Heads Up – News – Updates 9.16.2019

NEW JERSEY: (HEADS UP!) Governor Murphy @GovMurphy issued Exec Order Thurs. calling for vaping task force to issue restrictions in 3 weeks. Conflates nicotine devices with illegal street vapes causing illness, urges all NJ residents to stop ANY vaping.

‘There Is No Safe Vape’: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Forms Vaping Task Force To Recommend Possible Restrictions On E-Cigarettes


NEW YORK STATE: (HEADS UP!) Gov. Cuomo @NYGovCuomo issued exec order for DOH commish Zucker to hold an emergency meeting w/PHHPC this week to ban flavored vapor products & more. At press confr. decries teen vaping uptick, ignores record low 5.8% smoking.

Governor Cuomo Announces Emergency Executive Action to Ban the Sale of Flavored E-Cigarettes


SAN JOSE, CA: (HEADS UP!) Councilwoman Carrasco @CM_Magdalena puts out memo calling for San Francisco-style ban on all vapor products (even tobacco-flavored) and flavored tobacco.

San Jose councilwoman proposes ban on vaping products


CALIFORNIA: (HEADS UP!) Gov. Newsom @CAgovernor issues exec order to CDPH to launch $20 mill statewide awareness campaign of vaping risks, remove counterfeit/illegal products, possible tax stamp/enforcement. Says he supports bill to ban flavors next session.

Governor Gavin Newsom Signs Executive Order to Confront Youth Vaping Epidemic


EXPERT OPINION: Former vice president and legislative counsel for the American Heart Association and chairman of the Coalition on Smoking or Health, Scott Ballin, says the message being sent on the federal level about nicotine vaping is “irresponsible.”

Vaping and lung illness: Scott Ballin says health officials send wrong message


SAN JOSE, CA: (HEADS UP!) Councilwoman Carrasco @CM_Magdalena puts out memo calling for San Francisco-style ban on all vapor products (even tobacco-flavored) and flavored tobacco. Flavors that ADULTS use to keep from relapsing to smoking!

San Jose councilwoman proposes ban on vaping products


EDITORIAL: (The Philadelphia Inquirer) Regulating e-cigarettes requires a scalpel, not a hammer–Instead of turning to prohibition to address vaping, regulation of e-cigarettes needs to be careful and nuanced.

Regulating e-cigarettes requires a scalpel, not a hammer | Editorial

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

Posted in All posts, California, Cuomo, e cigarettes, flavor ban, Murphy, New Jersey, New York, News, news-all, Newsom, San Jose, Scott Ballin, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 9.16.2019

CASAA – Weekly Heads Up Round Up – 09.15.19

We’ve got a lot to cover this weekend, so you might want to grab a snack.

The #BreakingNews, today, is that NY Gov. Cuomo is announcing executive action to ban the sale of flavored vapor products in the state of New York.

While his announcement references the early data release from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) that shows youth vaping rose, again, to 28%, the governor neglected to mention that youth smoking is at historic lows after an unprecedented 28.4% decline–in one year.

Gov. Cuomo’s executive action includes the following:

  • “State Police and Department of Health (DOH) partner to immediately ramp up enforcement efforts against retailers who sell to underage youth – possibilities of criminal penalties.
  • “Advances legislation to eliminate deceptive marketing of e-cigarettes to children and underage youth.
  • “DOH Commissioner, Dr. Zucker, will hold emergency meeting with PHHPC to ban e-cigarette flavors.”

On the last point, CASAA has learned that the emergency meeting will likely produce a rule that bans the sale of flavored e-liquids for 90 days. The ban will be effective immediately with enforcement starting in early October (possibly 10/4). This means that a ban would be in place until close to the start of the 2020 legislative session.

For most–if not all–vape shops in New York, even a 30-day ban on sales of flavored e-liquid means they will be closing their doors and not returning.

To date, none of the “vaping lung illness” cases are being linked to a commercially available nicotine vapor product.

But state and federal officials keep banging on about how all “vaping” is bad.

Banning FDA-compliant, commercially available flavored nicotine vapor products will not solve the issue of people being exposed to a lung irritant that has now claimed the lives of six people. Arguably, a ban will make this situation worse.

Under the existing regulations for nicotine vapor products, manufacturers are required to register with the FDA all of the products they sell and the ingredient listings. FDA is also responsible for inspecting manufacturing facilities. If these products are banned, a new industry–existing in the shadows–will spring up to take the place of the one we have today. There will be no track-and-trace, no oversight, and no accountability.

The sudden onset of these lung illnesses suggests that this is the result of a chemical exposure to an ingredient or contaminant that has recently made its way into a yet-to-be identified product. If this is traceable back to nicotine liquids, the manufacturer responsible would be subject to penalties from the FDA.

Last Friday (09/07), CASAA posted an advisory in response to warnings from state and federal health officials regarding the lung illnesses. While these warnings include information that oil-based cannabis products were being linked to many of the cases, most of the warnings devote a disproportionate amount of space describing potential sources of harm from vaping nicotine. CASAA’s advisory is intended for anyone who is frightened by reports that are broadly attributing the lung illnesses to “vaping” and might be deciding to return to smoking. Please don’t go back to smoking. There are other alternatives!

Donald Trump said some stuff about vaping. It was not great.

On Wednesday, President Trump announced that he would be directing Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Alex Azaar, to move forward with FDA guidance that would remove flavored vapor products (other than tobacco or unflavored) from the market. The announcement is in response to early data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) showing that past 30-day vaping among young people rose from 21% in 2018 to 28% in 2019.

While the White House is obviously concerned about the rise in youth vaping, no one in the administration is drawing attention to the fact that NYTS data also show an accelerated decline in youth smoking (mentioned above).

Your messages to federal lawmakers are being sent this week.

Timed to coincide with the VTA’s industry conference and Hill Day, this week, CASAA will be delivering messages from more than 10,000 people, urging Congress to reject legislation that would ban flavors, enact taxes, and, in one proposal, require that vapor products be approved only as medical devices. If you haven’t sent your message, please take action NOW!

Here’s the link: https://www.votervoice.net/CASAA/campaigns/68346/respond

The past month has been dizzying and there’s no sign of this letting up. Sigh.

Stay safer,

Alex Clark, CEO

CASAA

This Week’s News:

Heads Up:

Highlights: (Sept. 9), (Sept. 10), (Sept. 11), (Sept. 13)

Last Week’s News:

CASAA In the News:

The More You Know:

Legislation

_____

  • Like getting this timely information? Help CASAA continue its mission by donating HERE.
  • If you’re on Facebook, please be sure to join your CASAA state group to help prevent anti-harm reduction laws like these from spreading through your state! Click here to find your state group: CASAA State Facebook Group List
  • Find your state information here: Find My State Info – CASAA
  • And remember to officially join CASAA. Membership is FREE.

CASAA is made stronger with every voice we can count!

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: Alex Clark

Posted in All posts, CASAA in the News, e cigarettes, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA – Weekly Heads Up Round Up – 09.15.19

Heads Up – News – Updates 9.13.2019

IN THE NEWS: President Trump supported FDA taking “strong action” against the vapor product industry on Wednesday as HHS Secretary Azar announces “all flavored e-cigarettes other than tobacco flavor would have to be removed from the market.

CASAA members immediately sent opposition tweets to the President

then answered a Call to Action (National Call to Action – Light up the White House Switchboard) on Thursday to swamp the White House switchboard with messages. Members reported busy lines and irritated operators. Eventually, callers were being hung up on or immediately switched to a message line. Members were taking action!

On Friday, the President sent a tweet that seemed to soften his stance:

While CASAA found the President’s tweet encouraging, we urge advocates to keep making calls and tweeting the President, specifically about how flavors are important to them, and continue to do the national Call to Action to federal lawmakers: Vaping Prohibition is On the Table in Congress!


RESEARCH: Preliminary data shows youth smoking DOWN to 5.8%, once again shattering claims that youth vaping leads to smoking. Vaping “even one puff in past 30 days” now at 27.5% – which is not a surprise with all of the anti-vaping orgs telling youth how “tasty and easy to hide” they are.


PUBLIC HEALTH: This is TRUE public health advocacy. Vaper-turned-small business owner Mark Slis giving powerful testimony at the Michigan hearing.

“Helping these customers to save their own lives has been the most rewarding experience of my life.”

[embedded content]


ADVOCACY: CASAA Board Director Jim McDonald’s Testimony, at the Michigan House Oversight Committee hearing, discussing Governor Whitmer’s proposed Executive Order for a statewide flavor ban.

[embedded content]


CONNECTICUT: (HEADS UP!) Officials are calling for a ban on nicotine vapor products after six deaths were believed to be linked to vaping products sold on the street and black market containing THC and oils. Officials choosing to ignore the discrepancy.

State leaders call for ban on vaping, e-cigarette products


POLICY COMMENTARY: (National Review) FDA plan to ban e-cigarette flavors is an affront to personal freedom

“The administration has decided that if some teens are going to illegally vape liquids with names like Fruity Hoops, well then, no one can. ”

Vaping: FDA Plan to Ban E-Cigarette Flavorings Is Affront to Freedom | National Review


OPINION: (Wall Street Journal)

A Vaping Ban Will Send Smokers Back to the Pack–Banning safe e-cigarette products could reverse the decade long decline in smoking rates.

Opinion | A Vaping Ban Will Send Smokers Back to the Pack


IN THE NEWS: Banning flavored e-cigarettes might cost Trump reelection–2020 wouldn’t be the first time that vapers organized to support or defeat a candidate for elective office.

Banning flavored e-cigarettes might cost Trump reelection


MICHIGAN LEGISLATURE: In case you missed it live, here are links to recordings of Thusdays’s Michigan House Oversight Committee hearing discussing Governor Whitmer’s ExecutiveOrder banning flavored vapormproducts.

Michigan House TV

Michigan House TV

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

Posted in All posts, CDC, Connecticut, e cigarettes, FDA, flavor ban, Jim McDonald, Michigan, News, news-all, Research, Smokeless Tobacco, Trump, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 9.13.2019

Heads Up – News – Updates 9.11.2019

MICHIGAN: (URGENT CALL TO ACTION!) Flavor ban talking points & email form for House Committee on Oversight PUBLIC HEARING TOMORROW! It is vital that consumers’ voices are heard. Even if you do not plan to speak your presence is important!

MI – Tell the House Oversight Committee Why Prohibition is Bad for Public Health!


FEDERAL: (ALL MEMBER CALL TO ACTION!) Take action NOW by sending a message to your federal lawmakers urging them to REJECT anti-vaping legislation and prevent a massive underground market from taking the place of our current legal, regulated marketplace!

We will start delivering your messages one week from now to coincide with a lobby day organized by the Vapor Technology Association.

Vaping Prohibition is On the Table in Congress!


ADVOCACY: (VIDEO) Who is CASAA? What do they do? What’s happening around the US? Is vaping legislation & advocacy complete and total anarchy?? Thank you to YouTube vlogger and vaping advocate Grimm Green and his viewers for generously taking the time to find out with CASAA CEO Alex Clark!

If you have the same questions, watch this video!

[embedded content]


POLICY COMMENTARY: (Christopher Snowdon) Dispersing the clouds of the vape panic myth–Illicit THC products are the problem

“Dozens of people, mainly young men, have been hospitalized after vaping in recent weeks. That is not a lie, but nor is it the whole truth. They were vaping unregulated street drugs. The forces lined up against e-cigarettes in the USA — and they are legion — have done all they can to obscure this fact.”

https://spectator.us/dispersing-clouds-vape-panic-myth/


ADVOCACY: If you are on Twitter, tell @realDonaldTrump that flavored vapor products have NOTHING to do with recent lung hospitalizations. Those are linked to illegal THC “street vapes,” not retail nicotine products. Banning flavors will force MILLIONS of adult FORMER smokers back to smoking! #IVapeIVote


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (CASAA) Trump Administration’s Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes Does More Harm

“Flavors play a critical role in helping people transition away from combustible tobacco products. Prohibiting them means that millions of people who vape are at higher risk of returning to smoking or seeking products through other means. Meanwhile, young people will still try risky behaviors–including cannabis, alcohol, sex, texting while driving, and nicotine products. By destroying the legal, regulated retail environment, the Trump Administration will be sending millions of consumers, regardless of age, to a marketplace in the shadows–away from the oversight of regulators, law enforcement, and parents.”

Trump Administration’s Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes Does More Harm – CASAA

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

Posted in Alex Clark, All posts, CDC, e cigarettes, FDA, flavor ban, Grimm Green, Michigan, News, news-all, press release, Smokeless Tobacco, Trump, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 9.11.2019

Trump Administration’s Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes Does More Harm

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.Sept. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, following the announcement by Donald Trump that his administration will be supporting action from the Food and Drug Administration “to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes,” Alex Clark, CEO of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) issued the following statement:

“Removing from the market and prohibiting the sale of nicotine vapor products in flavors other than tobacco will inevitably lead to the creation of a massive, unregulated underground market that exposes consumers to dangerous and unnecessary risks. Flavored vapor products were developed by consumers who wanted better quality and more effective alternatives to smoking. That grassroots entrepreneurship and innovation is at the core of the vaping community and the industry it supports.

“Flavors play a critical role in helping people transition away from combustible tobacco products. Prohibiting them means that millions of people who vape are at higher risk of returning to smoking or seeking products through other means. Meanwhile, young people will still try risky behaviors–including cannabis, alcohol, sex, texting while driving, and nicotine products. By destroying the legal, regulated retail environment, the Trump Administration will be sending millions of consumers, regardless of age, to a marketplace in the shadows–away from the oversight of regulators, law enforcement, and parents.

“If we have learned anything from the recent outbreak of lung illnesses attributed broadly to vaping, it’s that products made and sold in an underground market are inherently risky. When people are injured or killed as a result of using products purchased from unlicensed dealers, it is irresponsible to move regulated products to those markets. Future incidents like the ones we’ve experienced this summer are avoidable, but only if officials take bold action to provide a safer and well-regulated marketplace for products that people are going to consume.”

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization with an all-volunteer board and a grassroots membership of more than 250,000 active members from all walks of life. CASAA is dedicated to ensuring the availability of reduced harm alternatives to smoking and to provide people who smoke and the public with honest information about those products. CASAA will continue its efforts in advocating for more reasonable, ethical, and sensible regulations.

SOURCE Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

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

Posted in All posts, CDC, e cigarettes, FDA, flavor ban, News, press release, Smokeless Tobacco, Trump, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Trump Administration’s Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes Does More Harm

Heads Up – News – Updates 9.10.2019

NEW YORK CITY: (CALL TO ACTION!)

THE FLAVOR BAN IS BACK IN THE CITY COUNCIL!

CASAA has learned that the New York City council could vote as soon as THIS THURSDAY on an ordinance that would ban all flavored vapor and other tobacco products. This is serious and we need everyone in the city to respond!

NYC – [URGENT] Take action to stop a flavor ban


REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA: (HEADS UP!) VAPING FLAVOR (including mint and menthol) & PUBLIC USE BANS (including streets, sidewalks, and parks) has passed at first reading. Second reading upcoming. Mayor wants to “take it to the next level and ban sales.”

Redondo bans flavored tobacco, public smoking


GRAND ISLAND, NEBRASKA: (UPDATE) Starting TODAY, vaping is banned in public. Despite a complete lack of evidence there’s any risk to bystanders, violations can carry penalties of up to $500. These laws are always the first step to taxes & flavor bans!

Public vaping ban begins in Grand Island on Wednesday; violators could be fined up to $500


HEALTH COMMENTARY: (Jacob Grier, Slate Magazine) “Lawmakers should refrain from introducing rash legislation that would force the approximately 3 million American ex-smokers who now vape to go back to a product that we know for a fact is likely to kill them. Such an action would not only put smokers’ lives at risk—it would also clear the field for Big Tobacco.”

Don’t Ban E-Cigarettes

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

Posted in All posts, California, e cigarettes, Grand Island, Jacob Grier, Nebraska, New York City, News, news-all, Redondo Beach, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 9.10.2019

Heads Up – News – Updates 9.9.2019

ADVOCACY: CASAA’s Vice-President, Secretary and Director of Community Outreach, Jennifer Berger-Coleman, wrote an excellent guest commentary on the irrational and dangerous anti-vaping hysteria sweeping the nation.

Another California City Proposes E-Cigarette Ban: Patience Is A Virtue When It Comes To Vaping


YONKERS, NEW YORK: (URGENT CALL TO ACTION!) Bill banning flavored vapor products is being fast-tracked and a committee hearing could happen as early as TOMORROW, September 10, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

NY – Yonkers – Stop a Reckless Flavor Ban!


PHILANTHROPY: The Help A Smoker In Recovery Project is looking for vaping products to give those entering treatment for addiction. 80% of people entering treatment for addiction are smokers. A worthy cause dedicated to Drew Gliem, a founding director of CASAA. He was a great human being who is truly missed by those of us who knew him!

Helpasmokerinrecovery.org – Home


BELOIT & MIDDLETON, WISCONSIN: (UPDATE) Without any evidence of risk to bystanders, officials eliminate important incentive for ADULTS who smoke to switch to low risk alternatives by making them go outside, even if the business WANTS to allow vaping.

http://bit.ly/2m0ylnc

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

Posted in All posts, Beloit, e cigarettes, Jennifer Berger-Coleman, Middleton, New York, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News, Wisconsin, Yonkers | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 9.9.2019

Consumer Advisory: If you are afraid of going back to smoking, seek out other smoke-free alternatives.

[Original post – 09.06.19]

[UPDATE – 09.07.19 – Updated for clarity and to include the recent FDA Warning to Consumers.]


PEOPLE WHO SMOKE CAN IMPROVE THEIR HEALTH BY SWITCHING TO SMOKE-FREE ALTERNATIVES.


CASAA acknowledges that many people who vape nicotine or who are considering switching from combustible tobacco to a vapor product are frightened by the seemingly endless headlines conflating the risks of illicit oil-based cannabis products with nicotine vaping.  In the absence of clear advisories from health officials, many people who vape and people who are considering switching to vapor products–away from smoking–might be losing trust in the nicotine vapor market and the products being sold.

Consistent with our mission, we are advising anyone who has concerns about the safety of nicotine vaping products to consider other smoke-free options before returning to combustible tobacco use. Smokeless nicotine products such as snus, moist snuff (dip), nicotine pouches, and nicotine toothpicks are vastly safer alternatives to smoking and are readily available online and at most retailers where tobacco products are sold.

For more information on smokeless tobacco as a safer alternative to smoking, please visit our website, here.

PLEASE DO NOT RETURN TO SMOKING.

 [Update] Friday evening, (09/06/19) the FDA released a warning that clearly and directly provides information to consumers about the coordinated investigation into lung illnesses being attributed to vaping. This warning echoes CASAA’s messages to our members in the prior weeks (here): If you are going to use THC-containing vapor products, purchase them from reputable sources and avoid products purchased “on the street.”

[Update for clarity] By way of background, on Friday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) held a press briefing to update the media about investigations into a sudden acute respiratory syndrome that is being linked to vaporizing products containing an unknown contaminant or additive. The number of people affected by the lung illness is reported to be 450, including three deaths in IL, OR, and IN. (At the time of this posting, two more deaths in L.A. County, CA and Minnesota are being reported.)

While federal officials are unable to point to a specific brand or contaminant in the samples they’ve received so far, reports from health departments in CA, NM, NY, PA, UT, and WI link the lung illness to unlicensed THC oil. To date, the tragic death in Oregon is the only case where a THC cartridge was purchased from a licensed retailer.

To date, none of the cases of lung illness are being linked to a legal, commercially available nicotine vapor product. Moreover, according to an article in the New York Times, “Public health officials have underscored one fundamental point: that the surge in illnesses is a new phenomenon and not merely a recognition of a syndrome that may have been developing for years.” In other words, these cases of lung illness are unlikely to be a result of long-term use of vapor products–nicotine or THC.

CONSIDER MULTIPLE STRATEGIES.

In addition to other smoke-free nicotine and tobacco products, people who vape may want to consider using over-the-counter nicotine replacement products such as nicotine gum or lozenges. While these products are certainly not a replacement for vaping (or even a very effective smoking cessation strategy), they are a viable and safer source of nicotine compared to combustible tobacco.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: Alex Clark

Posted in All posts, CDC, e cigarettes, FDA, lung illness, News, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Consumer Advisory: If you are afraid of going back to smoking, seek out other smoke-free alternatives.

Heads Up – News – Updates 9.5.2019

IN THE NEWS: Just days before @GovWhitmer issued her executive order banning flavors, CASAA CEO Alex Clark was interviewed by Michigan CBS affiliate WWMT.

We urge Gov. Whitmer to listen to actual adult vapers to understand how important flavors are!

Addicted Michigan: Electronic cigarette advocate says the devices are helpful


OREGON: (HEADS UP!) Person dies after vaping marijuana, so Sen. Ron Wyden’s “solution” is to sin tax unrelated nicotine vapor products the same as cigarettes to discourage the use of a 95% safer product that’s helping millions of adults quit smoking? Contact him on Facebook, Twitter or at his office, and tell him how vaping has helped you!

http://bit.ly/2ly96Zt


ADVOCACY: CASAA releases statement on Michigan governor’s execitive ban on vapor products, condemning it as a “hazard to public health.”

Governor Whitmer’s Executive Ban on Vapor Products Is a Hazard to Public Health – CASAA


RESEARCH: FDA finds most “street vapes” linked to hundreds of lung illnesses contained vitamin E acetate, an “oil-like substance” meant to be ingested or applied topically, that may cause lung issues if inhaled. FDA found “nothing unusual” in tested nicotine products.

http://bit.ly/2k5lIXy


BAYFIELD, COLORADO: (HEADS UP!) City taking steps to prohibit adults 18-20 who smoke from buying far safer products that are 2X as effective than gums/patches and more than 95% safer than smoking. T21 laws don’t work, so are NOT evidenced-based!

Bayfield takes steps toward 21-and-older smoking ordinance


FRANKLIN, NEW HAMPSHIRE: (HEADS UP!) City considering law to prohibit adults 18-20 who smoke from buying far safer products that are 2X as effective than gums/patches and more than 95% safer than smoking. T21 laws don’t work, so are NOT evidenced-based!

Franklin considers raising minimum age to buy, use tobacco products from 18 to 21


LITCHFIELD, MINNESOTA: (UPDATE) City council does “unanimous about face,” decides NOT to ban adults 18-20 who smoke from buying far safer products that are 2X as effective than gums/patches and more than 95% safer than smoking.

http://bit.ly/2kumA8f

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

Posted in Alex Clark, All posts, Colorado, e cigarettes, FDA, lung disease, lung illness, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, News, news-all, Oregon, Smokeless Tobacco, Tobacco 21, vape tax, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Heads Up – News – Updates 9.5.2019

Governor Whitmer’s Executive Ban on Vapor Products Is a Hazard to Public Health

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.Sept. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), a non-profit grassroots consumer organization advocating in support of tobacco harm reduction as a necessary strategy to reduce the early death and disease attributed to smoking, condemns Governor Whitmer’s executive order banning the sale of all flavored nicotine products in Michigan except tobacco flavors as a short-sighted and dangerous response to teen use of vapor products and the current health crisis arising from tainted street products.

CASAA raised awareness of the health issues with illicitly purchased street products before most state health organizations, as it was evident that such illnesses were vastly out of proportion with what clear and convincing scientific evidence – and over a decade of use – shows about the potential harms from vaping. CASAA also promotes a mature adult solution to reduce the harm to America’s youth through experimentation with adult behaviors through risk education including assessment, mitigation, and avoidance. These harm-reduction measures lead the thinking in solving what has become an epidemic of moral panic and confusion for the public regarding adolescent’s experimentation with adult behaviors.

Governor Whitmer’s ban makes Michigan the first state in the nation to become a breeding ground for black market nicotine products. Just as with the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920’s, Michigan stands poised to recreate its Purple Gang, vending truly unknown products with no quality controls or oversight for consumers and placing an enormous burden on enforcement resources the state cannot afford. The public health effects from the rise of tainted products, organized crime, and the likely increase in smoking will end up orders of magnitude greater than what the Governor sees through blinkered eyes as the problem.

As Alex Clark, CASAA’s CEO, observes:

“Governor Whitmer is leaping to the prohibition endgame without considering the dramatic negative effect this will have on Michigan’s public health. This regulation will shut down vapor shops that are a source of expert instruction and peer-to-peer support among people switching to smoke-free alternatives.

“While many believe that banning flavored vapor products will protect adolescents, it is more likely that prohibition of this magnitude will, instead, hand the marketplace over to underground manufacturers. If there was any policy that would make these products more risky, a flavor ban is at the top of the list. As Michigan and surrounding states are grappling with a mysterious lung disease attributed to illicit THC/cannabis oil cartridges, it is astonishing that any government official would think the state can ban its way out of an increase in youth use.”

There is a solution that reasonable and informed adults can implement that helps solve the two real problems facing Michigan Public Health regarding smoking:

  • The first problem is making products which reduce risk by over 95% more available to adults along with truthful information about their benefits vs. smoking and their application as a means to reduce harm for those who smoke that may not be ready to quit. Promoting quality commercial products sold by reputable vendors helps people who smoke have confidence to decide to switch to a reduced harm alternative.
  • The second problem has far wider reaching implications to protect Michigan’s youth from the harms of drugs, alcohol, smoking, and teen sex. Addressing the underlying developmental task every teenager needs to learn – honest risk management should be at the forefront of any program targeting these vices. Teaching teens to “take a pause” before acting, to act with sober emotions, sober thinking, and sober actions is an essential step in the transition between childhood and becoming an adult.

CASAA urges every Michigan citizen to take a pause and consider whether going further down the road to prohibition, with all its costs in terms of money and lives, is really what is best. Or is it better to be honest in our dealings with each other, and our teens; showing compassion for those who smoke and are looking for a vastly less harmful alternative. We trust that the People of Michigan will, after sober reflection, choose to oppose their Governor’s ill-conceived action and instead pursue a path that benefits the whole of their population, including teens and people who smoke.

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization with an all-volunteer board and a grassroots membership of more than 250,000 active members from all walks of life. CASAA is dedicated to ensuring the availability of reduced harm alternatives to smoking and to provide people who smoke and the public with honest information about those products. CASAA will continue its efforts in advocating for more reasonable, ethical, and sensible regulations.

SOURCE: Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

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

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, flavor ban, Michigan, News, news-all, press release, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Governor Whitmer’s Executive Ban on Vapor Products Is a Hazard to Public Health