Heads Up – News – Updates 2.9.19 – 2.15.2019

WEST VIRGINIA: (HEADS UP!) Committee passes bill that would deny adult #smoker and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping products to “protect youth,” but they admit “our 18- to 21-year-olds actually purchase a small amount of tobacco.”

Senate bill would raise tobacco-use age to 21


MINNESOTA: (UPDATE) Bills pass in committee that would deny adult #smokers & #vapers 18-20 access to much safer #vaping products (even though 18-24 smoking dropped 50% since 2014) & prohibit business owners from allowing vaping in their establishments. 

Bills to curb smoking pass MN House Committee, including Tobacco 21


OPINION: (American Council on Science and Health) CDC Misleads By Calling E-Cigarettes A ‘Tobacco Product’

Note: While High School smoking is INSIGNIFICANTLY up in 2018 (after CDC/FDA warnings about vaping seemed to increase interest?) it’s still down from 22.5% pre-vaping in 2002 to just 8.1% in 2018.

CDC Misleads by Calling E-Cigarettes a ‘Tobacco Product’


HUDSON, OHIO: (UPDATE) Council wisely REJECTS law that would have denied adult #smokers and #vapers access to much safer alternative #vaping and #smokefree products.

Hudson rejects Tobacco 21 measure


LEHI, UTAH: (UPDATE) City is first in state to unwisely deny adult #smokers & #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping & #smokefree products.

Lehi becomes first Utah city to raise legal tobacco age to 21. It may not be the last.


VIRGINIA: (UPDATE) “Veto proof margins” anti-harm reduction bill denying adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping and #smokefree products heading to desk of Gov. Ralph Northam.

Virginia will raise age for buying tobacco, e-cigarettes to 21


UTAH: (HEADS UP!) HB 252 & HB 327 anti-harm reduction laws would deny adult #smokers & #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping & #smokeless products & increase tax on #vaping products to 86.5% like tobacco. 

House Bills propose higher taxes on e-cigs and vape products, raising legal age to buy tobacco products


BERKSHIRE COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS: (HEADS UP!) Tri-Town Board of Health looking to pass anti-harm reduction ban on flavored #vaping & #smokefree products, removing very important feature that helps adult #smokers quit.

Photo Credit: Berkshire Record

Tri-Town Health Board sets its sights on flavored tobacco – Berkshire Record


APPLETON, WISCONSIN: (UPDATE) #Vape shop owners convince Board of Health to exclude shops from indoor #vaping ban (but may just be grandfathered, so fight not over.) Still would prohibit other businesses from allowing vaping. March BOH meeting, then to full Council.

Appleton vape shop owners compromise with city officials on proposed workplace vaping ban


IN THE NEWS: (FLORIDA) Not enough that voters approved Amendment 9 (banning offshore drilling & indoor #vaping), ANTZ push lawmakers to reclassify vapor products as #tobacco, so they can regulate & tax even more. Except that isn’t what voters agreed to do.

https://bit.ly/2N8ZAWi


COMMENTARY: (SALLY SATEL @slsatel – WALL STREET JOURNAL) Vaping Is Harm Reduction – The surgeon general is right on opioids, but wrong on tobacco. 

“Dr. Adams should embrace harm reduction as boldly for nicotine addicts as he does for opioid users.”

https://on.wsj.com/2DGnowp


IN THE NEWS: (MADISON, WISCONSIN) Lawmakers claim law needed because “even if the devices don’t contain tobacco using them will lead to tobacco use.” Except vaping liquid NEVER contains tobacco & NO EVIDENCE nicotine-free liquid leads to tobacco use.

https://bit.ly/2EdqjOw


COMMENTARY: (GUY BENTLEY @gbentley1) “…FDA is planning a massive regulatory onslaught against products that are significantly safer than cigarettes based on an unproven hypothesis and an alleged gateway that is as poorly defined as it is elusive.” 

https://washex.am/2V0eCjH


IN THE NEWS: Researchers Try Nicotine To Treat Memory Loss:
“It’s been known for some time that nicotine itself could have beneficial effects in even reducing diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.” – Dr. Sudha Seshadri, director of UT Health San Antonio’s Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

https://bit.ly/2V1ae46


HARDIN COUNTY, KENTUCKY: (HEADS UP!) Anti-harm reduction law would deny adult #smokers & #vapers access to much safer alternative #vaping & #smokefree products.

https://bit.ly/2EcgnF6


PONCHATOULA, LOUISIANA: (UPDATE) Anti-harm reduction law prohibits #vaping indoors, despite lacking any evidence of harm to bystanders from vapor, removing yet another incentive for adult #smokers to switch to a far safer alternative.

https://bit.ly/2DFSvZ4


SUMMERVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA: (UPDATE) Council wisely votes against anti-harm reduction law that would have prohibited #vaping OUTDOORS in parks and at events, Councilman Walter Bailey “argued that vaping isn’t known to have the same negative effects .”

https://bit.ly/2GINrpT


IN THE NEWS: (OAK FOREST, ILLINOIS) To justify fairly reasonable ordinance banning sales to minors, Police Chief Timothy Kristin makes shockingly unscientific and disproven claim that “ingesting nicotine” is “what is bad about smoking cigarettes.” 

https://bit.ly/2GtLjmF


WEST WINDSOR, NEW JERSEY: (HEADS UP!) Anti-harm reduction law would license stores but BAN #VAPE SHOPS. Health officer Jill Swanson conflates “pure nicotine” with e-liquid, stating “one drop” on skin can “kill an adult.” Public hearing Tues. Feb. 19th!

https://bit.ly/2XewlGi


ARKANSAS: (HEADS UP!) House Bill 1442 would add a 10¢ tax on #vaping products, plus sales tax, to fund a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in the state. Ironically increasing the cost a product that could actually help lower cancer rates. 

https://bit.ly/2DGTjwJ


IN THE NEWS: CASAA CEO Alex Clark Speaks in Support of Modified Risk Tobacco Products at FDA

CASAA Speaks in Support of Modified Risk Tobacco Products at FDA

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

Posted in All posts, Arkansas, e cigarettes, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, News, news-all, Ohio, Smokeless Tobacco, South Carolina, TPSAC, Utah, Vaping, Vaping News, Virginia, west virginia | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 2.9.19 – 2.15.2019

CASAA Speaks in Support of Modified Risk Tobacco Products at FDA

On February 6-7, 2019, the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) met to consider Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) applications submitted by Swedish Match and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co.

Why is this important?

By way of background, federal law prohibits tobacco and vapor companies from making “modified risk” claims (e.g. “vaping is less harmful than smoking”) about their products without such statements being approved by the FDA. Companies can submit MRTP applications in order to request such approval from the FDA. A modified risk order is not a marketing order. For products brought to market after February 15, 2007, a marketing order (i.e., substantial equivalency order or pre-market order) is still required. However, a modified risk order is a potentially valuable tool in that it allows a company to include an FDA-approved claim in its marketing materials related to the products contained in the application.

It is important to note that a modified risk order is not permanent. Companies will be required to conduct post-market surveillance and provide studies and reports to the FDA for a time period specified in the order. Modified risk orders will have to be renewed and can be revoked at any time if the FDA determines that certain conditions are not being met.

It is the worst kind of policy that prohibits a company from truthfully informing the public that its product is far, far less harmful than smoking. Because of this, CASAA monitors MRTP applications and routinely makes comments urging that modified risk orders be issued in connection with low-risk products. To date, FDA has not approved a single MRTP application, which is, at best, a betrayal of public trust.

TPSAC, as the name states, is an advisory committee. While members of the committee vote on questions provided by the FDA, these votes do not affect the status of the application they are discussing. The FDA values the committee’s discussion and thoughts, and takes those into consideration when approving or following up on an MRTP application.

As discussed below, the MRTP process has thus far imposed an impossible barrier to companies seeking to truthfully inform consumers of the relative risks of their products. If FDA refuses to issue MRTP orders for smokeless tobacco products (with decades of data to support their claim of being low risk as compared to smoking), the barrier will be even greater for the relatively new low-risk products such as vaping.

Of particular note are the comments by TPSAC committee member Ken Warner challenging the legitimacy of the MRTP process. “I think the health (benefits) are really clear compared to smoking — more so than for any other smokeless tobacco product. My sense is that if this is not approved, it might be the death knell for the [MRTP] process because we would be basically saying you can’t get anything through this process.”

CASAA’s comments to TPSAC, along with a deeper dive into the MRTP applications, is provided below.

-*-*-

Swedish Match began the MRTP application process in 2014. The original application sought to eliminate and make changes to certain warning labels on General Snus (and other smokeless tobacco products) that are required by federal law. In 2016, the FDA issued a response which effectively denied Swedish Match’s application. CASAA discusses this decision here.

The application currently pending with FDA is the result of an extensive dialogue between Swedish Match and FDA involving amendments to the original proposal that seek to make the following claim:

  • “Using General Snus instead of cigarettes puts you at a lower risk of mouth cancer, heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.”

Swedish Match is seeking a modified risk order for eight variants of General Snus: General Loose, General Dry Mint Portion Original Mini, General Portion Original Large, General Classic Blend Portion White Large, General Mint Portion White Large, General Nordic Mint Portion White Large, General Portion White Large, and General Wintergreen Portion White Large.

On February 6, 2019, CASAA’s CEO, Alex Clark, provided the following spoken comment to TPSAC in support of Swedish Match’s MRTP application:

  • My name is Alex Clark. I am the CEO of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, a 501(c)(4) grassroots advocacy group promoting tobacco harm reduction as a necessary strategy to reducing the early death and disease attributed to smoking. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you this morning.
  • By way of disclosure, CASAA accepts unrestricted donations from various sources including consumer and industry stakeholders. My salary and travel expenses are approved by an all-volunteer board of directors.
  • We are here on behalf of our more than 230,000 members to express support for the MRTP application from Swedish Match and urge the TPSAC committee and the FDA to expeditiously approve the proposal to market General Snus as a low-risk alternative to smoking.
  • While we are supportive of Swedish Match’s marketing plan involving age-restricted social media promotion, [and print media,] we are concerned that earned media–which relies on a media that is predominantly hostile to innovative, low-risk tobacco and nicotine products–will have limited reach beyond the current population of people who use smokeless tobacco. Ideally, awareness of the low risk associated with using snus and other smokeless tobacco products will reach people who smoke who struggle with traditional cessation strategies.
  • We believe that in order for any marketing campaign intended to communicate the relative risks of smoke-free tobacco products to succeed, the FDA and CDC must take immediate action to correct misperceptions about nicotine and smokeless tobacco among consumers and health professionals.
  • We are not suggesting that the FDA devote resources to promoting any one specific modified risk tobacco product. Instead, we are urging the agency to do more by way of developing and promoting appropriate balancing statements that counter misperceptions about nicotine and bring consumer perception regarding the risks associated with smokeless tobacco more in line with available evidence.
  • We are also taking this opportunity to echo recent statements by Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina regarding the apparent deficiencies of the MRTP and PMTA process.
    • After nine years of having authority over tobacco products, the FDA has yet to give its blessing to new, lower-risk tobacco products or modified risk marketing statements.
    • While it is correct to say that a relationship exists between a lack of MRTP & PMTA applications and a lack of approvals, it is even more clear that the burden and expense of the process is a significant barrier to participation.
    • Maximizing the public health benefit of low-risk tobacco and nicotine products is contingent on consumers choosing to use safer products that they enjoy. Providing clear guidance and streamlining the approvals process is vital to promoting diversity and innovation in the marketplace.
  • People who use combustible tobacco products deserve honest communication about the availability of demonstrably lower risk tobacco and nicotine products. But it is clear that recalcitrant ideology and fear continue to be bottlenecks to the process of approving new products or allowing companies to tell the truth about relative risk–all to the detriment of public health.
  • [And I would like to take just a moment to draw your attention to our written comments regarding the wording chosen in Swedish Match’s marketing claim “using general snus instead of. . .” We believe this is very deliberate and, much in keeping with meeting people where they are at, is more encouraging people to use the products rather than demanding that they switch completely. We believe that this will have a much more positive outcome.]
  • Again, thank you for the opportunity to present our views on this application. CASAA respectfully urges this committee to favorably recommend Swedish Match’s MRTP application for approval.

-*-*-

Altria Client Services (ALCS) on behalf of U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company (USSTC) is also submitting a MRTP application in order to make the following marketing claim with regards to Copenhagen Snuff Fine Cut:

  • “IF YOU SMOKE, CONSIDER THIS: Switching to this product from cigarettes reduces risk of lung cancer.”

Out of all MRTP applications awaiting approval from FDA, the statement that USSTC is seeking to make in relation to Copenhagen Snuff is the most straightforward, and leaves little room for debate. Indeed, TPSAC voted 8-0 (with one abstention) in agreement with the scientific accuracy of the proposed claim. Despite the obvious accuracy of this statement (and other statements proposed in other MRTP applications), a large percentage of consumers remain misinformed about the relative risks of using smokeless tobacco and other smoke-free nicotine products.

Multiple TPSAC members hold the US Congress, FDA, and CDC responsible for spreading misinformation and myths about smokeless tobacco. In order for any modified risk statement to succeed in encouraging people who smoke to switch to a low-risk tobacco or nicotine product, federal health agencies will need to take action to correct the public’s misperceptions about smokeless tobacco and nicotine.

On February 7, 2019, CASAA’s CEO, Alex Clark, presented the following spoken comment to TPSAC in support of the MRTP application for Copenhagen Snuff Fine Cut:

  • Members of the committee, thank you again for the opportunity to speak with you this morning. In the interest of time I will dispense with the formal introduction and skip right to our comment. While I am here on behalf of CASAA to express our support for the MRTP application for Copenhagen snuff, we are commenting today on the portfolio of MRTP applications currently under consideration by the FDA.
  • Prevailing misperceptions about the risks of nicotine and smokeless tobacco is a dominant and recurring theme across multiple MRTP applications. All applicants note that these misperceptions are a barrier to honest and accurate risk communication. Moreover, government mandated misinformation about the risks of smokeless tobacco presents a substantial obstacle to achieving our common goal of reducing the early death and disease attributed to smoking.
  • At each public comment opportunity before this committee, CASAA recommends that, in addition to approving the MRTP application, FDA and CDC take a more active role in promoting balancing and corrective statements regarding the relative risk of using smokeless tobacco and smoke-free nicotine products. But we are aware that any such action will be done with an abundance of caution and under intense political scrutiny.
  • It is also clear that, due to several factors, including widespread mistrust of applicants, a single MRTP approval will do little to correct the public’s misperception of risk.
  • As a potential remedy to these obstacles, we offer the following recommendation: Rather than consider each MRTP application in isolation, we urge the FDA to approve all of these applications quickly and simultaneously–sending a clear message to people who smoke that smoke-free alternatives are available and that switching is an acceptable path away from combustible products.
  • Thank you for considering our comments.

____________________

  • “Q & A: Modified Risk Tobacco Products” (fda.gov)
  • “FDA Advisors Undecided on Risk Status of Snus” (medpage today)
  • “Altria’s Snuff Safer Than Cigarettes, FDA Panel Agrees” (medpage today)
  • “TPSAC: Copenhagen Has Lower Lung Cancer Risk” (Rodu Tobacco Truth)

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: Alex Clark

Posted in All posts, Copenhagen, e cigarettes, MRTP, News, Smokeless Tobacco, Swedish Match, TPSAC, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA Speaks in Support of Modified Risk Tobacco Products at FDA

Heads Up – News – Updates 2.8.2019

WYOMING: (HEADS UP!) House Bill 282, first killed on Thursday then quickly revised and approved, will regulate #vaping products the same as #tobacco. On plus side, sin tax has been removed, subjecting #vaping products only to regular sales tax.

Wyoming House revives bill to regulate vaping


CONNECTICUT: (HEADS UP!) Senate Bill 397 would ban the sale of all flavored #vaping products other than #tobacco, mint and menthol flavors, denying adult #vapers access to the flavors that help them quit #smoking. Corresponding House bill is HB 6404.

Haskell Endorses Initiatives Against Opioids, Vaping


NEW MARKET, NEW HAMPSHIRE: (UPDATE) New town ordinance makes it illegal for anyone under 21 to buy, possess and use tobacco and #vaping products, denying adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternatives.

Newmarket raises to 21 minimum age for tobacco, e-cigarettes


IN THE NEWS: FDA TPSAC Committee, at which CASAA CEO @Hello_Alex Alex Clark testified (in addition to the Swedish Match hearing), voted that the scientific evidence SUPPORTED proposed modified risk label. CASAA’s written TPSAC comments post forthcoming.

USSTC’s Modified-Risk Application for Copenhagen Moves Through FDA Committee


NEW JERSEY: (UPDATE & HEADS UP!) Assembly Bill 4896, which would require adult consumers be present to sign for delivery of their #vaping products, has passed in committee.

Conaway, Armato, Vainieri Huttle Bill Restricting Delivery of Electronic Smoking Devices and Tobacco Products to Residences Clears Assembly Committee – Insider NJ

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

Posted in All posts, Connecticut, e cigarettes, FDA, New Hampshire, New Jersey, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, TPSAC, Vaping, Vaping News, Wyoming | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 2.8.2019

Heads Up – News – Updates 2.7.2019


Tobacco harm reduction news for February 7, 2019. Anti-harm reduction laws in Hawaii, Oklahoma, Indiana and Colorado.

COLORADO: (HEADS UP!) Bill HB 19-1033 passes in House, allowing municipalities to increase tax on #vaping products, which would also reduce affordability for adults, & deny adult #smokers & #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative vapor products.

https://bit.ly/2ULEcZO


INDIANA: (HEADS UP!) Separate bills would deny adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping products, and add a 4¢ per ml tax to vaping products. Separate bill would add 8¢ per ml tax.

Indiana could raise smoking age, start vaping liquids tax


PURCELL, OKLAHOMA: (HEADS UP!) City bans use of all #vaping products on all OUTDOOR city property “open to the general public for recreational purposes.” Shockingly, article states “possession” alone is also a misdemeanor, even if not being used!

No smoking, vaping


HAWAII: (HEADS UP!) House Bill 387 would prohibit consumers from receiving #vaping and smoke-free tobacco products ordered or purchased through a remote sale (ie. no direct online sales), and applies cigarette and tobacco tax laws to #vapor products.

https://bit.ly/2SeHEiR


If you’re on Facebook, please be sure to join your CASAA state group: CASAA.org – The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

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

Posted in All posts, Colorado, e cigarettes, Hawaii, Indiana, News, news-all, Oklahoma, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 2.7.2019

Heads Up – News – Updates 2.6.2019

Ashland Bans Menthol and Mint Tobacco and E-Cigarettes


ILLINOIS: (HEADS UP!) @GovPritzker says he will sign law denying adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping products.

https://bit.ly/2BpRgwO


UTAH: (HEADS UP!) State Rep. Paul Ray introduced HB 252 on Monday, which will increase the tax on #vaping products to 86.5 cents per “dosage,” negating an important cost incentive for #smokers to switch to the much safer alternative.

https://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/19329-lawmakers-will-again-consider-raising-taxes-on-e-cigarettes 


IN THE NEWS: (GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN) Proposed ordinance would prohibit sale and possession of non-nicotine #vaping devices to minors under age of 18.

https://www.nbc26.com/news/local-news/green-bay-leader-calls-for-a-new-rule-on-selling-e-cigs-to-teens


SPRING HILL, TENNESSEE: (HEADS UP!) City officials considering banning the use of low risk #vaping products OUTSIDE in public parks, in spite of lack of evidence of health risks, because of vague “complaints and issues.”

https://www.columbiadailyherald.com/news/20190206/city-could-ban-vaping-in-public-parks

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

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, Illinois, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Tennessee, Utah. Massachusetts, Vaping, Vaping News, Wisconsin | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 2.6.2019

Heads Up – News – Updates 2.5.2019


Tobacco harm reduction news for February 5, 2019. Anti-harm reduction laws in Connecticut, New Mexico, Illinois and Virginia.

GENEVA, ILLINOIS: (HEADS UP!) City officials considering ordinance that would deny adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping products.

Geneva may ban selling tobacco to people under 21


SOUTH WINDSOR, CONNECTICUT: (UPDATE) Town Council passes ordinance that denies adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much lower risk alternative #vaping products.

SW raises age to buy tobacco, vapes to 21


VIRGINIA: (HEADS UP!) Bill to deny adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much lower risk alternative #vaping products heading to @GovernorVA Northam’s desk.

Bill to raise age of buying tobacco products to 21 headed to governor’s desk


NEW MEXICO: (UPDATE & HEADS UP!) Bills to deny adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping products AND would tax #vaping products at 76%, negating important cost incentive for #smokers to switch advance in legislature.

Bills to restrict, tax electronic cigarettes advance in New Mexico Legislature


If you’re on Facebook, please be sure to join your CASAA state group: CASAA.org – The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

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

Posted in All posts, Connecticut, e cigarettes, Illinois, New Mexico, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News, Virginia | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 2.5.2019

Heads Up – News – Updates 2.4.2019


Tobacco harm reduction news for February 4, 2019. Anti-harm reduction laws in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Michigan, New Mexico, Colorado, Hawaii, Ohio; US troops embrace vaping, Minnesota doesn’t see youth “vaping gateway,” headlines on youth vaping study mislead public….

IN THE NEWS: Contrary to recent headlines, study did NOT show youth #vaping leads to #smoking. “Gateway” predicts more vaping=more smoking, but HS smoking DECLINED: 20% (pre-vaping 2007) to 7.6% (2017). No evidence “vape first” wouldn’t have been “cigarette first” absent vaping.

Link to the study:
Association of Electronic Cigarette Use With Subsequent Initiation of Tobacco Cigarettes in US Youths
Electronic Cigarette Use and Subsequent Cigarette Smoking Initiation


NEW HAMPSHIRE: (CALL TO ACTION) SB 248 would deny people who smoke btwn the ages of 18-21 access to safer alternatives! Take action & urge state senators to reject Tobacco (& #Vaping) 21!

NH – Stop Tobacco AND Vapor 21!


WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT: (UPDATE) Town Council may VOTE TUESDAY FEB. 5th to deny adult #smokers and #vapers access to much safer alternative #vaping products.

Wallingford ordinance committee to look at changes to tobacco, ethics rules


IN THE NEWS: Defense officials tell troops “no proof” #vaping helps people quit #smoking long term and can lead non-smokers to smoking, but declining #cigarette sales and plummeting smoking rates from switching to low risk vaping tells a different story.

Among troops, vaping is now more popular than cigarettes


MINNESOTA: “Gateway effect” fails to manifest in state as young adults (18-24) stick with vaping while smoking rates in group drop by nearly half since 2014, 44% of vapers bypassed “ever smoking” for vaping, and “never-smoked” for all adults rose to 60%.

E-cigarettes gaining popularity


CONNECTICUT: (HEADS UP!) HB 6404 would ban ALL flavors in #vaping products, while other proposed bills would require signature for delivery, tax the same as cigarettes and deny adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to these safer products.

Local lawmakers target tobacco, e-cigs, vaping


WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN: (HEADS UP!) Next week, officials plan to prohibit business owners from allowing #vaping in their own establishments, removing important incentive for #smokers to switch to much lower risk products.
Waterford considers vaping ban for minors


NEW MEXICO: (HEADS UP!) Two bills advance in legislature that would tax #vaping products at 76%, negating important cost incentive for #smokers to switch, while another would prohibit business owners from allowing vaping in their establishment.

New Mexico bills to restrict, tax e-cigarettes advance


MONTROSE, COLORADO: (HEADS UP!) City plans to prohibit businesses from allowing #vaping in their establishments, negating important incentive for #smokers to switch to safer alternative. Illogically sold as part of plan to address youth vaping.

Montrose Considering Vaping Ordinance


HAWAII: (UPDATE) HB 276 (Senate companion SB 1009) which would ban flavored tobacco and vapor products, has moved to the Committee on Health. Hearing is Tuesday, February 5th at 9:05 AM.

Measure Status


STOW, OHIO: (HEADS UP!) City ordinance would deny adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping products.

Stow considers raising tobacco-buying age to 21


NEW HAMPSHIRE #2: (CALL TO ACTION!) HB 680 would subject #vaping products to state’s 65.03% wholesale tobacco tax,negating important cost incentive for #smokers to switch. Hearing THURS, FEB 7 at 1:45 PM.

NH – Stop a 65% tax on Vaping!


If you’re on Facebook, please be sure to join your CASAA state group: CASAA.org – The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

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

Posted in All posts, Colorado, Connecticut, e cigarettes, Hawaii, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, News, news-all, Ohio, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 2.4.2019

Heads Up – News – Updates 2.1.2019


Tobacco harm reduction news for February 1, 2019. Anti-harm reduction laws in New York, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon, Vermont and Minnesota. Opinion column supports vaping, headlines falsely claim link to vaping health risks, focus on nicotine in pods diverts from low health risks.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Read CASAA’s submitted testimony opposing the city’s proposed flavor ban on #vaping products and watch video of the committee hearing.

CASAA Submits Written Testimony in Opposition to NYC’s Proposed Flavor Ban (Int. No. 1362-2019) – CASAA


COLORADO: (CALL TO ACTION) HB 1076 would prohibit businesses from allowing vaping in their establishments, removing important incentive for #smokers to switch to safer alternative. Attend the meeting on FEB. 6th and contact your lawmakers using this link!

CO – Stop a vaping ban!


OKLAHOMA #1: (HEADS UP!) SB 290 would prohibit businesses from allowing #vaping in their own establishment, removing important incentive for #smokers to switch to much safer alternative.

Lawmakers want vaping products treated the same as tobacco

OKLAHOMA #2: (HEADS UP!) HB 2460 would change current law and allow employers to discriminate against prospective employees who use any type of #tobacco, including low-risk, smoke-free #vaping products, during NON-working hours.

https://bit.ly/2DOo6ZS


OREGON: (HEADS UP!) @OregonGovBrown wants to double the tax on lower risk #smokefree #tobacco products and extend sin tax that discourage #smokers switching to much safer alternative #vaping products.

Oregon Considers Tobacco Tax Hikes Montana and South Dakota Reject


THE MORE YOU KNOW: Despite sensationalist headlines claiming the contrary, cross-sectional study did NOT show #vaping increases risk of heart attack/stroke, as high risk past and current #smoking weren’t excluded as factors. Loose correlation ≠ causation.

Vaping health risks: Study links e-cigs to heart attack and stroke—but there’s more to it


VERMONT: (UPDATE) State House bill H47, a 92% wholesale tax on #vapor products, that woud dissuade adult #smokers from switching to much safer alternative, has passed in the House. Goes next to Senate.

Vermont House passes 92-percent e-cigarette tax


RUSHFORD, MINNESOTA: (HEADS UP!) City considering ordinance revisions to include #vaping products. Possible discussion at MARCH meeting. Contact your city officials and make your opinion known!

Rushford council ponders tobacco ordinance, approves engineering studies


OPINION: (RONALD W. DWORKIN) “Public health activists know the difference between fact and fantasy, but they believe the fantasy—that vaping is as bad as smoking—because they themselves have invented and ornamented it.”

The Arrogance of Public Health Advocacy – The American Interest



THE MORE YOU KNOW:
 Focus on #vape pods having “as much #nicotine as pack of cigarettes” (not true: approx. 41 mg in pods vs 200+ mg in cig pack) purposely diverts attention from fact that 99.9% of health risk is from the SMOKE. Low health risk & habitual use doesn’t justify bans.


If you’re on Facebook, please be sure to join your CASAA state group: CASAA.org – The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

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

Posted in All posts, Colorado, e cigarettes, Minnesota, New York, News, news-all, Oklahoma, Oregon, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News, Vermont | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 2.1.2019

CASAA Submits Written Testimony in Opposition to NYC’s Proposed Flavor Ban (Int. No. 1362-2019)

On January 30, 2019, the New York City Committee on Health met to receive testimony from anti-tobacco activists, harm reduction advocates, consumers, and other stakeholders with regard to an ordinance (int. no. 1362-2019), which would ban the sale of vapor products in flavors other than tobacco or “flavorless.” CASAA provided the following written testimony to the committee.

This ordinance may come up for a vote in the near future. We urge all New York City residents to take action NOW by sending a message to your city council member urging them to reject this dangerous proposal. You can send your message by clicking here.

If you would like to watch the entire committee hearing, you can find it here.

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January 30, 2019

Testimony of Alex Clark, CEO, CASAA

New York City Committee on Health

RE: Int. No. 1362-2019 Prohibiting the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes.

Chairman Levine and distinguished members of the committee,

I am writing on behalf of our more than 2000 members in New York City to express our concerns and extreme opposition to Int. No. 1362-2019. This ordinance is a hasty reaction to an emotionally fueled issue that is only being made worse by well-meaning, but misguided attempts to prevent youth use of tobacco and nicotine products.

The proposal to ban the sale of vapor products sold in flavors other than tobacco will deny people who smoke access to the most popular low-risk smoking replacement product in generations. Focusing solely on a particular feature of vapor products ignores other aspects of these products that people find enjoyable–a key factor in helping smokers make the switch and dramatically improve their health. Moreover, we believe it is a mistake to focus on the issue of flavors to the exclusion of underlying factors affecting youth use. Socioeconomic status, trauma, peer pressure, stress, depression, and a natural inclination toward taking risks all motivate young people to experiment with potentially harmful coping strategies.

The leading indicator of whether or not a young person will smoke is if they live with a parent who smokes. New York City can do more to promote healthy behaviors among young people by encouraging parents who smoke to switch completely to a low-risk smoke-free alternative. In order to achieve a rapid and enduring transition to safer nicotine products, people who smoke will need to have access to products they enjoy, which necessitates the availability of a diverse range of flavored smoke-free products. For these and the following reasons CASAA is urging the Committee on Health to reject Int. No. 1362-2019.

Int 1362-2019 will deny people who smoke vital tools to helping them quit smoking

  • A ban on flavored vapor products will force vapor shops in NYC to close.

We defer to data being presented by owners of vapor businesses in New York City with regard to the percentage of sales of devices, e-liquid, and accessories, but it is our understanding that a majority of sales involve e-liquid in flavors other than tobacco. To date, we are unaware of any retailer or manufacturer that sells a popular line of unflavored e-liquid. It is unlikely that specialty vapor retailers will be able to remain open if they are restricted to selling just vapor devices and tobacco flavored e-liquid. It is the diversity of vapor products that both supports independent businesses and provides a customizable experience to people who are attempting to transition to a smoke-free lifestyle.

Vapor product specialty shops (vape shops) play a vital role in helping smokers switch to a low-risk alternative

Vape shops are a source of peer-to-peer support that is not effectively replicated by current tobacco control strategies.. Vape shops provide knowledgeable staff who offer individualized attention to help customers find a device and eliquid flavor that will help them successfully make the switch. Just as importantly, vape shops provide a space for peer-to-peer support for people who used to smoke and people who are transitioning to a smoke-free product.

By way of background, vapor retailers and manufacturers in the United States are prohibited by federal law from marketing e-cigarettes as smoking cessation products or even less harmful than cigarettes. Customers, however, are bound by no such law. It is not uncommon to hear customers exchange successful quit smoking stories between one another in a vape shop. To the casual observer, sharing such a story might not seem like much, but between people who are recovering from a multiyear or multi-decade cigarette addiction, it can mean the difference between living a smoke-free life or returning to the devil they know.

By comparison, vapor retailers in the United Kingdom are not subject to the same limitations on marketing communication in face-to-face transactions. Research conducted in the UK demonstrates that people who shop for vapor products in specialty vapor shops have a remarkable quit rate of >40% after 12 months. Other than quitting “cold turkey,” no other smoking cessation intervention comes close to the success rate found in the UK. And while the retail environment studied in the UK is not a 1:1 match with vapor shops in the United States, when we consider customer to customer interactions within the retail environment, which are not regulated by federal law, it stands to reason that the results found in the UK may be generalizable to consumers in the United States.

Banning flavors will pressure consumers and retailers to take unnecessary risks

  • Motivations to “do it yourself.”

Motivations for people to manufacture vapor products at home for personal use (“do it yourseIlf” or “DIY”) are related to saving money and customizing the experience. If flavors are banned, a significant number of individual consumers will turn to DIY in order to maintain access to vapor products they enjoy. Responses to consumer surveys regarding bans on various vapor products indicate as much. Indeed, the origins of the vapor industry trace back to people DIYing at home because they were unsatisfied with the products that were available at the time (circa 2008-2012).

In general, when following basic safety and sanitation protocols, DIYing at home is relatively safe. However, in the hands of novices, DIYing can present some risks. If New York City moves to adopt this ordinance, the city would be creating a situation where people who vape (or people who smoke who might attempt to switch to vaping) will be pressured to attempt DIYing e-liquids at home, possibly without the patience, knowledge, and experience to take the basic necessary precautions to ensure safety. Even more concerning, this ordinance will create a new underground, unregulated market where consumers have no assurances of product quality and no means of recourse should they be the victims of fraud or injury related to poorly manufactured products.

The unintended consequences outweigh hypothetical gains

For the foregoing reasons we respectfully urge the Committee to reject Int. No. 1362-2019.

Recommendations

  • We urge the Committee to refocus their attention on the most pressing concern of reducing the early death and disease attributed to smoking.
  • Effective substance use prevention starts by empowering young people with strong social skills and healthy coping strategies. People are generally resourceful and, historically, find ways around prohibitions on tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Strong life skills training during adolescence has a greater potential to positively shape a young person’s life well into adulthood.
  • New York City needs to reevaluate the effectiveness of existing laws that restrict access to, and use of, tobacco and vapor products before enacting new laws that enact more extreme prohibitions. At the state level, New York consistently spends only a small fraction of the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control on tobacco prevention. Arguably, the state hasn’t given existing tobacco prevention strategies a chance to succeed.
  • Current state and federal law prohibits sales of any tobacco or vapor product to anyone under 18-years-old. New York City, New Jersey, and neighboring counties prohibit sales to anyone under 21-years-old. Part of fully funding tobacco prevention programs must include funding for compliance inspections and enforcement of minimum sales age laws. Although CASAA is opposed to setting the minimum legal sales age for smoke-free tobacco and nicotine products at 21, we assert here that if the City of New York believes in the policy, then compliance and enforcement should be fully funded.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: Alex Clark

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, flavor ban, New York, News, Smokeless Tobacco, testimony, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA Submits Written Testimony in Opposition to NYC’s Proposed Flavor Ban (Int. No. 1362-2019)

Heads Up – News – Updates 1.30.2019


Tobacco harm reduction news for January 30, 2019. Anti-harm reduction laws in Wisconsin, Vermont, Virginia, Indiana, Washington, Minnesota and Missouri.

APPLETON, WISCONSIN: (CALL TO ACTION) BOH would prohibit businesses from allowing #vaping in their own establishments!
WI – Appleton – Stop a #vaping ban! – CASAA


VERMONT: (UPDATE) State House bill H47, a 92% wholesale tax on #vapor products, has passed in Ways and Means Committee. Bill will now go before the full House.

https://bit.ly/2UrzS1G


VIRGINIA: (UPDATE) State bill to deny adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping products passed in the Senate and will move to a vote in the House.

Photo Credit: WSET

Bill to raise age to purchase tobacco products passes Senate, moves to House of Delegates


INDIANA: (HEADS UP!) House Bill 1444 would tax #vaping products 8¢ per millimeter ($4.80 on a 60 ml bottle). Increase would remove important cost incentive for #smokers to switch!

Indiana lawmakers considering tax on e-liquids | 2019-01-29 | Indianapolis Business Journal | IBJ.com


WASHINGTON: (UPDATE) State Bills SB 5057 in the Senate and HB 1074 in the House would deny adult #smokers and #vapers 18-20 access to much safer alternative #vaping products.

https://bit.ly/2GdsSl5


ALBERT LEA, MINNESOTA: (HEADS UP!) City would deny adult #smokers and #vapers access to much safer alternative #vaping products. SECOND HEARING possibly on February 25th!

https://bit.ly/2GfE7tv


WARRENSBURG, MISSOURI: (UPDATE) City changes definition of #smoking to include #vaping products, prohibiting businesses from allowing vaping in their establishment and removing important incentive for #smokers to switch to safer alternative.

Council redefines smoking


If you’re on Facebook, please be sure to join your CASAA state group: CASAA.org – The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

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

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 1.30.2019