CASAA’s Comment to FDA on Flavors

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), Regulation of Flavors in Tobacco Products, to obtain information related to the role that flavors play in tobacco products. Specifically, FDA is seeking comments on, among other things, how flavors attract youth to initiate tobacco product use, and about whether and how certain flavors may help adult cigarette smokers reduce cigarette use and switch to potentially less harmful products. In addition to encouraging individual consumers to submit comment, CASAA has submitted a thorough and comprehensive comment to the FDA.

Highlights

    • Comments being submitted by CASAA and thousands of individual consumers should be given serious and primary consideration, given that consumers are in a very real sense the most important stakeholders. It is our lives and our health that are most profoundly impacted by the decisions FDA makes in connection with Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) products. In fact, we consider the right of consumers to obtain honest information about the full range of THR products (and access to those THR products) to be a human rights issue.
    • THR products are indisputably low risk as compared with smoking. It is therefore self-evident that extraordinary care should be taken to regulate THR products lightly and to do nothing that would make them less accessible, less affordable, less effective, or less enjoyable to adult consumers.
    • The “problem” of youth use of THR products is not nearly the crisis that it is being portrayed as in the media and by public health activists. Far from youth tobacco use being a public health crisis, we are seeing a very steady decline in use. And even though there is a modest uptick in use of low-risk THR products, use of the most dangerous products is decreasing.
    • The collateral harm of making THR products less attractive and less available to adult consumers is that the most risky tobacco products, combustible cigarettes, remain the most popular and visible products to young people. Parents and close family friends, in turn, act as unknowing sources of both product and marketing for smoking.
    • The goal of reducing youth use of tobacco products generally (and of THR products specifically) should not outweigh the critical need to provide effective and satisfying low-risk smoking alternatives to adults.
    • There has not been a serious exploration of just how “addictive” nicotine is for various methods of delivery beyond FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), and there is substantial evidence that vapers (those who use vapor products) exhibit less dependence on vapor product use than they did as compared to smoking.
    • Contrary to notions that THR products might serve as a gateway to the most harmful combustible products, the declining smoking rates would suggest low-risk products are acting as a path away from smoking.
    • It is important to empower young people with truthful, accurate information, and it would be public health malpractice to mislead youth to believe that all tobacco products carry similar risks.
    • Federal law requires age verification and prohibits sales of all tobacco products, including low-risk THR products, to anyone under the age of 18. It is within FDA’s power to strictly enforce these laws in order to reduce youth access.
    • The definition of “flavors” is far from simple. Because vapor products contain no tobacco, even “tobacco-flavored” vapor products contain added flavorings. Moreover, “tobacco-flavored” vapor products, while in many cases reminiscent of some tobacco notes, do not replicate the taste of smoking a cigarette since there is no combustion to impart the taste, sensation, and aroma of smoke. Even completely unflavored liquids designed for use with vapor products impart a flavor since vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol (common ingredients) have a slightly sweet taste.
    • Non-tobacco and non-menthol flavors in and of themselves do not constitute marketing to children. If this were a genuine issue, the pharmaceutical industry would be under fire for producing NRT gums and lozenges (which can be used without detection in schools and other places in order to circumvent smoking bans) that come in trendy flavors like Fruit Chill™, Cinnamon Surge™, White Ice Mint® and Spearmint Burst™, to name a few.
    • Of those who quit smoking entirely (87% of the CASAA Survey respondents), 72% credited interesting flavors with helping them quit. This response very clearly demonstrates that among the CASAA Survey respondents who have been successful in completely replaced their smoking habit with vaping, flavors were instrumental in helping them quit. Of those who still smoke, 53% credited interesting flavors as helping them move towards quitting entirely.
    • Reducing flavor choices will reduce overall enjoyment of THR products for many consumers. This loss of enjoyment is not only detrimental to consumers, it will inevitably lead to fewer smokers successfully reducing or eliminating their smoking habit by switching to THR products.
    • There are now thousands of brick and mortar vapor shops across the United States which sell a wide variety of products. As discussed in more detail below, these shops play a vital role in the fabric of the vaping community and are instrumental in helping smokers who are interested in reducing or eliminating their smoking habit. Anything but a relatively trivial intervention by FDA in connection with flavors will have a devastating impact on those vapor shops and on the consumers who rely on them to become or remain smoke-free.
    • Given the low-risk nature of vaping as compared to smoking, there is nothing misleading in informing consumers that vaping poses fewer risks than smoking. Yet vapor companies are prohibited from even suggesting to consumers that vaping is likely less hazardous than smoking. From a consumer rights standpoint, it is simply indefensible that the government would prohibit consumers from receiving this basic, truthful information from vapor companies.
    • Limiting the supply will not eliminate the demand. Any non-trivial restriction on flavors will result in an increase in consumers seeking out black market sources and engaging in Do It Yourself (DIY) activities in order to be able to use the flavors they enjoy.

CASAA’s full comment to the FDA can be read below or here.

07.19.18 – CASAA comments – FDA-2017-N-6565 – Regulation of Flavors in Tobacco Products

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, FDA, flavors, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA’s Comment to FDA on Flavors

CASAA Submits Comment to FDA Regarding Nicotine Limits

   Image from FDA.gov

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Tobacco Product Standard for Nicotine Level of Combusted Cigarettes, an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking public comment for consideration in developing a potential nicotine product standard for combustible tobacco products. The FDA claims that “lowering nicotine to a minimally or non-addictive level could potentially save millions of lives, both in the near and long-terms.”

Because CASAA is a tobacco harm reduction organization, we generally do not take a position on regulation of combustible products. However, since CASAA also represents current smokers who may in the future choose to use Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) products, we submitted a comment on this ANPRM because we are concerned about the unintended consequences of dramatically reducing nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes and how that may actually harm smokers instead of reducing their risks.

CASAA’s concerns regarding lowering nicotine levels include:

  • An increase in compensatory smoking
  • Perpetuation of the myth that nicotine is what causes smoking-related diseases
  • Increase in black market sales
  • Lack of a clear regulatory path forward for low-risk products so that smokers have acceptable alternatives
  • FDA hinting of the possibility of even greater prohibition on other low-risk tobacco products by, for example, eliminating the sale of higher nicotine content liquid for e-cigarettes to prevent potential use in low-nicotine combustible cigarettes

CASAA’s full comment can be viewed below or here.

CASAA – Comment on FDA-2017-N-6189 – Tobacco Product Standards for Nicotine Level of Combusted Cigarettes (07.16.18)

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, FDA, News, news-all, nicotine, Policy analysis (THR), Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA Submits Comment to FDA Regarding Nicotine Limits

CASAA Tobacco 21 policy statement: “Including low-risk alternatives in T21 laws is unwise, misleading”

Graphic from the Tobacco 21 web site, which falsely claims that vapor products are designed and advertised to be an addictive “gateway” for youth to using tobacco, therefore, they only support T21 laws that include vapor products.

Proposals to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products have been working their way through cities and municipalities for roughly ten years. In 2013, New York City– known for its aggressive tobacco control policies–was the first major US city to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vapor products to 21. In 2015, Hawaii became the first state to pass legislation that raises the minimum purchase age to 21.

Advocates of Tobacco 21 (T21) claim these laws will significantly reduce smoking initiation for adolescents and young adults. However, these laws also ban the sale of vapor products and other safer alternatives to smoking. CASAA’s position is that including low-risk alternatives in T21 laws is unwise and likely to hamper the general public health goal of reducing the use of combustible tobacco products.

Consistent with CASAA’s mission, we support the principles of tobacco harm reduction as the most effective and humane means for reducing the harms attributed to smoking. We believe if consumers are provided accurate information about the relative health risks of these products, in concert with their individual freedom to choose, many will opt for safer, low-risk alternatives to smoking. Empowering consumers presents a significant opportunity to vastly improve public health without resorting to coercive methods of control such as punitive taxation, comprehensive place bans, and excessively restrictive regulations.

In contrast, advocates of T21 legislation have as their guiding principle the eventual elimination of tobacco and nicotine products from the marketplace. To this end, they promote the view that all tobacco and vapor products, in spite of considerable evidence to the contrary, are equally harmful. We believe it is never appropriate to mislead consumers about product risks in order to achieve a policy goal. Furthermore, as most youth obtain their tobacco products from a grey market, such prohibition only serves to amplify this problem without adequately addressing, or funding, enforcement efforts – efforts that often result in misdemeanor convictions that hinder young adults from achieving economic independence.

Accordingly, T21 legislation, which treats all tobacco and vapor products equally under the law, sends the misleading message to consumers that e-cigarettes, snus, and other low-risk products pose risks equivalent to traditional cigarettes. It treats young 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. And finally, T21 laws represent a prohibitionist approach, which in the past has often been met with limited success compared to the harmful unintended consequences.

Although CASAA takes no position on regulations regarding combustible tobacco products, we strongly oppose this legislation. We believe this policy will cause far more harm than it prevents, and we urge our members to oppose it.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, CASAA Guidance, e cigarettes, News, news-all, policy, Smokeless Tobacco, T21, Tobacco 21, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA Tobacco 21 policy statement: “Including low-risk alternatives in T21 laws is unwise, misleading”

Batteries & Bottles: Traveling Safely This Summer

With the summer travel season here, many consumers are wondering about traveling on vacation with their vapor devices and liquids. Lithium batteries are often the most concerning aspect. Headlines appear almost every week of a cell phone, laptop, headphones, hoverboards and even vapor devices overheating or even exploding. The next most common concern is having liquids confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Read below about policies and practices that will safely and successfully get you to your destination!

TSA Rules Apply
– The FAA prohibits these devices in checked bags. Battery-powered E-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, atomizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems may only be carried in the aircraft cabin (in carry-on baggage or on your person). Check with your airline for additional restrictions. Remove all electronic cigarette and vaping devices from carry-on bags if checked at the gate or planeside.1

– You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, including e-liquids, in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. Placing these items in the small bag and separating from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.2

– Amtrak prohibits use of devices on its trains, Thruway buses and stations. Vaping is allowed in designated smoking areas.3

Packing Safety
– Do not place batteries in pockets, pouches or bags that contain coins, keys or other metallic objects. These things may come into contact with the batteries, complete an electrical circuit and could cause the battery to overheat. Many shops will provide free battery cases to customers with a battery purchase. Don’t throw those cases away!

– Remember to pack the original charger. Never use a phone or laptop charger to charge your device.

– If traveling to a foreign country, be sure to check what type of electrical outlets are common there. U.S.-style plugs may not work in the outlets of some countries and a special charging plug may be needed.

– If leaving your device in a purse or carry-on bag, remove the batteries or lock the firing button. If your device doesn’t have a locking mechanism, consider getting a device for travel that has safety features, such as the firing button lock, vent holes and overcharging protection.

Hotels and Motels
– Some hotels and motels still have smoking rooms, except in states and cities where smoking is prohibited.  Check the hotel web site for smoking policies, as many now include vaping. You can also look up many state and local vaping laws on CASAA’s Find My State Info pages.

– Vaping is typically allowed in smoking rooms. However, use caution when exhaling large amounts of vapor, as excess vapor is known to have triggered hotel smoke alarms.

– Do not assume vaping is allowed in non-smoking rooms simply because vapor products do not create smoke. There have been several reports of hotel staff reporting vapers as smoking in their room, resulting in financial penalties for the guest.

Other Safety Considerations
– Never charge your batteries or rechargeable device overnight or unattended.

– Do not use batteries with peeling wrappers, are nicked, dented, bulging, or have been dropped.

– Do not expose your device or batteries to extreme temperatures, such as in a hot or freezing vehicle.

– Only use batteries recommended for your device.

– Do not mix old and new batteries or different brands.

– Do NOT make modifications to your device, including those which could block any ventilation holes or slots. Those holes or slots remove heat and/or allow venting gas to escape safely.

– Keep e-liquids away from the reach of children. It’s highly recommended that e-liquids be stored in bottles with child-resistant caps.


For more information on battery safety read CASAA’s guide: Battery Safety Making Peace with Power: A Guideline to the use and storage of portable power sources for Electronic Cigarette Consumers.

Sources

  1. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all
  2. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/liquids-rule
  3. https://www.amtrak.com/smoking-policy

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, batteries, CASAA Guidance, e cigarettes, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, travel, TSA, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Batteries & Bottles: Traveling Safely This Summer

American Cancer Society Acknowledges Reduced Harm for Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Warns About the Dangers of Misleading Consumers

  • On June 11, 2018, the American Cancer Society (“ACS”) released a statement entitled, “The American Cancer Society Public Health Statement on Eliminating Combustible Tobacco Use in the United States’ (“Statement”).[1] The Statement sets forth the ACS’s goal of eliminating exposure to combustible tobacco smoke and provides three strategies for the ACS to enhance its approach in tobacco prevention and control.

    This Statement follows its earlier “Position Statement on Electronic Cigarettes,” released on February 15, 2018, which acknowledged, for the first time, that e-cigarettes, also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), play an important role in helping certain smokers quit.[2] In that prior position, ACS suggested that physicians should encourage individuals that will not use FDA-approved cessation medicines to switch to using ENDS.[3] This latest Statement takes that position further, as the ACS commits to joining in on efforts to better understand how or whether ENDS might be integrated into evidence-based cessation options, and the organization also warns about the misinformation given to consumers about those products.

     “Rapidly Changing Tobacco Marketplace” and the Consumer Misperception about ENDS

    The ACS’s stated highest priority is to eliminate cancer caused by tobacco use as cigarette smoking is the leading cause of mortality in the U.S.[4] Placing its Statement in the context of what is calls, “the rapidly changing tobacco marketplace today,” the ACS acknowledges that tobacco control has increasingly become a social justice issue, as the percentage of smokers at the greatest risk (e.g. because of their low socioeconomic status, lower educational attainment, etc.) has risen markedly.[5]

    Given today’s landscape, the Statement highlights the need for consumers to receive accurate information about different tobacco products and the role that nicotine plays in disease.[6] Citing numerous studies and reports, the Statement posits that although the “current generation ENDS are markedly less harmful than combustible tobacco products,”[7] “[m]any adults believe, erroneously, that ENDS are as harmful as combustible tobacco products, and the level of public understanding has deteriorated overtime.”[8] The Statements cites the Monitoring the Future study, which reported that as of 2017, “e-cigarettes have one of the lowest levels of perceived risk for regular use of all drugs, including alcohol,” among adolescents.[9] And to contrast e-cigarette use with combustible (burned) tobacco products, the Statement notes that while ENDS delivers nicotine, flavor additives and other chemicals, they do not actually burn tobacco – a process that yields an estimated 7000 chemicals, including at least 70 carcinogens.[10]

    Three Strategies to Eliminate All Combustible Tobacco Use: Lending Support to Further Utilizing ENDS for Tobacco Cessation

    The Statement outlines three separate strategies to eliminate all combustible tobacco use-all of which involve some component linked to ENDS.

    • Promote Increased Access and Utilization of Cessation Options for Smokers, With an Emphasis on Preventing Dual Use

    As part of its first strategic effort, the ACS will work to promote tobacco-cessation strategies and develop health care provider and consumer-facing materials with information on the risks associated with tobacco products and cessation treatment options.[11] As a part of this communications strategy, the ACS notes that it intends to communicate to consumers that current-generation ENDS are less harmful than combustible tobacco products, and it provides that the ACS will contribute to research to determine how or whether ENDS might be integrated into evidence-based cessation options.[12]

    • Prevent Initiation of ENDS by Youth and Other High-Risk Demographic Groups

    Despite noting the lesser risks associated with ENDS relative to combustible tobacco use, the Statement still holds that protecting youth from cigarette smoking and the use of novel tobacco products remains a priority.[13] The ACS will advocate for tobacco-free policies, including ENDS in all cases, as well as for policies to raise the minimum age for sale of all tobacco products, including ENDS.[14] The ACS makes clear that it will continue to oppose what it calls, “the widespread exposure of youth to e-cigarette advertising.”[15]

    • Promote and Support a Comprehensive Tobacco and Nicotine Regulatory Framework

    As part of its broader regulatory strategy, the Statement describes a “continuum of risk” for tobacco products, noting that while science is mixed, ENDS are likely to be much less harmful that combustible tobacco products.[16] Among other proposals, the Statement again commits to conduct further scientific research, including research related to the short-term and long-term risks of using ENDS and the impact of ENDS on tobacco use behavior.[17]

    Conclusion

    Taking its February 15, 2018 statement on electronic cigarettes one step further, this latest announcement by the ACS makes clear that the organization intends to contribute to further research on whether e-cigarettes may be utilized for tobacco cessation strategies. However, the ACS continues to advocate for tobacco-free policies, which include the use of ENDS, and the organization remains concerned about preventing youth initiation of ENDS, which has fallen dramatically since 2015, along with all tobacco use.

Posted in All posts, community, consumers, e cigarettes, e-cigarette, ecig, Harm Reduction, health, modified risk, News, news-all, Smoking Cessation, Smoking/nicotine addiction, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on American Cancer Society Acknowledges Reduced Harm for Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Warns About the Dangers of Misleading Consumers

FDA Grants a 30-day Extension for Comments on Flavor Regulation

The FDA is extending the comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding a product standard for flavored vapor and tobacco products to July 19, 2018. The unpublished version of the announcement is below.

CASAA and many other groups submitted requests for a 90-day extension (see below). While 30-days is obviously short of what we would like, it is an acceptable compromise for this phase of the rule making process. Please see our earlier post from our May newsletter about the ways consumers can participate and make comments on the flavor standards ANPRM.

The FDA is also granting extensions for submitting comments on:

  • The ANPRM for premium cigars – July 25, 2018
  • The ANPRM for a nicotine standard (reducing the levels of nicotine in cigarettes) – July 16, 2018.

  • CASAA’s request for extending the Flavors ANPRM comment period

04.17.18 – (2)FDA Extension Request (Flavors ANPRM) (2018)

  • Unpublished announcement of extension (to be published in the Federal Register on June 8, 2018)

06.07.18 – FDA Extenstion ANPRM Flavors – Announcement 2018-12369

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: Alex Clark

Posted in All posts, ANPRM, e cigarettes, FDA, flavors, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on FDA Grants a 30-day Extension for Comments on Flavor Regulation

CASAA Newsletter – May 2018

May began with a “blitz” of enforcement action from the FDA and FTC against e-liquid manufacturers that use artwork which closely mimics or otherwise is directly appropriated from food, candy, or beverage products marketed to young people. Although intellectual property (“IP”) theft is not necessarily the domain of federal regulators, deceptive marketing (i.e., a nicotine product that looks like a beverage or food or candy) is. While we can certainly debate the appeal of certain images and branding to adult consumers, the reasons behind the actions taken by the FDA and FTC are no mystery.

As deceptive marketing and illegal sales of vapor products to minors are grabbing headlines, the June 19th deadline for comments on the FDA’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for flavored vapor and tobacco products is approaching. Although CASAA and other organizations are requesting a 90-day extension to the comment period, there is no indication that the FDA is interested in postponing the deadline. The next two and a half weeks may be the last opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the flavors docket before the agency moves ahead with the rulemaking process.

CASAA is encouraging consumers to submit multiple comments on the flavors ANPRM.

CASAA is asking our members to submit comments regarding your daily use of flavored vapor products and smokeless tobacco. Similar to a comment we asked members to submit in response to the FDA’s proposed deeming rule, this comment should involve a look at your collection of products. Points to discuss in your comment:

  • How many flavors do you have on your desk or shelves (or in a locked box away from children)?
  • How many different flavors do you use in a day?
  • What are your favorite flavors?
  • Where did you purchase your e-liquid or smokeless tobacco (online, in a specialty shop, at a C-store, at a convention…) and why?

Click Here to Comment Now

Another comment CASAA is asking our members to submit is more specific as it deals with state and local laws and public health campaigns. Fortunately, not everyone lives in an area where aggressive anti-vaping policies have been enacted or deceptive campaigns are misleading consumers about the risks of smoke-free products. But if you do live in one of these areas, the FDA would like to hear about the consequences.

You can find more information

about submitting this comment at

www.august8th.org.

The simplest comment we are asking members to submit is your testimonial about switching to a smoke-free product. These comments should specifically focus on what role flavors played in your decision to switch to and continue using vapor or smokeless tobacco products as an alternative to smoking.

Click Here to Comment Now

Although CASAA is not suggesting that comments from consumers should be limited to the options we’ve provided above, we do believe that these topics are especially important. We also encourage individuals to submit their own request for a 90-day extension to the comment period as well as review the FDA’s 25 questions (requests for studies or information) in the ANPRM. While consumers cannot be expected to produce studies that address most of these questions, we are a source of valuable information. Sharing our experience is vital to making sure that whatever regulations are adopted will preserve the diverse marketplace and consumer choice.

Thank you for participating,

Alex Clark

CEO, CASAA


NEWS

POLICY


Cole-Bishop Throws Vapers Under the Bus – CASAA

23 hours ago

    

On May 17th, 2018, Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA 02) released a statement on Facebook (here) stating that he was “pleased that the committee passed my Cole-Bishop amendment that maintains the availability of harm reducing nicotine vapor products, while also keeping them out of the reach of children through robust advertising and labeling rules, enhanced shipment age-verification, battery standards, and FDA …

Read More »


The ‘teen vaping epidemic’ is a myth – NY Post

May 2, 2018

By Abby W. Schachter

Public-health policy – especially regarding children – is being driven by the Voltaire Rule: The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Take the current mania about vaping and, most recently, a product called Juul. News reports are replete with high-school officials fretting about how hard it is to monitor the product because it looks like a flash drive and doesn’t produce the same smoke as traditional cigarettes.

Indeed, a Juul – which electronically heats nicotine into a vapor – can be recharged through a computer’s USB port. Juul pods are also flavored – fruit medley and cool mint are two examples – so the smell isn’t the same as combustible tobacco products….

Read More>>


CASAA


Supporting the Nicopure/R2B Lawsuit

6 days ago

    

 Last year, Nicopure Labs and The Right to Be Smoke-Free Coalition (“R2B”) sued the FDA, arguing against portions of the Tobacco Control Act (TCA) and the FDA’s Deeming Rule as they are being applied to vapor products. The court ruled in favor of the FDA, so the plaintiffs filed an appeal in the D.C. Court of Appeals. On appeal, …

Read More »

CALLS TO ACTION

FDA


Smokers denied access to harm reduction

2 weeks ago

    

On March 21, 2018, the FDA published its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding flavors in vapor and tobacco products. The FDA is seeking additional information and research on 25 specific topics listed in the ANPRM. Comments are due by June 19, 2018. Stakeholders and other interested parties are encouraged to submit multiple responses addressing these topics individually or the ANPRM as a whole….

Read More »


TOBACCO 21


Nassau Co., NY – Stop Tobacco AND Vapor 21!

1 week ago

    

(Update – 05.31.18) On Wednesday, May 23, the Nassau County Legislature voted in favor of raising the age to purchase all tobacco AND vapor products from 19 to 21. Nassau County follows New York City and Suffolk County in passing legislation that denies adult smokers access to low-risk alternatives.

Read More »


IL – Stop Tobacco AND Vapor 21!

4 days ago

    

(Update – 05.31.18) SB 2332 passed the Illinois House with a vote of 61 yeas and 49 nays. But that 12 vote margin was not easily accomplished. The bill now heads to Governor Rauner’s desk for his consideration. CASAA will update this post soon with details on urging the governor to veto SB 2332.

Read More »


Ulster Co., NY – Last Chance to Oppose Tobacco (and Vaping) 21!

6 days ago

    

The Ulster County Executive will hold a public hearing regarding recently passed legislation that would raise the purchase age for all tobacco AND vapor products to 21-years-old on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 10:00 AM Legislative Chambers, 6th Floor, COB (map) 244 Fair St Kingston, NY 12401 This will be the last chance for county residents to express opposition to Local …

Read More »


FLAVOR BANS


PrEP advocate Damon Jacobs: Vaping can be harm reduction – BETAblog

May 31, 2018

What comes to mind when you hear the term “harm reduction”? Many people in public health or in the community may think of needle exchanges or safer sex practices.   . . .

Read More »


NY – Stop a Flavor Ban before it Starts!

1 day ago

    

Senator Kemp Hannon (R-S06) is once again sponsoring legislation that would ban the sale of e-liquid in flavors other than tobacco and menthol. This is not a restriction on where these products can be sold, it is a BAN! Senator Hannon’s bill, S 8610, is on the Senate Health Committee agenda for Thursday, May 31, 2018 12:00 PM Room 124 …

Read More »


TAXES


VT – Help stop a tax on vaping!

5 days ago

    

(Update – 05.11.18) Vermont’s HB 922, which would enact a 46% wholesale tax on vapor products and is necessary to implement the state’s budget, is likely to pass the legislature soon-maybe even today. The bill then heads to Governor Scott’s desk for a final signature. But Governor Scott is signaling that he will veto any new taxes on Vermonters. Call …

Read More »


NJ – Gov. Murphy is proposing a MASSIVE tax on vaping starting in FY 2019

3 weeks ago

    


(Update – 04.23.18) Public hearings regarding New Jersey’s FY2019 budget have concluded, but the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees are still discussing the details. By all accounts, a 75% wholesale tax on vaping is still on the table. Now is the time to reach out to Budget Committee members and urge them to oppose this crippling tax on safer nicotine …

Read More »


MN – Stop an outrageous tax hike on vaping!

4 weeks ago

    

Last week (April 12) companion bills in the Minnesota House and Senate which support Governor Dayton’s budget proposal were introduced. Article 5 of both of these bills contains provisions that would change the way vapor products are taxed. Effectively, they would apply a 95% wholesale tax on bottles of e-liquid. Currently, the tax is only applied to the nicotine contained …

Read More »


TESTIMONIAL OF THE MONTH


Jeannette Hansel

“I am 61 and smoked since 16. I tried to quit smoking multiple times using gum, patches and prescription medications. About 14 months ago discovered vaping. Did a lot of research and believed it was much less harmful. Tried a lot of flavors before I found several that I really enjoyed. Now cigarette free 13 months and feel great. I have COPD and was on oxygen. I am also oxygen free now. More energy. Flavors helped to prevent weight gain associated with quitting smoking. Need my dessert flavors. No tobacco flavors! Started at 18mg nicotine and only at 3mg currently.”

Be sure to share your own testimonial here.


Did you find this newsletter informative? Please consider making a donation to CASAA. We rely on contributions to provide timely information and engagements to help protect everyone’s access to life-saving, low-risk nicotine and tobacco products.

CASAA is 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization. While CASAA is a non-profit organization and pays no income taxes on the donations it receives, contributions or gifts to CASAA are not deductible by the donor as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, CASAA Newsletter, e cigarettes, News, news-all, newsletter, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA Newsletter – May 2018

Cole-Bishop Throws Vapers Under the Bus


On May 17th, 2018, Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA 02) released a statement on Facebook (
here) stating that he was “pleased that the committee passed my Cole-Bishop amendment that maintains the availability of harm reducing nicotine vapor products, while also keeping them out of the reach of children through robust advertising and labeling rules, enhanced shipment age-verification, battery standards, and FDA funding for education and outreach.”

Unfortunately, the Cole-Bishop Amendment (for 2019 fiscal year funding) does no such thing and bears little resemblance to the Cole-Bishop Amendment that vapers have been fighting for since early 2016. In fact, it reduces availability of harm reduction products to adult smokers.

The Cole-Bishop amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill was first introduced in 2016 as a vehicle for language that would change the predicate date in the Tobacco Control Act (TCA) from February 15th, 2007 to the effective date of the deeming regulations (August 8th, 2016) for all newly deemed products. This change would have allowed for all vapor products currently on the market to remain on the market without being subject to the FDA’s burdensome and prohibitive premarket approval (PMTA) process.

The first CASAA Call to Action in support of Cole-Bishop, in April 2016, specifically targeted members of the House Agriculture Appropriations Committee, where including the amendment in budget language was being debated. The committee voted in favor of keeping the bipartisan legislation in the Agricultural Appropriations bill. Unfortunately, with no companion language in the senate and lack of support from congressional leadership, the Cole-Bishop amendment was, ultimately, stripped from the final budget package. While representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) were quick to announce they had removed the language from the budget, intel from people on the ground on The Hill suggests it was not an easy fight. Reportedly, staffers were emerging from budget meetings saying that the vapor language was still being discussed.

The Cole-Bishop amendment was introduced again in 2017 as part of the FY 2018 Agricultural Appropriations bill. Unlike 2016, where the language was included as a rider to the bill, Cole-Bishop was part of the base appropriations bill which made it more difficult to simply strip out. Additionally, the battery standards language was clarified by providing a PMTA exemption for manufacturers that needed to make changes to their devices to be compliant. CASAA along with several industry stakeholders suggested these changes to representative Cole in 2016.

In addition to the necessary changes to the battery standards language, the Cole-Bishop proposal for FY 2018 included stricter regulation of advertising for vapor companies and prohibited self-service sales from vending machines. The authors also added a provision directing the FDA to promulgate a rule regarding standards for characterizing flavors–which the agency is currently doing without any direction from Congress. Despite these concessions, the Cole-Bishop language (Section 753) was not included in the final budget package. It is little consolation that, like during the FY 2017 budget negotiations, the effort to preserve consumer choice of low-risk vapor products was being considered until the last minute.

This year, representatives Cole and Bishop have reintroduced their amendment to the FY 2019 Agricultural Appropriations bill. Shockingly, the amendment only vaguely resembles previous versions.

Provisions affecting vapor products in the FY 2019 Cole-Bishop amendment:

  • Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to promulgate rules establishing standards for “characterizing flavors” and batteries
  • Limits advertising of vapor products to adult-only publications
  • Prohibits sales from vending machines (unless they are located in an adult-only establishment)
  • Requires vapor product labeling to contain the messages “Keep Out of Reach of Children” and “Underage Sale Prohibited”
  • Requires vapor retailers to register with the Secretary of HHS
  • Amends the “Remote Sales” provision in the Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act (21 USC 387 f (d)(4)) to specifically require vapor retailers selling online to verify a purchaser’s age through the use of a commercially available database. (Currently, the code refers to “tobacco products” generally. This change would narrow that focus to solely vapor products.)
  • Directs the Secretary of HHS to submit a report to Congress “that includes a plan of action with respect to the development and operation of the Youth Vapor Product Education, Prevention, and Enforcement Program”–the program is to be funded by $50,000,000 per year for the next four years from Center for Tobacco Products user fees.
  • Directs the Secretary of HHS to conduct a study on preventing the use of vapor products by youth. (This section specifically directs the Secretary of HHS to include an analysis of using biometric security features during the purchase and use of vapor products. In other words, imagine having to scan your fingerprint every time you wanted to turn on or use your mod.)

All references to the predicate date for vapor products are conspicuously missing which means that every vapor product currently on the market will still need to go through the PMTA process. The remaining provisions regarding vapor products, points which CASAA previously tolerated solely because of the enormous benefit of the predicate date change, involve keeping devices out of the hands of youth — and likely make it harder to obtain by smoking adults.  

All of the points about keeping out of the hands of youth are virtually meaningless, not only because there will hardly be any products on the market, but also because these same provisions have failed in every other area where they have been tried (e.g. sex, drugs, alcohol). While it’s possible that larger tobacco or vape companies might be able to navigate the premarket approval process, that will do little to help thousands of other companies who cannot afford the time and expense required, leaving consumers with fewer choices. Failure to change the predicate date most certainly will NOT maintain “the availability of harm reducing nicotine vapor products,” as Bishop claims.

While the authors of Cole-Bishop have essentially thrown vapers and cigarette smokers under the bus, there is still much consumers can do to keep the fight going!

– Vote with your wallet by supporting industry members who support advocacy through donations, participation in lawsuits, advocacy promotion (i.e. link to CASAA and other advocacy efforts) and/or membership in recognized trade organizations.

– Respond to and share CASAA Calls to Action on other issues being considered by  the FDA, and make sure to participate in state- and local-level Calls to Action as well. .

– Get to know your local legislators by meeting with them during their campaigns or contacting their office and telling them how switching to vaping has made a difference. Let them know about any other smokers you’ve helped switch to vaping, too.  Seeing constituents in person makes an incredible impact.

– Register vote and then get out and vote.

– Do your part to change public perception of vapor products. Have conversations with family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances about how vapor products have changed your life.

– Share your testimonial with CASAA’s testimonial project at casaa.org/_testimonials

– If you haven’t yet become a member of CASAA, JOIN TODAY at casaa.org/join-casaa. It’s FREE!

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, FDA, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Cole-Bishop Throws Vapers Under the Bus

Supporting the Nicopure/R2V Lawsuit

Last year, Nicopure Labs and The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition (“R2B”) sued the FDA, arguing against portions of the Tobacco Control Act (TCA) and the FDA’s Deeming Rule as they are being applied to vapor products. The court ruled in favor of the FDA, so the plaintiffs filed an appeal in the D.C. Court of Appeals.

On appeal, Nicopure and R2B argue that “the Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) provision of the TCA, as well as the ban on free samples of vapor products, (1) violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and (2) FDA was obligated to consider a less burdensome Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) process for vapor products while still protecting the public health.” A summary of these issues can be read here, and you can download the full brief here.

In support of that appeal, CASAA has filed an amicus brief with the court. An amicus brief is a legal document – filed by someone who is not a party to the action – that advises the court of relevant, additional information or arguments that they want the court to take into consideration.

In this case, CASAA is not really making legal arguments, but instead providing additional information from the consumer perspective, such as how consumers use vapor products, the importance of sampling, and why it is critically important that consumers be able to receive basic, truthful information from vapor companies about, among other things, the low-risk nature of vapor products (something that the TCA prohibits). The full CASAA amicus brief can be read here.

In addition to the amicus brief, CASAA disseminated information about the lawsuit on our web site, in our newsletter and on social media to raise awareness of the legal action. This alerted our 200,000+ members and nearly 83,000 followers on social media of the case.

On May 22nd, a fundraising page was launched by the plaintiffs, in coordination with a vaping media site, to help fund the appeal. After a request from CASAA, the fundraiser organizers made changes to the campaign to make it clear that while any donations are appreciated, this should be an industry-funded effort. At the end of the day, this is an industry-led lawsuit, and we believe industry is where the funding should come from. There are many large vapor product companies that have contributed little, if anything, to advocacy efforts, and it’s time for them to stop getting a free ride.

CASAA supports the lawsuit, and our only concern, which has been largely addressed by the organizers, is that consumers shouldn’t feel pressured to donate money to the fundraiser. Consumers are not a party to the lawsuit, and we have no input into legal strategies, nor are we privy to the kind of information that clients would ordinarily receive. And in a very real sense, consumers have been supporting this lawsuit since the beginning. CASAA, as an advocate for consumers, has provided support for the lawsuit, both at the district level and at the appellate level. Specifically, we’ve spent a considerable amount in legal fees not only for CASAA’s amicus brief, but also to assist other groups to file their own amicus briefs.

Of course, if consumers want to donate, they should absolutely feel free to do so. . . but they should do so understanding that it’s their choice, not their responsibility. If we, as consumers, have any responsibility in this regard, it’s to do business with responsible companies that are supporting advocacy efforts. Consumers can also help by alerting larger companies to the fundraising efforts, urging their shops to make their suppliers aware, and expressing their displeasure to large vapor companies that do not contribute.

A link to the industry fundraising campaign can be found here.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Supporting the Nicopure/R2V Lawsuit

CASAA Newsletter – April 2018

CALLS TO ACTION

RESEARCH


US Vapor Flavors Survey – FDA Flavors ANPRM

1 week ago

In March, the FDA published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding standards for flavored vapor products. An ANPRM is the beginning of the rule making process and serves as an opportunity for all stakeholders to provide feedback to the agency by way of comments and scientific studies.

As part of the effort to address some of the questions posed by the FDA in the ANPRM regarding flavored vapor products, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos has developed a survey. The data collected will provide valuable information about patterns of e-cigarette use with a focus on the role that flavors play.

Please take time today (approximately 20 minutes) to complete this survey.

Click Here to Take The Survey!


FDA



TOBACCO 21


9 hours ago

(Update – 04.12.18) The proposal to raise the tobacco and vapor purchase age to 21 remains on the city council agenda. As of the April 9th meeting, the proposal was included as part of a committee report. According to a local news report, city lawmakers remain concerned about the unintended consequences of raising the purchase age for all tobacco products. …

Read More »


8 hours ago

(Update – 04.12.18) SB 164, which would raise the minimum legal purchase age from 18 to 21 for ALL tobacco and vapor products, was voted out of the Committee on Public Health with a favorable recommendation. The vote was 22 – 4 in support of the bill. Currently, SB 164 is on the calendar for the full Senate where it …

Read More »


INDOOR BANS


3 days ago

Every 20 years, the state of Florida convenes a Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) to consider possible amendments to the state’s constitution and put them to the voters to decide. In 1998, this process was used to pass an unpopular statewide anti-smoking law that prohibited smoking in workplaces. In 2018, much like 1998, a similar proposal would ban vaping in the …

Read More »


FLAVOR BANS



TAXES


4 days ago

(Update – 04.09.18) HB 922, which would impose a 46% wholesale tax on vapor products, has been scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 15 minutes after floor (1:00 PM) Senate Committee on Finance Room 6 115 State Street Montpelier, VT 05633   Please note: This is not a public hearing. Spoken testimony is being accepted by invitation …

Read More »


2 weeks ago

RHODE ISLAND VAPOR TAX Update – 03.26.18 (House Finance Committee Hearing) Last week’s meeting that was cancelled due to weather is rescheduled for Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Rise of the House (4:30 PM) Room 35 – State House   The committee will be hearing testimony regarding Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposal to impose an outrageous 80% wholesale tax on vapor products …

Read More »


3 weeks ago

On March 13th, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced his budget proposal for FY 2019. The governor’s first budget includes a new 75% wholesale tax on vapor products and a tax hike for smokeless tobacco raising it from 30% to 68% of wholesale. CASAA has been informed that the rates for these taxes come from bills in the House (A.1586) …

Read More »


ENDED CALLS TO ACTION


2 weeks ago

(Update – 04.02.18) In typical down-to-the-wire fashion, the New York legislature passed a budget for FY 2019 last week. The budget does NOT include a new tax on vapor products! Special thanks are in order to everyone who took a moment to contact their officials urging them to remove the governor’s proposed tax on vaping. Also thanks to the NYSVA …

Read More »


Did you find this newsletter informative? Please consider making a donation to CASAA. We rely on contributions to provide timely information and engagements to help protect everyone’s access to life-saving, low-risk nicotine and tobacco products. Didn’t get the CASAA newsletter in your email? Sign up here.

CASAA is 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization. While CASAA is a non-profit organization and pays no income taxes on the donations it receives, contributions or gifts to CASAA are not deductible by the donor as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, CASAA Newsletter, e cigarettes, News, news-all, newsletter, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA Newsletter – April 2018