Monday, November 23, 2015

Boston, MA - Local Alert! Board of Health needs to hear from you about flavor regulation and Tobacco 21

Boston, MA

The Boston Public Health Commission will be accepting public comments on a proposed change to the city’s tobacco regulations. These changes include:
  • Banning the sale of flavored tobacco and vapor products by retailers that are not licensed as a “retail tobacco store” or a “smoking bar.” (Specialty vapor shops are already considered to be “retail tobacco stores”)
  • Banning the sale of ALL tobacco products including e-cigarettes in “health care institutions” (pharmacies, drug stores, etc.).
  • Raising the age to purchase tobacco and vapor products to 21

Please take action NOW by sending an email to:
boardofhealth@bphc.org

We have provided talking points below for both of these issues.

Please also make plans to attend the public hearing scheduled for:

December 3rd, 2015
5:00PM - 7:00PM
Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Avenue
Hayes Conference Room, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02118


Suggested Talking Points - Flavor Regulation

1) Suggesting that flavored vapor products exist for the sole purpose of attracting youth is patently false and dangerous. Enacting regulation that makes these low-risk, smoke-free products less attractive and less effective for adults will only protect sales of traditional cigarettes and encourage people to continue smoking. Moreover, there is little assurance that this policy will not be extended to include specialty vapor retailers in the future.

2) Please briefly share your story about switching to vapor products. Be sure to mention the role, if any, that the variety of flavored vapor products played in your transition. It would also be helpful to mention your first exposure to e-cigarettes; did you purchase a product from a convenience store or gas station or did you instinctively know to go to a specialty vapor store?

3) Adult exposure to the variety of vapor products in the places they normally buy cigarettes is important because it is often the first time they will see this alternative to smoking. Only a small number of smokers will actually seek out specialty vapor shops to purchase their first e-cigarette. Limiting sales of flavored e-cigarettes to specialty shops would effectively reduce the number of people attempting to quit smoking.

4) 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)

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

6) 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 a product that is 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. 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?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Cleveland, OH - Local Alert! Take action to oppose flavor regulation and raising the age to vape to 21!

Cleveland, OH

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
9:30 AM
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
Ward
Council Member
Email
Phone
Health & Human Services Committee
3
Joe Cimperman
jcimperman@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.2691
5
Phyllis E. Cleveland
pcleveland@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.2309
6
Mamie Mitchell
council6@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4234
9
Kevin Conwell
council9@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4252
10
Jeffrey Johnson
council10@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4743
11
Dona Brady
dbrady@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.3708
14
Brian Cummins
bcummins@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4238
Other City Council Members
1
Terrell Pruitt
tpruitt@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4944
2
Zack Reed
zreed@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4945
4
Kenneth Johnson
kjohnson@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4941
7
TJ Dow
tdow@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.2908
8
Michael Polensek
mpolensek@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4236
12
Anthony Brancatelli
abrancatelli@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4233
13
Kevin Kelley
(Council President)
council13@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4579
15
Matt Zone
council15@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4235
16
Brian Kazy
bkazy@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.2942
17
Martin Keane
mkeane@clevelandcitycouncil.org
216.664.4239

Comma delimited email list:

jcimperman@clevelandcitycouncil.org, pcleveland@clevelandcitycouncil.org, council6@clevelandcitycouncil.org, council9@clevelandcitycouncil.org, council10@clevelandcitycouncil.org, dbrady@clevelandcitycouncil.org, bcummins@clevelandcitycouncil.org, tpruitt@clevelandcitycouncil.org, zreed@clevelandcitycouncil.org, kjohnson@clevelandcitycouncil.org, tdow@clevelandcitycouncil.org, mpolensek@clevelandcitycouncil.org, abrancatelli@clevelandcitycouncil.org, council13@clevelandcitycouncil.org, council15@clevelandcitycouncil.org, bkazy@clevelandcitycouncil.org, mkeane@clevelandcitycouncil.org



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?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Kansas City, MO - Local Alert! Take action to oppose an indoor vaping ban!

Kansas City, MO


Update - 11.18.15


The ordinance that would ban vaping in the same places where smoking is prohibited has been voted favorably out of committee. The ordinance now moves to a full council legislative hearing tomorrow
Thursday, November 19th, 2015
3:00 PM
(agenda pending)


It is vital that you take the time now to Call and Email council members! Public comment will not be heard at this meeting. We have provided contact information below. Please refer to the talking points at the bottom of this call to action when calling and emailing your council members.

Kansas City, MO - City Council
Dist
Council Member
Phone
Mayor
Sly James
816-513-3500
1st, At large
Scott Wagner
816-513-6503
1
Heather Hall
816-513-6505
2nd, At large
Teresa Loar
816-513-6507
2
Dan Fowler
816-513-6509
3rd, At large
Quinton Lucas
816-513-6511
3
Jermaine Reed
816-513-6513
4th, At large
Katheryn Shields
816-513-6515
4
Jolie Justus
816-513-6517
5th, At large
Lee Barnes, Jr.
816-513-6519
5
Alissia Canady
816-513-6521
6th, At large
Scott Taylor
816-513-6523
6
Kevin McManus
816-513-6525


Comma delimited email list:


Heather.Hall@kcmo.org, Quinton.Lucas@kcmo.org, Katheryn.Shields@kcmo.org, Alissia.Canady@kcmo.org, scott.wagner@kcmo.org, Teresa.Loar@kcmo.org, Dan.Fowler@kcmo.org, Jermaine.Reed@kcmo.org, Jolie.Justus@kcmo.org, Lee.Barnes@kcmo.org, Scott.Taylor@kcmo.org, Kevin.McManus@kcmo.org, LeShyeka.Roland@kcmo.org


Original Post - 11.17.15


Ordinance No. 1509653 which would ban vaping where smoking is currently prohibited will be discussed in the Kansas City Neighborhoods and Public Safety Committee on


10:00 AM
26th Floor, Council Chambers
414 E. 12th St.
Kansas City, MO 64106


Here are 3 things you can do to oppose this ordinance:


  1. Call the committee members and urge them to reject this ordinance. Our friends at BRAVE have provided talking points for the call here.
  2. Send an email to committee members. We have provided talking points and contact information below.
  3. From the meeting agenda page, click the link for the witness request form and mark your position as AGAINST. Be sure to include “Ordinance 150953” in the “Issue” field. You can also use the “notes” field provided on the form to tell your story and/or use some of the talking points provided we’ve provided below.
KC MO Witness Request Form.jpg


Please share these posts on social media:




--


Kansas City, MO
Neighborhoods and Public Safety Committee
Dist.
Council Member
Email
Phone
1
Heather Hall
Heather.Hall@kcmo.org
816-513-6505
3
Quinton Lucas
Quinton.Lucas@kcmo.org
816-513-6511
4
Katheryn Shields
Katheryn.Shields@knmo.org
816-513-6515
5
Alissia Canady
Alissia.Canady@kcmo.org
816-513-6521


Comma delimited email list:


Heather.Hall@kcmo.org, Quinton.Lucas@kcmo.org, Katheryn.Shields@knmo.org, Alissia.Canady@kcmo.org


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. Other governments are taking exactly the opposite approach; Public Health England (the government public health agency) recently explicitly endorsed a policy of encouraging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and vapor products (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-an-evidence-update).


  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.


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