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Alaska’s Governor Vetoes Vape Tax Bill and More! Tobacco Harm Reduction News

Alaska’s governor Mike Dunleavy vetoes vape tax bill. Steve Forbes blasts FDA on vaping actions, while AVM calls FDA out for fudging PMTA numbers. CASAA in Action. Juul settles some lawsuits. Calls to Action in Arizona and Oregon. City limits vape shops for having “wrong image” and more!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!

CALL TO ACTION //  National – Menthol Ban

Starting on May 4, 2022, the FDA is accepting comments on two proposed rules banning the use of flavors other than tobacco in combustible tobacco products.

Whether you’re supporting the rule or opposed, one thing we can all agree on is that people who smoke need safer alternatives to cigarettes — mentholated or not!

While the FDA is moving ahead with banning more tobacco products, it is failing to authorize a meaningful variety of e-liquids and devices that are responsible for recent accelerated declines in smoking.

In addition to sharing your views on banning menthol cigarettes and other flavored combustible products, take this opportunity to urge FDA to ensure that people have access to safer forms of nicotine delivery that are enjoyable and affordable–like vaping, nicotine pouches, and smokeless tobacco products.

TAKE ACTION: FDA Menthol Ban – Submit Your Comments

CALL TO ACTION //  MULTNOMAH,OR

Multnomah County Board of Commissioners is asking for public input on a potential ban on sales of flavored tobacco and nicotine products! County Board directs the Health Dept to return with recommendations in September.

TAKE ACTION: Flavor Ban Comments Needed!

CALL TO ACTION // TEMPE, AZ!

City may be moving forward with a ban on the sale of the flavored vapor products helping adults quit smoking. Share your experiences and urge the council members to oppose any plan to ban low-risk alternatives to smoking!

TAKE ACTION: https://casaa.org/call-to-action/arizona-tempe-stop-a-flavor-ban/


CALL TO ACTION UPDATE // Alaska Tax Bill

In a letter dated Sept. 8 to the president of the Alaskan Senate, Gov. Mike Dunleavy indicated he has vetoed Senate Bill 45, which would have added a 35 percent wholesale tax to vaping products and severely restricted shipping options for Alaskan vapers. The bill also harmonized the state minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products with federal law.

Dunleavy said in his letter to the Senate that “a tax on the people of Alaska is not something I can support.”

READ MORE: Alaska Governor Vetoes Vape Tax Bill

LEGAL NEWS // Juul Lawsuits

“Most if not all of the agreed practices listed in the settlement have been standard at Juul for years, and some others have been federally prohibited since 2016…

“Juul withdrew most of its flavored products…more than a year before the FDA mandate.”

CASAA Director Jim McDonald reporting for Vaping360.

READ MORE: Juul Will Pay States $439 Million to Atone for Past Sins

TOBACCO CONTROL // Anti-Vaping Bias

Despite all tobacco control efforts, nearly 200 US teens still started smoking every day. As vaping increased, smoking declined dramatically. It’s clear to anyone not blinded by a prohibitionist agenda that teens who are vaping would otherwise be SMOKING.

However, researchers of this new study ignore those facts and choose to issue an alarmist “warning” that vaping has become a “gateway” to nicotine addiction. Not only do they exaggerate the health effects of vaping, they completely fail to compare comparatively low health risks from vaping to the known deadliness of smoking.

READ MORE: Vaping a Gateway to Nicotine Addiction for Teens: Study

RESEARCH // Researchers “Surprised”

Past studies have found that among non-Hispanic Black adults, lesbian and bisexual females are more likely to smoke. Despite that fact, researchers still found it “surprising” that teens in that same demographic are more likely to vape. Incredibly, they didn’t even discuss the greater risk of smoking or the possibility that vaping was displacing smoking in that group.

Just as astounding was the researchers’ best guess on why they think this group is more likely to vape: targeted e-cigarette marketing. It appears to have never crossed their minds that people who aren’t white, male and/or heterosexual may just have added stress and anxiety in their lives that may cause them to seek a temporary relief.

Of course, most tobacco control research seems to ignore this fact when pondering why people of color, LGBTQ+, women and those with lower income might want to use nicotine, because they vehemently deny there’s any benefit to the user other than relief of craving nicotine.

READ MORE: Which Teens Are More Likely to Vape? Research Shows Surprising Patterns Across Race and Sexuality Groups

REGULATION // The “Wrong” Image

You can buy deadly cigarettes from any gas station, grocery or convenience store within 1,000 feet of schools and churches (and each other,) but officials in Columbia, SC have decided to limit vape shops–which are selling products that are saving millions of adult lives–mainly because they “give off the wrong image.”

Ironically, the store in the photo featured in article is not what vapers would consider a “vape shop.” Referring to smoke shops, convenience stores and even cannabis dispensaries that happen to sell vapor products as “vape shops” seems to be a misrepresentation becoming more and more common in the media today.

READ MORE: Columbia city council working to restrict new vape shops

TOBACCO CONTROL // Seeking a “Middle Ground”

Four highly regarded tobacco control scholars are calling for a policy agenda on e-cigarettes that balances curbing youth use with promoting vaping products as tools that can help adult smokers switch to safer nicotine alternatives. Their agenda—which consists of making e-cigarettes more easily and cheaply available than cigarettes, but also of reducing cigarettes’ nicotine content and banning a range of flavored vaping and tobacco products—is certain to draw criticism both from anti-nicotine zealots and tobacco harm reduction proponents….

Filter’s Alex Norcia reporting for Filter Magazine.

READ MORE: New Paper Calls for “Middle-Ground” Approach to Vaping Regulation

CASAA IN ACTION // Planet of the Vapes Article

Online vaping blog “Planet of the Vapes” in the UK reported on CASAA taking the Bureau of Investigative Journalism to task on Twitter for it’s irresponsible article misrepresenting the relevancy and impact of nicotine levels in IQOS.

READ MORE: CASAA Takes The Bureau To Task

CASAA IN ACTION // Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum

CASAA CEO Alex Clark will be a panelist at the 12th Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF) in Washington DC on September 28th. Started in 2008, the GTNF has become a global exchange for views and ideas between public health experts, government representatives, the industry and investors.

READ MORE: Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum Agenda

COMMENTARY // Steve Forbes Blasts FDA Actions Against Vaping

For health authorities to equate vaping with inhaling cigarette smoke is blatantly false and counterproductive.

“Where’s the science when lives depend on it?”

Hear! Hear, Mr. Forbes! Bravo. 👏👏👏

READ MORE: Based More On Emotion Than Science: Steve Forbes Blasts FDA

FDA // Fudging the Numbers?

FDA reports “over 350” products passed the first stage of the PMTA process—instead of the actual number that’s closer to 5,000—perhaps in an attempt to pacify anti-harm reduction groups calling for a total ban on vapor products.

“Once again the FDA and its Center for Tobacco Products are misleading the public and press on crucial data and methods in its approval process for vaping products,” [American Vapor Manufacturers Association (AVM) President Amanda] Wheeler,  said in a statement. “The figures stated in its press release today on synthetic nicotine applications are demonstrably inconsistent with FDA letters to our own members indicating many thousands more applications successfully filed than FDA now claims.”

CASAA director Jim McDonald reporting for Vaping360.

READ MORE: AVM: FDA Misreports PMTA Acceptance Numbers


CASAA MEDIA // Spotify

CASAA’s podcast is now on Spotify! Please give us a follow here:

CASAA IN ACTION // Twitter Spaces

On this week’s Twitter Space we talk with journalist Alex Norcia about his investigation into the inner workings of FDA and what he’s uncovered so far via FOIA requests. You won’t want to miss this episode – now available on CASAA’s YouTube channel, too!

CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live

NOTE: CASAA Live is back this week!

If you missed the most recent CASAA Live show, check out the replay now! CASAA Live is on alternating Saturdays at 4:30 PM ET/3:30 PM CT/2:30 PM MT/1:30 PM PT on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter!

*This Twitter Space was originally recorded on August 17, 2022.

On this episode the CASAA Twitter Spaces panel spoke with journalist Alex Norcia about his investigation into the inner workings of FDA and what he’s uncovered so far via Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

TAKE ACTION // CASAA State Facebook Groups

Have you joined your CASAA State Facebook group yet? Check it out now! Click the link below, click on your state on the map, then click the “Join Now” button to go to your state’s group page. It’s as easy as that to stay updated on local happenings, meet local advocates and never miss a Call to Action in your state!

Don’t forget to also follow our official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CASAAmedia

FIND YOUR GROUP: CASAA State Locator

CASAA STORE // Apparel and More

Show your support by shopping our store! Our president (and brilliant website/swag designer) Danielle has added some awesome new designs to CASAA’s apparel shop!

 

VISIT: CASAA Apparel and Swag Store

CASAA MEDIA // Podcast

Catch up on past tobacco harm reduction news with Alex and Logan on the CASAA podcasts on SoundCloud every Monday and now live on YouTube and Facebook every Saturday at 3:30 PM.

SoundCloud:

 

Social Media Thumbnail Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash