Sunday, February 28, 2016

CT - Take Action to oppose misguided Tobacco and Vapor 21 Laws

SB 290, which would prohibit the sale of vapor products to anyone under the age of 21*, is scheduled for a hearing on:

10:00 AM
Joint Committee on Public Health, Rm 1D

Please take a moment now and send a message to your lawmakers urging them to oppose this bill. Your email will also be copied to the committee to be submitted as testimony on this bill.

Take Action! - Send an Email

Please also make plans to attend this hearing. Even if you do not plan to speak, your presence is important as it demonstrates the large numbers of people affected by and engaged in this issue. Please dress appropriately and do not vape inside the capitol.

*For more background on Tobacco 21 laws, please see CASAA’s recent statement on this issue from our February 2016 newsletter here.



(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 INCLUDE YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

UT - Take action to oppose misguided Tobacco 21 laws (HB 157)!



Update - 02.27.16


HB 157 will be heard again in committee on Monday, February 29th, 2016. However, at this time, it is being recommended that making phone calls and sending emails is the preferred way to express opposition to this bill rather than attending the hearing.


Oppose Tobacco 21 in Utah - Take Action


We have provided contact information for the committee members and talking points below. Please take a moment to call committee members and urge them to oppose this misguided policy which would deny adults access to low-risk products like e-cigarettes and snus.

UT - H. Revenue and Taxation Cmte (2016)
Dist
Representative
Phone
8
Gage Froerer
801-391-4233
9
Jeremy A. Peterson
(Vice Chair)
801-390-1480
21
Douglas V. Sagers
435-830-3485
25
Joel K. Briscoe
801-946-9791
28
Brian S. King
801-560-0769
38
Eric K. Hutchings
801-963-2639
41
Daniel McCay
(Chair)
801-810-4110
47
Ken Ivory
801-694-8380
50
Rich Cunningham
801-722-4942
52
John Knotwell
801-449-1834
57
Brian M. Greene
801-358-1338
62
Jon E. Stanard
435-414-4631
66
Mike K. McKell
801-210-1495


Suggested Talking Points - Tobacco (and vapor) 21


  1. Raising the purchase age for tobacco products to 21 is supposedly about discouraging youth initiation and protecting them from developing a dependence on smoking that might 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.


  1. In a few sentences, tell your story about how low-risk, smoke-free vapor products or tobacco products have helped you.


  1. 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.


  1. Tobacco 21 treats adults, who are capable enough to serve in the military, sign contracts, and elect decision-makers to public office, as incapable of making the distinction between risky and less risky behavior.


For more details on this bill and additional opportunities to take action, please see UT Smoke-Free’s call to action here.


*For more background on Tobacco 21 laws, please see CASAA’s recent statement on this issue from our February 2016 newsletter here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

MD - Take action to oppose an indoor vaping ban and taxes!

A bill -- HB 861 -- has been introduced in Maryland that would tax vapor product devices the same as traditional “cigarettes.” The bill would also senselessly prohibit vaping in the same places where smoking is banned. The tax rate proposed under this bill is unclear, and while the bill’s author has decided to redefine “cigarette” to include “electronic smoking devices,” the bill fails to establish a per pack or per cigarette equivalency for e-liquid or devices.


Oppose HB 861 - Send a Message


HB 861 is scheduled to be heard in committee on:


Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
1:00 PM
(weekly schedule published here)
Economic Matters Committee
Room 230, House Office Building
Annapolis, MD 21401-1991


Please make plans to attend this hearing. Even if you do not wish to speak, your presence is important as it demonstrates the large numbers of people engaged in this issue.


For those wishing to present testimony, please pay careful attention to the following:
  • Generally, hearings start at 1:00 p.m. Anyone wishing to testify on any bill must sign up using one of the electronic sign-up tablets.
  • Sign up will start at 4:00 p.m. the day before the bill hearing and end no later than 12:30 p.m. on the day of the hearing.
  • Oral testimony will be limited to 3 minutes.
  • If you have written testimony, please submit 35 copies to the committee staff by noon prior to the hearing. Written testimony must have a visible bill number. Multiple copies of written testimony must be collated and stapled. Late testimony will be distributed after the bill hearing.
  • Please notify the committee staff by 9:30 a.m. if you plan to use the committee display equipment. For different start times, please adjust accordingly.
  • Note: Bills are not necessarily heard in the order that they appear on the hearing schedule.


Please take action NOW to oppose taxes and place bans in Maryland by sending a message to your state representatives!


Oppose HB 861 - Send a Message


(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 INCLUDE YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

WV - Take action to oppose dangerous vapor taxes

Update - 02.20.16

Delegate Larry W. Faircloth (WV-60) has posted a petition on his website to oppose the West Virginia vapor tax bill.

Please take a moment tonight and sign the petition so he can hand deliver thousands of signatures from West Virginia residents opposed to enacting a tax on vapor products to the WV House Speaker.

Oppose vapor taxes in WV - Sign the Petition

Please also take a moment to send a message to lawmakers in West Virginia urging them to oppose this damaging tax.



Update - 02.17.16


SB 420 is expected to be heard in the Senate Finance Committee starting at 3:00 PM TODAY (February 17th, 2016). Please take a moment now and call senators on the committee -- especially those who represent your county or nearby counties -- urging them to oppose this dangerous tax on e-cigarettes, vapor products, and smokeless tobacco.


We have provided the phone numbers of all the committee members below.
Please make a call NOW and say:


  • Please oppose SB 420 and any effort to enact taxes on electronic cigarettes.
  • Taxes on these e-cigarettes will discourage smokers from switching to products which are known to be 95 - 98% less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
  • Similarly, raising taxes on smokeless tobacco is unjustifiable from a public health perspective and should be opposed.


Please let us know how the call went by sending feedback to takeaction@casaa.org


Senator
Phone
Counties
Senator M. Hall - Chair
(304) 357-7901
Jackson, Mason, Putnam (part), Roane (part)
Senator Walters - Vice-Chair
(304) 357-7866
Kanawha (part), Putnam (part)
Senator Blair
(304) 357-7867
Berkeley (part), Hampshire, Mineral (part), Morgan
Senator Boley
(304) 357-7905
Pleasants, Roane (part), Wirt, Wood
Senator Boso
(304) 357-7973
Grant (part), Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Upshur, Webster
Senator Carmichael
(304) 357-7855
Jackson, Mason, Putnam (part), Roane (part)
Senator Facemire
(304) 357-7845
Braxton, Clay, Gilmer (part), Harrison, Lewis
Senator Kessler
(304) 357-7902
Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer (part), Marion (part), Marshall (part), Monongalia (part), Ritchie, Tyler
Senator Laird
(304) 357-7849
Fayette, Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers
Senator Mullins
(304) 357-7831
McDowell (part), Raleigh, Wyoming
Senator Plymale
(304) 357-7937
Cabell, Wayne (part)
Senator Prezioso
(304) 357-7961
Marion (part), Monongalia (part)
Senator Stollings
(304) 357-7939
Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo (part), Wayne (part)
Senator Sypolt
(304) 357-7914
Barbour, Grant (part), Hardy, Mineral (part), Monongalia (part), Preston, Taylor, Tucker
Senator Takubo
(304) 357-7990
Kanawha (part)
Senator Unger
(304) 357-7933
Berkeley (part), Jefferson
Senator Yost
(304) 357-7984
Brooke, Hancock, Marshall (part), Ohio

Original Post 02.16.16

A budget proposed by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) would impose a new tax on e-liquid of 7.5¢ per milliliter ($9.00 on a 120ml bottle!), a 12% wholesale tax on devices, and hike the tax on smoke-free tobacco products like snus from 7% to 12%. As part of the process of considering the Governor’s proposal, SB 420 & HB 4494 have been introduced in the WV Senate and House. These bills would implement these unnecessary and counter-productive taxes.




CASAA is strongly opposed to any new taxes on vapor products. Smokers in states with sky high smoking rates -- like West Virginia -- need more economic incentives to switch, not less.  Plus, once the tax language is in the state code, it will be easier for the legislature to raise the tax as they see fit with very little resistance.


In order to defeat these taxes, it is critical that West Virginia advocates get active. Public testimony is not typically taken at West Virginia hearings, so personal contact in the form of emails AND phone calls are incredibly important to defeating these taxes.


SB 420 has been scheduled for a public hearing:


TOMORROW
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 3:00 PM


Please take a moment now to send a message to your senator urging them to oppose this tax on e-liquid!


Take Action - Send a Message


Oppose Vapor Taxes - Make a Call


(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 INCLUDE YOUR PERSONAL STORY (just a few sentences) in the text of your email.