go outdoors, the City will also be sending a strong message to traditional smokers that e-cigarettes are no safer than smoking. This will actually maintain the number of smokers, rather than help reduce smoking. This is a far more realistic risk to public health than any unfounded concerns about possible youth or non-smoker use uptake. In fact, the most recent report by the CDC showed that the dramatic increase in e-cigarette use over that past 3 years has not led to an increase in youth smoking. Youth smoking of traditional cigarettes continues to decline to record low levels.
    9. The children of smoking parents are far more likely to become smokers than the children of non-smoking parents who see smoking behaviors in public. The children of smoking parents who quit aren't any more likely to smoke than those of non-smoking parents. Prohibiting vapor products in public does little to protect the children of non-smoking parents from becoming smokers, but significantly increases the likelihood that many smoking parents won't switch to e-cigarettes. This only serves to keep the highest-risk children at risk.
    10. E-cigarette use does not promote the smoking of traditional cigarettes, nor does it threaten the gains of tobacco control over the past few decades. In fact, by normalizing e-cigarette use over traditional smoking, the efforts of tobacco control are being supported. If anything, e-cigarette use denormalizes conventional smoking by setting the example of smokers choosing a far less harmful alternative to traditional smoking. The CDC surveys clearly show that there has been no "gateway effect" causing non-smokers to start smoking. As e-cigarettes have become more popular, all available evidence is showing that more and more smokers are quitting traditional cigarettes, including youth smokers.
    11. Important Note: A typical and frequent lawmaker response to e-cigarette users who object to public use bans is "We aren't banning all use or sales, just use where smoking is also prohibited." Don't give them the opportunity to counter you in that way! Make it very clear that you understand that this is not a ban of e-cigarette sales or a ban of e-cigarette use where smoking is allowed, but that what IS proposed is still a step backward in public health, not a step forward.

4) Direct them to the website, as well as the CASAA Research Library, for more information.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CASAA Podcast Update May 18, 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. 

1:00 – Sonoma, CA – public hearing tonight (Monday, 5-18-15) on an ordinance introduced in March re requiring a tobacco dealer license to sell vapor products. Ordinance would only allow 15 locations in the city to obtain a license, and those locations already have shops that sell tobacco/vapor products (none of which are specialty vapor shops). Also would ban flavors other than tobacco and menthol.  NorCal SFATA people are organizing a response.

5:05 – Santa Barbara County, CA – ordinance introduced to ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited. Tuesday, May 19th hearing at 9:00 a.m.

6:20 – Study circulating regarding ANDS (Alternative Nicotine Delivery Systems), which seems to us to be a better label than "ENDS" (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems). For those unfamiliar with why "ENDS" is such a derogatory and politically motivated label, please read more here

8:00 – Denver, CO – hearing tonight (Monday, 5-18-15) 5:30 p.m. re final consideration of ban on free samples. The way the ordinances is written, it wouldn’t cover zero nicotine samples, so a workaround for zero nicotine sampling in stores, but would affect trade shows.

10:30 - Naperville, IL – ordinance re tobacco dealer license. CASAA's position is that if licensing/registering must take place, then a separate non-tobacco license/permit is the appropriate course to avoid unanticipated problems. (For example, Iowa required tobacco license/permit, which resulted in a de facto ban on online sales per Attorney General ruling.)

12:30 - Salem, OR – ordinance prohibiting vaping on city property, including outdoor areas owned by the city such as parks. Tuesday, May 26, 2015 hearing.

16:20 - Vermont – Preliminary indications are that we won! Tax language removed from SB 139, so all signs point to no vapor tax in Vermont this year.

17:25 – HR 2058 (US Congress) – FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Cole (Oklahoma). Would change grandfather date from February 15, 2007 to a date forward when the FDA deeming regulations are finalized. This would allow products currently on the market not to have to file premarket tobacco applications and would increase the pool of predicate products that manufacturers can rely on when filing for substantial equivalency. We are asking consumers to support this bill. Our ideal would be to see a different regulatory setup for vapor products, and while this bill wouldn’t solve all of our problems, it is a good step in the right direction. We’re still going to see a significant number of businesses not be able to make it through the FDA registration process, but this will allow far more to survive and for consumers to be able to continue to access a wide variety of products.

23:48 – Port St. Lucie, FL – Ordinance passed unanimously banning e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.

25:25 – New York State – NY residents should be on high alert. Possible legislation banning e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited. Moreover, many local jurisdictions seeking to pass bans. CASAA members should scan local newspapers regarding smoking bans and then follow-up because they often are seeking to include e-cigarettes in the bans (and not always obvious).

27:55 – Various legislatures coming to end of session. Hawaii passed two bills (ban on vaping where smoking prohibited and raising the age to purchase to 21). Tax legislation successfully defeated. A special thanks to Hawaii Vapers United for their hard work.

28:20 - Oregon has had a rough legislative session, and it and New York State remain on the radar.

As always:
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