As 2019 came roaring in with the introduction of more than 175 bills in state legislatures, we’re reaching out to let our members know how grateful we are for your support of CASAA in 2018!
Because of generous folks like you, CASAA received just over $27,000 in one-time donations and just over $16,000 in monthly subscription donations through PayPal last year! We had over 20,000 new members join the fight, bringing our total membership to over 233,000 active members, and over 600 more testimonials were added to our Testimonial Project, bringing us up to 11,711 personal stories about success with smoke-free alternatives. CASAA members showed up to dozens of hearings and sent/made hundreds of emails and phone calls!
In addition to nearly 40 federal, state and municipal Calls to Action and dozens of “heads up” alerts in 2018:
In January, CASAA submitted a comment to the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) in support of the IQOS Modified Risk Tobacco Product application (MRTP) and CASAA CEO Alex Clark presented testimony to the TPSAC Committee in Washington, D.C.
February saw CASAA filing an amicus brief in support of the Nicopure/R2V lawsuit.
CASAA issued a Call to Action to our members and submitted a formal request to the FDA in March, asking to extend the comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on flavored tobacco and vapor products. The FDA extended the comment period 30 days.
July was particularly busy. CASAA submitted a statement to FDA on the importance of vapor flavors, submitted another comment to FDA regarding the proposal to lower nicotine content in combustible cigarettes, re-issued a formal policy statement on Tobacco 21 laws (which fuel new underground markets and deny people who smoke between the ages of 18-20 access to far safer alternatives), and, prompted by an annual reminder from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), provided members with tips and guideline to traveling with vapor products entitled “Batteries & Bottles: Traveling Safely This Summer.”
In August, CASAA filed an affidavit in the American Academy of Pediatrics v. FDA Lawsuit and wrote rebuttal articles to three poorly-designed studies of vapor products (read here and here.)
Alex also spoke at Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) regarding motivations for illicit trade in October.
November saw the completion of CASAA’s state page project, which created an informative web page for each US state, with advocacy tips, state-specific calls to action, current laws pertaining to tobacco harm reduction policies and contact information for state legislators. We also created 50 state-specific Facebook groups for local information and discussion.
Of course, the fight is only ramping up for this year. We are a little over one month into 2019, and it looks to be our busiest year ever in terms of legislative activity. As we mentioned earlier, we are tracking more than 175 pieces of legislation at the state level, in addition to a multitude of laws and ordinances being introduced by towns, cities and counties. The sooner CASAA can get the word out, the more time members have to contact lawmakers or show up to hearings and meetings. CASAA is constantly monitoring news reports to issue our local “Heads Up” alerts, but the news often only reports after a law or ordinance has already been passed. That is why we work cooperatively with numerous state advocacy groups across the country and thankfully, have supportive members like you to help monitor and alert us to activity where you live so we can pass on the information.
Remember: YOU are CASAA, too!
If you haven’t already, be sure to officially join CASAA by signing up at casaa.org/join-casaa. Becoming a member gets you both national and local Calls to Action and the CASAA newsletter right to your email and also adds you to our official membership numbers–which makes CASAA’s voice for consumers even stronger. Best of all – it’s all free!
And remember to add your personal story to CASAA’s Testimonial Project. Our goal is to present a large collection of compelling individual reports that will make it impossible for anyone to claim that substitution of low-risk alternatives (e-cigarettes, snus, and other smoke-free tobacco/nicotine products) is not a proven method for quitting smoking!