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.
0:50 - Hawaii Call to Action: SB 2961 was voted on in committee (CPH) on Saturday, February 6th, 2016. We are still waiting on an update to the bill which will likely include specifics on the amount of the tax proposed.
2:57 - Oregon Call to Action: HB 4062 -- 50% tax on the retail price of e-liquids and devices -- was in a work session on February 5th, 2016 and is moving on to the House Committee on Revenue. No hearing date has been set at this time. We will update as details become available.
4:27 - Alex had the opportunity to visit with Chris Hughes, PA SFATA Chapter President, and some other PA retailers on Saturday, February 6th, in Williamsport, PA. Some discussion included how negative stories in the media may be impacting sales (more than the typical after-Christmas lull).
8:26 - Alameda Co., CA - Local Alert: On Tuesday, February 9th, 2016, the County Supervisors will discuss and likely vote on an ordinance to require tobacco retailers -- including vapor shops -- in unincorporated areas of the county to acquire tobacco retail licenses. There is an alternate ordinance that is specifically tailored to vapor shops that Supervisor Miley is working to advance. [Update - The tobacco retail license ordinance has been postponed until September, 2016]
10:36 / 19:54 - Albany Co., NY - Local Alert: On Tuesday, February 9th, 2016, the County Legislature will set a public hearing date for a bill (item #73 on the agenda) that would raise the minimum purchase age for tobacco products including vapor products to 21. The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016.
14:06 - Government websites are notoriously difficult to navigate -- some would argue intentionally so. Please see Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy for more perspective on this topic.
21:32 - New Jersey Call to Action: S 298, which would prohibit the sale of vapor products in flavors other than tobacco, menthol, and clove has passed out of the Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee. This bill will now move on to the full senate for consideration.
23:36 - Support HR 2058: Thanks, in large part, to the efforts of SFATA and their annual fly-in to Washington, DC, four (possibly more) new co-sponsors have signed onto HR 2058. CASAA will update our “thank you” campaign as soon as the official roster is updated.
25:26 - Georgia Call to Action: HB 907, which is practically a carbon copy of Indiana’s SB.539/HB.1432 from 2015, would impose unnecessary and prohibitive licensing and manufacturing requirements on Georgia retailers and manufacturers. Hopefully, lessons learned in Indiana will aid in defeating this bill. If passed, it is suspected that proposals like HB 907 may be introduced in other states.
31:40 - Brief comparison between proposed regulations in Georgia and current regulations in Utah. Although the Utah regulations are at least workable, they are a good example of what happens when non-experts who are unfamiliar with the vapor industry develop rules that govern the sale and manufacture of vapor products.